Why we're here...

Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

We're honored to be a member of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association...click on their logo to visit them.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 295 - Patient Pride

Really short post tonight. Really sick.Don't want to describe it.

As a caregiver, one thing you're likely to see is patient pride. Not the good kind that has patients gathering in solidarity at their continued worth in the face of illness, but the kind that has them refusing help when they patently need it, and thinking themselves superior for tolerating pain that mere mortals could not withstand.

For the first, sometimes you have to step back and let the nitwit...er, patient fall on his face. Standing in opposition can be too draining - sick people can be pretty unpleasant and ruthless, and as a caregiver your first duty is to take good care of yourself, both for your own sake and for the sake of the one in your care.

When it's just not going to work...for instance, if your patient, subject to dizzy spells, wants to go up on the roof to help you replace shingles - you have to be firm - and you have to find an alternative task that clearly needs doing, and isn't obvious make-work.

The patient wants to feel like a part of things? Fine. It's hard to hurt yourself while raking leaves, or pulling weeds, and chances are he or she will reach a physical limit and quietly back off, having saved face.

That's the key; pride can be stupid, but it's real, and your responsibility is to find an avenue of retreat that saves face.

Do no harm, and don't humiliate.

For the second, your patient thinking he or she is some kind of superhero may be intensely irritating, but it may not be a bad thing. We all need to take satisfaction in something, and if all we have is fighting our own body...there's little harm in turning that into a personal melodrama.

Besides, pain is relative and individual, and they may be right. Your patient may be waging a struggle that's truly heroic, and has the angels and God Himself standing in silent awe.

You'll never truly know. Why not give the benefit of the doubt?

A bit of news..."Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart" has come home! Tate Publishing has gone south, and I regained the rights, so it'll soon be available in both Kindle hardcopy versions once again. In the meantime, if you absolutely can't wait (!), you can still get used copies from Amazon.

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.


  1. So good. We ran into this problem with my husband's dad who would have climbed up onto a roof in a heartbeat, well into his eighties! Hiding the ladders and asking for his help in snapping green beans kept him on solid ground.

    1. Michele...it sounds like your father-in-law and I are kindred spirits. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. Excellent point - well, two points! Saving face is a real thing, even with children that are catastrophically ill. And also? I DO see patients as heroes and I stand in awe of you, Andrew, and my own Andrew (son) for what battling disease and facing the dragons in such tangible ways and still managing to bring light from shadows. Prayers!

    1. Carol, I am so honoured by your words, and to share my name with your son.

      And thank you so much for the prayers.

  3. I really like this line -

    "We all need to take satisfaction in something, and if all we have is fighting our own body...there's little harm in turning that into a personal melodrama."

    Fighting one's body can something be quite a feat. Celebrate our God-given victories while we can. . . And visiting the roof sounds incredibly dangerous. Redirecting can be a very big gift - in a "Whew, crisis adverted" kind of way. Praying for you tonight.

    1. Stacey, yes...fighting one's own body is pretty rough. I used to try to help my wife with roof repairs (we live on a New Mexico mesa, and it gets windy!) but no longer. Hate hearing her use bad language...well, not BAD, but very colourful GOOD language.

      Thanks so much for being here!

  4. Great post, Andrew. What I hear you saying is that dignity is extremely important to the patient. Your suggestions here make a ton of sense, Andrew. Thank you, again, for sharing your wise perspective.

    I'm praying for you.

    1. Jeanne, you're absolutely right - maintaining dignity is vital, and it's so easy to lose sight of this. For the patient, every step backwards is dignity lost...and for the caregiver, every time the medical 'we' is used ("How are we feeling today?") it's a bit of infantilism, and dignity denied.

      Thanks so much for being here, and especially for the prayers.