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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Nov 20, 2012
DEAR ABBY: My wife, "Margie," recently lost her five-year battle with leukemia. I'm still grieving this huge loss. Something I found particularly upsetting was the apathetic attitude of her doctor and his staff.

Margie was seeing a specialist in a city 300 miles from our home. It involved many trips to his office as well as extended hospital treatments. During this period, we considered the doctor and his staff more than health care providers. We thought of them as our friends. Margie would often bring them home-cooked meals or pastries from a bakery. In addition, because she did fine needlework, she made all the women a set of dishtowels.

After my wife passed away at home, I sent a note to the doctor and his staff, thanking them and expressing gratitude for all they had done for her. I never received one message in return. I understand they treat many patients, but don't you think someone could have given me a call or sent a sympathy card?

I attend a bereavement support group and was surprised that I am not the only one who has had the same experience. Is it normal for health care providers to stop all contact with spouses after a loved one dies?-- STILL GRIEVING IN ARKANSAS

DEAR STILL GRIEVING: I'm very sorry for your loss, and for your disappointment. However, everyone deals with death and dying differently and doctors are people, too. In the field of oncology, for every victory there are also many deaths. Emotional detachment is sometimes the way that these physicians and staff protect themselves from emotional pain. Please forgive them.

DEAR ABBY: My son-in-law "Ralph" is a good father, good husband and we have gotten along well for nearly 20 years. But an issue has come up that has me really upset.

Ralph was an exceptional wrestler in high school until a shoulder injury ended his career. Now he wants his 10-year-old son, "Carter," to wrestle. Carter went to a few practices in early elementary school, but showed no real interest in the sport. However, he does like basketball and shows potential to be a decent player.

Right now, my grandson's dream is to have a cellphone, and Ralph has promised to get him one -- if he goes out for wrestling. I said I'd buy him a phone so he won't have to go out for wrestling just to get one.

I'm afraid Carter could get hurt while participating in a sport he has no real desire for, and could end up being unable to play the sport of his choice. I know there's danger of injury in any sport, but at least if an injury did occur, it would be while doing something he wants to do. And injuries aside, he should be able to pursue the sport of his choice, not his dad's. We need some guidance here.-- FRUSTRATED GRANDMA IN IOWA

DEAR GRANDMA: I agree with you, and for the sensible reasons you stated. However, I would add this: It appears your son-in-law may be attempting to relive a chapter of his life in which he failed to succeed because of his injury. To lure his son away from the sport he likes by bribing him to go into wrestling is unfair to the boy. I hope you and your daughter will talk to Ralph and tell him you think this is a bad idea, and that he will listen to you.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Nov 20, 2012
L1:'We thought of them as our friends." That was your mistake. They weren't your friends. They were caring professionals. I think you need therapy because you're angry at people who did not do anything wrong.

L2: Why is your daughter -- the child's mother -- absent int his discussion? She should have her kid's back. You probably should butt out.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#3 Nov 20, 2012
1 Sorry for your loss, but you really cant expect them to develop an emotional attachment. They probably would rather focus on their successes not their failures, just like the rest of us.

2 Ralph is a douche, and if the kid wants a cell phone he should mow some damn lawns and pay for it himself.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Nov 20, 2012
RACE wrote:
1 Sorry for your loss, but you really cant expect them to develop an emotional attachment. They probably would rather focus on their successes not their failures, just like the rest of us.
Good point -- many people who work in that area of medicine have to develop ways to NOT get emotionally involved with patients.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#5 Nov 20, 2012
That's right, Red. It's a coping mechanism.

But I will say I know of doctors who attend wakes and so forth of some of their patients.
And I know of one particular orthopaedist who will do free surgery for the poor and destitute etc. etc...

I remeber one time one of the clerk's son got killed in a freak accident when he was only 2 years old.
A couple of us went to the wake. It was real sad, but she told us how much it meant to her that we were there.
Of all the people who worked with her, we were the only ones from work who showed up.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#6 Nov 20, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
You probably should butt out.
Hmmm...this kinda struck a nerve with me. My short reply turned into a mini rant...

She totally should. My mom did this with my sister's son. It totally undermined my sister's authority because whenever Grandma didn't agree with a parenting decision, she just did whatever the hell she wanted to do. The kid is 19 now and has zero respect for anything his mother says.

Reason #858676 I kept Chris away from them (mostly) until he was 16. They had no time to influence him during those all important formative years. Not that he didn't know them, he just spent no real time around them in any kind of day-to-day living thing. They (my mom mostly) never had an opportunity to know much about, much less try to override our decisions.

Of course even if we had lived close enough for them to know things we did, I am not my sister. I would have had no problem telling her to back off. I did that early on when he was a few months old "YOU are MY mother,*I* am HIS mother,*I8 will decide what *I* think is best, not you." I think that probably took care of it, but I can see her trying repeatedly to get past that boundary, because, yanno, I knew her really well. She never quite understood when something wasn't her business/place...<shrug>

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Nov 20, 2012
LW1: I donít think itís a good idea to become emotionally attached in that field.

LW2: Regardless of what I think of your son in law, MYOFB Grandma. Nunya.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#8 Nov 20, 2012
LW1 - I agree with RACE. The LW should not expect personal correspondence from professionals. I know for a fact that my cancer doctor posted cards and letters from their patients on a bulletin board in their office. After I passed the five-year mark, I wrote to the office thanking them and listing the things I had accomplished because they had done their jobs so well and I was alive. His letter was probably posted in the office for other patients and the staff to enjoy. I doubt that his letter was ignored.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#9 Nov 20, 2012
Wow, coupla winners today.

L1: Do you *want* every health care professional to kill themselves by getting attached to every patient and patient's family? They appreciate your thanks; you aren't friends.

A few of the women that worked at my grandma's nursing home came to her wake/funeral. It was very sweet, and a nice surprise. They were crying harder than family though. That can't be healthy...

L2: That's a fine way to get cut out of your grandkid's life forever. YOU raised your kid/s, let your kid raise his. I'd be furious if somebody usurped my parenting like that.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Nov 20, 2012
Our old neighbor is a oncologist.Hepersonally sed psychotheray to deal with the fact that so many of his patients were people he could not save.

Some docs wll send sympathy cards, ut I have heard gripes that the were impersonal so you can't lease people at atimeof grief.

Aso, dos are very wary of saying anything that sounds like Sorry for your loss fr fear it will be misunerstood and held against them.

In llinois, about 15-20 years ago they actually passed a law that if a doctor said sorry within like 3 days of an occurrence, it could not be used against him in Court

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#11 Nov 20, 2012
L2. y mother pulled something similar. I put a base age of 14 or igh school on getting ears pierced. Eldest daugher went to grandma ho took her to the mall to do it at age 12. I quit talking to my mother for several months an made sure that if the gil saw teh grandprents, my father was there. He was more sensible. I also bored my daughter a new body orifice and it was not a second ear pierce.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#12 Nov 20, 2012
L1: I am so sorry for your tragic loss. When my dad passed, his main doctor sent a sympathy card with a kind note. It meant a lot to my mother.

L2: What RWG said. And let Carter work through this with his parents.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#13 Nov 20, 2012
2- I don't think it's fair to tell the gma to MYOB, she has a valid concern. How many time have we blasted someone for wanting to live vicariously through their kids and pushing them too hard? Yes, the kid's mom needs to say something and maybe she's tried but the dad won't listen? Maybe if grandma, the wife and the boy all pound this into the guy's head, it might sink in. Besides, what father would want his son to wear a leotard and roll around on a mat with another dude anyway?

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#14 Nov 20, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
2- I don't think it's fair to tell the gma to MYOB, she has a valid concern. How many time have we blasted someone for wanting to live vicariously through their kids and pushing them too hard? Yes, the kid's mom needs to say something and maybe she's tried but the dad won't listen? Maybe if grandma, the wife and the boy all pound this into the guy's head, it might sink in. Besides, what father would want his son to wear a leotard and roll around on a mat with another dude anyway?
I agree. I think the consensus is that Ralph isn't being fair to Carter; a grandparent *should* intervene, not by buying Carter a cellphone (I think the cellphone should be taken out of the equation entirely) but by helping Carter speak up for himself and say he doesn't want to try out for wrestling, he wants to try out for basketball.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#15 Nov 20, 2012
I think grandma gets to speak up on behalf of her grandson, but she really doesn't get to interfere with how he's being parented unless it's actually harmful to him. THis guy is doing what many parents do. It's wrong (IMO) and it's not good parenting, but it's legal and the kid will survive.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#16 Nov 20, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
2- I don't think it's fair to tell the gma to MYOB, she has a valid concern. How many time have we blasted someone for wanting to live vicariously through their kids and pushing them too hard? Yes, the kid's mom needs to say something and maybe she's tried but the dad won't listen? Maybe if grandma, the wife and the boy all pound this into the guy's head, it might sink in. Besides, what father would want his son to wear a leotard and roll around on a mat with another dude anyway?
You make a good case. I hope Carter gets to do what he really wants to do instead of what his dad wants him to do.
Sam I Am

Cedar Grove, TN

#17 Nov 20, 2012
1. So all the attention and care they showed while she was a patient wasn't enough?

2. Gee, a parent trying to live through their child. That's a new one. Butt out.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#18 Nov 20, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1:'We thought of them as our friends." That was your mistake. They weren't your friends. They were caring professionals. I think you need therapy because you're angry at people who did not do anything wrong.
This. Exactly this.
Urgh

Nashville, TN

#19 Nov 20, 2012
Sam I Am wrote:
1. So all the attention and care they showed while she was a patient wasn't enough?
They sure had no problems taking her homemade stuff and dishtowels while she was living so they were attached to her when it suited their purposes but when she could no longer was around to do anything for them, none of them could cough up a card or a call! Oh, but I'm sure they still sent the widower their bills.
Urgh

Nashville, TN

#20 Nov 20, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1:'We thought of them as our friends." That was your mistake. They weren't your friends. They were caring professionals. I think you need therapy because you're angry at people who did not do anything wrong.
Except take a dying patient's homecooked meals and handsewn dishtowels! You're right, though, it WAS a mistake for them to consider these 'professionals' to be their friends. True friends would have attempted to send a card or made a phone call. I think these 'professionals' are the ones who need therapy for being so selfish when it suited them but indifferent when they couldn't gain anything from it.

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