Thursday, April 13, 2006

Angering Jan

In the last two days, both Sue and I have come under Jan's gun. Wow. In spite of knowing in our heads that this is part of where Jan is right now, it is still so hard to deal with. Fede, I know you have been experiencing this from time to time, and I now understand so much more how it hurts, and how hard one must try to remember it isn't really 'personal'.

While I was visiting Jan a couple of days ago, she told me she didn't know why she had to be in the hospital at all now. Why couldnt' she live at home and just come to the hospital for her therapy sessions? Jan's thinking--other than her ability to find the words--has seemed so normal lately that I had been lulled into believing she was more her true self than she is right now. So I casually and harmlessly (so I thought) mentioned that it would be a great deal of work and effort for Fede to have her at home right now, and that after all, it does take a lot of concentration to follow her speech--it can be very tiring!

I know, I know: looking back on what I said, I should have known better. As I said, I was lulled into expecting a 'normal' response like, "Well, that's true, it is a lot of work and maybe it's too early."

But what I got was a look of devastation, anger and tears that brought me to tears to see. I thought, "What have I done!?" And then came: "You should go now."

Fortunately, Martha walked into the room while I was trying to backpedal and explain what I had meant. (Thank you Martha!) She was able to talk a little to Jan and calm the hurt some.

And then Fede arrived and all four of us had a lively discussion, including Jan's sharing of a vivid dream, which Fede has mentioned below.

I'm interested--and a little frightened--to see how Jan will react to me when I next see her.


Jan in discussion with visitors, taken by Fede.

1 comment:

FC said...

Thanks for sharing you encounter of the third kind with Jan. Yeah, sometimes I just go home singing "I get knocked down, but I get up again, that's never going to keep me down". And then, there are the other nights when I just can't get up again... In the middle of the maddening pain that Jan experiences for an otherwise harmless comment, one has to keep reminding oneself that those kind of voices come from her injury and not from her heart.

Easier said than done. I have found that pain (her and ours) is just the other side of love. CS Lewis wrote that, we have to take the pain that comes from loving someone, you cannot have one without the other, that's the deal.

I thought that you would not get into those tight corners with Jan because you have known her for 45 years, but there goes my theory... Don't worry, I asked her tonight if she was still mad at you, she smiled and said, of course not! {something garbled...] could it be something about your kneecaps?...