Well Wishers

Idiots Abound

All right, in my heart of hearts I do understand that gratitude is the only appropriate reaction to anyone who wishes me well.  When I was first diagnosed with a serious medical condition, some responded magnificently…most notably my truly magnificent daughters.  But I did have to bite back less-than-gracious responses to those whose supposed focus on me only thinly veiled that their only real focus was on themselves.  Beware my fellow objects of others’ well wishes, not of the Jabberwock, but of assorted beasties such as the following:

“Say it isn’t so!”:  Envision the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand.  These beasties go on and on about getting infinite second opinions and how all doctors are idiots who know nothing anyway.  I could just imagine one asking someone hanging from a noose if an appeal could be filed.  What they keep asking me is, “Are you better yet?  Is everything back to normal now?”  Reasonable questions…were it not for the number of times I’ve explained to them that my condition is permanent.

“I’m the greatest.”:  Here I see a gorilla beating its chest.  But this soft-spoken beastie spews the softest, most presumably heartfelt words…about how willing they are to do anything at all for me, any time night or day…until I ask for the time of day.

“Never would have happened if you’d just…”:  Long ago I attended a town-hall meeting in a teeny town where a teenager had committed a remarkably sadistic murder.  The President of the PTA started by stating it never would have happened if we’d all done a better job of supporting the PTA.  All right, I’ll grant that more PTA involvement might have led to better informed parents seeing the writing on the wall in advance of the crime.  But when everyone else took turns saying the same thing about whatever their particular pet project was…right down to the owner of the camera store and the local florist claiming a murder never would have happened if the townspeople had done a better job of supporting their respective businesses…I could see the writing on the wall and walked out of the meeting in disgust.

Beasties abound; I could go on.  What I’ve learned the hard way is that most people simply aren’t either able or willing to deal with someone with something seriously and chronically wrong with them.  Fair enough; it’s not always easy for me to deal with it, and it’s my problem.  I’ll even throw in “different strokes for different folks,” id est some find great comfort in what I consider to be shallow/meaningless platitudes.  But I now understand why some people choose to keep their serious problems a secret.  Personally, I can’t live that way, but I’ve learned not to engage with anyone who can’t handle my new situation in a way that I consider “real.”  I just quickly thank them for their concern and either change the subject or cut our contact short.

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