Thursday, April 12, 2012


The old lady had a severe reaction to drugs prescribed to treat a nasty infection. Delirious and weakened, she quickly developed permanent nerve damage and was transferred to another hospital. Three months later she was still unable to sit, stand or walk.

Her elderly husband walked the long corridors from the main entrance at noon, slowly, painfully with his cane. He sat by her side until she went to bed in the evening and then walked slowly, painfully with his cane back to the car.

Every day…waiting, watching, hoping that she could walk again and come home.

We worked with her in the mornings, flexing stiff limbs, encouraging normal movement, trying to get her upright again.

He waited one day for the doctor, wanting answers, wanting assurance that she would recover. Accusations, anger, angst spilled out in the words that echoed in her room.

The next week he waited again for the doctor.

“I was talking to you from my heart and you were talking to me from your head. That is why we clashed and I am sorry," he said.

The doctor replied compassionately, “It’s all right, I have been there too.”

The old man had no way of knowing the pain in the doctor’s words, spoken as a father who was unable to save his own child’s life.

Broken bodies can't always be fixed but broken hearts meld together.


  1. Oh, my--Ruth. Very moving.
    I too see some of the pain you describe in my ever-increasing visits to my dad & step-mom. I try to be as cheery a soul as I know how to be.

  2. mexico Mom1:03 pm GMT-4

    Been there - done that. Well written.

  3. A heart touching post.

  4. Anonymous8:23 am GMT-4

    Wow- that made me cry. Is this a true story?

  5. I enjoy your poignant and perspicacious posts.

  6. Such a touching story. It's so difficult to see those we love in pain.

  7. Touching.It is easy to become a doctor,..but very difficult to be a human.

  8. Thank you for your comments. It is a true story. And thanks AC for the new big word!
    I see sadness every day, but there is hope, love, resilience and the best of humanity at the same time.


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