Tell me if this isn’t just evil.
We have a 50ish patient with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) disease. As his muscle’s have weakened with the disease, he’s been left unable to talk or move. He’s a brilliant mind trapped in a body that doesn’t work. His wife, however, is the one with the real problems. We learned soon after he was admitted to our hospital, having now lost the ability to swallow food, that his wife was abusive. She’d often leave him at home, alone, not able to call for help or even move.
But the worst thing happened not long ago. Upset for some reason, she started yelling at our patient. Telling him how he’d ruined her life and such. In fact, there was no point living any more. She grabbed a gun and shouted ” I’m going to kill myself”. I can imagine his eyes widened with horror, but he couldn’t do a thing- couldn’t grab a phone, or yell to stop her. She left his room and the next thing he heard was a gunshot. Then silence.
She then sneaked out of the house, so he’d not know that she really was alive. She left him in despair, thinking she lay in the next room dead, with no one to help. She didn’t re-appear till the following day, with a sneer on her face for what she’d put him through.
I can’t fathom that type of emotional pain that he’s experienced. It’s hard enough to cope with being trapped in a body that is loosing it’s ability to work, let alone having the psychological torture he’s had to endure.
He’s moving to the hospice house tomorrow, with only days of life left, we’ll try to ease his suffering the best we can.