You know what they say about love. Ian's wise words 'better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved'. He says 'it's worth it, Sueyi'.
I saw this old man, with mouth cancer after he had parts of his neck and mouth removed as part of his salvage therapy, who comes in with a leaking tube in his neck (what we call a tracheostoma that helps him with breathing), and a feeding tube in his stomach to keep him nourished.
Weak, and awake. Cognizant of his world and surroundings. Loved by his two children, who do not live with him but drop by to see him after work on a daily basis. He lives alone.
Comes in with a leaking trach, and generalised weakness. As part of our history, we always ask if our patients have had falls. He denied it vehemently. We didn't think anything of it. His kids said no, but did report bruising on the right side of his face. Suspicions for a fall only came through when they casually brought up about furniture that they had noticed that had cracked off/or peeled off.
We ordered a CT of the head, to check for any bleeds. At this point, the suspicion was still really low, because he was perfectly oriented, alert and capable of making decisions.
We got paged, there was blood in his brain. NeuroSurgery was called stat.
It makes you think how hard he was really trying to hide the fall from his children, not wanting them to worry. Or wanting to let go in the least guilt-stricken way.
By not letting them know. So he won't trouble his kids anymore, or burden them with worries, stress, the work of taking care of a sick, weak, already dying man anyway.
When you love, you really love, and will do anything to protect and not burden your family. My heart went out to this old man. Pains me to think now he'll feel worse cos he made it through?
If they only realise that we want to be there for them, and care for them. To love them the way they love us... The way they have for us all our living years.
Family is forever. and it's only family if its made up of true love and sees the test of time and grit together.