Mon 29 Dec, 2008 09:41 am
Mr. P. is going in for surgery in early January. Although it is not a very serious surgery, it is invasive, and involves general anaesthesia. The doctor says that he will probably keep him in the hospital for a day or two after the procedure.
My cousin (actually my father's cousin, so she is a 1st cousin once removed) lives in town, about 45 minutes from me. She has been divorced for many years, and her kids live far away from her.
Over the years that I have been in Florida, we have called each other a few times a year, and have seen each other a handful of times. She is a very nice woman, educated and intelligent. The problem is, we really have nothing in common, so I have not attempted to become closer with her.
We spoke a few weeks ago, and I mentioned the operation. Twice she has called (one time I wasn't home, so my husband took the message). She wants to stay with me in the hospital while my husband is having the procedure done.
I think that is very sweet. She said that I should not be alone at a time like that. The only problem is that I really WANT to be alone, with my own thoughts. I don't want to have to be concerned with whether she can find me in the huge hospital, and honestly, she is not the person whom I would want by my side in this situation.
I also don't want to hurt her. I know that she has been very upset as to what she perceives as a rejection by some of our other relatives. It has never bothered me, as I was never close with that part of the family.
I am very conflicted. There is a part of me that tells me to "lighten up", let her come, and the hell with it. There is another part that feels that my privacy is being invaded, and that I should tell her not to come.
What do you think?
I suggest that you tell her it is not a good time for her to visit you. Tell her you will keep her informed re your husband's recovery by telephone because you appreciate her concern.
Your cousin seems to be needy more than concerned about you.
I agree with BBB. Being honest is more important than being polite.
If I were you Phoenix - I would wish to be on my own (but then I'm a hermit) - I think you should just be honest and say that you are very grateful for her kind offer, but you know you will be alright on your own and that, with running around and back and forth to the hospital, you would like to feel as tho you can come and go without having to worry about anyone else. Also, that it's nice to have time to yourself when Mr P is in the hospital just to rest and maybe pamper yourself a litte - taking a bath when you wish and pottering around the house at all hours of the morning - without having to think about whether someone else in the house. Prolly can say it nicer than I can - but I would stick to what you wish to do - not what someone else thinks may be best for you. Oh.... also... that you will call her and let her know if you change your mind or you need anything, and that her generosity is much appreciated.
I understand the predicament, from the point of view of the patient going to doctors for a major visit, or surgery. I have not only not minded going alone, I've felt right about it, a kind of private time. And yet, a few times people have been there for me and that has been a rich experience. (Particularly with my friend Bonnie The Nurse and I and the recovery room nurses making wisecrack time - though not of course the whole bunch of hours.)
So I get the quandary about anyone with you at all when you are accompanying your husband - and her specifically; also understand the likeliness of her being hurt by "rejection".
Wonder if you could couch a "no, thank you for thinking of it" with a plan to go out for lunch in the immediate week before or after.. or, if you can't leave for that long, just promising keeping her informed.
No matter how gentle you approach this matter, Phoenix, your cousin will
be offended, so you might as well be honest and tell her that in situations like
these, you prefer to be alone. Once your husband is at home, you'll invite her
over for lunch/dinner and you can have a nice visit. In a hospital setting you're
too uncomfortable with others around and there is something wrong with you and not her
(that's always the line, isn't it?)
Makes me wonder if I was being overly pushy offering my company to a dear friends' partner some years ago, while they waited during my friends' surgery. She accepted my offer but would have whether she wanted my company or not. But then, I was there to support my close friend of 30-plus years even more so, it's not quite the same situation.
I think you should be honest and tell your cousin that you prefer to be alone in situations like this. After all, it's not about her feelings. It's about yours. But, as stated above, you will keep her informed on his progress and invite her to the house once your husband is home.
I agree with all the others. This is not the time to be worrying about her feelings, as you're going to be going through enough. It's sweet of her, but unnecessary, and I'd just say that. Thanks, but no thanks, in your own fashion. You've got enough on your plate.
This came up recently with the hamburgers. mrs. hamburger was in for surgery and did not want visitors - at all. They both told people in advance - including me.
It's about what the patient wants first, secondarily what the spouse/partner wants, no one else really comes into play.
It's a thanks, but no thanks situation. It is a truly sweet offer, as so many people don't like to come to the hospital, but you don't want the company and you need to tell her.
Thanks to all, for your well considered advice. As I always say, "life works". Apparently, she had planned to meet me in the hospital in the morning. She said that she had something that she had to do between noon-1:30 p.m. (She lives near the hospital.) She would go and return.
Well, yesterday, we went for the pre-op. Guess when the operation starts?
NOON! So now I have a great excuse. She can't be with me during the operation,
and I certainly don't want anyone around when my husband is groggy and hurting. As far as Mr. P. is concerned, he has only met her a couple of times, so he has no great desire to see her.
I will thank her for her concern, and tell her that I will call her when I get home from the hospital.
Oh my.... where has the time gone.... already! Well, good.... just you stick to your guns with cousin and concentrate on you and Mr P!!!!! Will be posivibing all the way across the pond.
Let us know when you can if you're alright..... and then let us know about Mr. P.
Hugs and love to you Phoenix x
How is Mr P doing??????????????????????????????? and you girl....all OK?
It's not enough to be in the hospital, or have someone else in the hospital? You're expected to spare time to be entertaining?
I'm wanting to hear more about this cousin also.
I've seen the family/friends all gathered in the hospital....mass confusion if you ask me.
eoe, I can't imagine you being pushy about something like this. You offered is all.
I think a lot of it is a cultural thing. A lot of Mexican families for instance, every family member within 500 miles would have been there. Not making fun of anyone, that's how it is. Going to the supermarket means anywhere from 5 plus people, and entails talking with every other family they meet and their 5 plus members while shopping. So someone having an operation is muy importante.
Me? Definately like Mr & Mrs Hamburger.
Is it possible this cousin was wanting to be all supportive more for herself than for you?
I too think it might be a cultural thing. In our family, for instance, everybody goes to wait with everybody else through the emergency. If you are within 100 miles, you go. If it's a close family member, you go no matter where it is. At least that way the one most affected doesn't feel like s/he must pay special attention or be sociable to anybody as everybody takes care of everybody else in the crowd in that regard.
But I can't imagine going to sit with anybody who had signaled that s/he wanted to be alone or didn't want company for any reason. You advise where the key to the house is or that somebody will be there and come on over whenever you need a break or call at any hour and we'll come get you. And then you leave them alone.
Just finding this and am glad to hear Mr. P is ok
Sure glad the surgery went well though Mr & Mrs P.
Now we wait to see if the blood pressure issue was addressed, yes?