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|It is a remarkably honest and realistic point
Written by Jenny Allan
(10/17/2005 6:42 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, What gets me about this passage..., penned by Line
Yes, this point hits me quite personally as I have had twice in my life rather long experiences with nursing very sick people in my immediate family and have come to the same conclusion. There are those who remain ever cheerful, with perhaps the odd bad day, no matter what pain and indignities are forced on them, and those whose spirit gets low, who are difficult and can be a real trial to deal with. It is almost as big a challenge not to judge the person who is difficult harshly as it is to care for them.
"JA evidently concluded that admirable as this virtue was, you either had it or you didn't, and presumably you shouldn't beat yourself up if you didn't."
You are right, Line, that this is not only an atypical attitude for JA's time but it only very recently that even health professionals have begun to take the mental health of a sick person into account. It wasn't too many years ago, when it was typical for a doctor or nurse to try to scold someone into better behavior.
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