If you’re just here for the knitting come back tomorrow. I haven’t yet finished the lace section and I’d like to be beyond that point before I share again.
I think we all know what a lie is. I also think we can agree that there are lies that do no damage and are meant to be a kindness. Telling the exhausted new mother that she looks beautiful probably isn’t quite true but we do it because it would be rude to tell her how tired she looks and that no one will notice the dark circles under her eyes. There are other lies, I’ll call them damn lies that undermine credibility. We are taught as children that lying is wrong. Often we are told stories to underline the point. I remember being told The Boy Who Cried Wolf when I was young. The message there is very clear: if you lie people will doubt what you say even when it’s true. Do people still tell their kids these stories?
I am particularly sensitive when it comes to words. I annoy my family by pointing out that words matter and we should only say what we mean and mean what we say. When H and N were little I was careful with my word choice. I didn’t say what I didn’t mean and if I said it they knew it was true. For example if rowdy behavior wasn’t reigned in and I said if you do that again we are leaving and they did it again we left. Once they knew I meant what I said they knew what to expect.
I hold people to a high standard particularly when they are in a position of authority. If they specialize is something I expect them to be giving me facts from that position and to have no ulterior motives when they deal with me. When that trust is broken I have a very hard time trusting them again and by extension the organization they represent.
Here is an example from real life. When my mother was sick (she had an aorta aneurysm) she was transferred from the diagnosing hospital to a larger local hospital because the smaller hospital didn’t have a thoracic surgeon. After spending a couple of days in the larger hospital and forming a plan to move forward the person who handles home care stopped in to get my mother to sign some paperwork. The woman said company X would handle the care. My mother said that she would like company W. The woman said no it would be company X because company W doesn’t go to your town. My mother explained that company W had spent 5 years caring for her husband and they most certainly served her town. The woman then said that it wouldn’t be possible. My mother, who had basically been given a death sentence and wasn’t up for an unnecessary fight, said my daughter will be here soon. Talk to her. Well, when I contacted the woman I think she expected me to be like all the other children of patients who she’d dealt with. She told me that company X would handle the home care. I said that is not what my mother wants. We want company W. She tried to tell me that company W wouldn’t serve our town. When I said they had 6 months before and we had a long term relationship with these nurses. She said the nurses would be gone that they don’t retain employees. I knew I was not going to win with her so I asked to speak with her supervisor. She scurried off only to return a few minutes later without her supervisor. Suddenly now we could have company W. She’d set it up. I told this story to the nurse who came for the first visit with my mother, the same nurse who had cared for my father for 5 years. A person we trusted who was tasked with teaching me, a business minded person, to change an IV bag that connected to the port in my mother’s chest. The nurse took the time that day to call her supervisor to tell her what had happened to us at the bigger hospital. I never got any more information on what happened beyond that. I was too busy dealing with all the things that are required when one is caring for a loved one with a critical illness.
I have wondered why this woman lied. Obviously my mother was entitled to whatever home care company she wanted but this woman lied repeatedly to get her chosen company a job. She was not only willing to lie to a vulnerable patient but also to a healthy stressed person. My guess is she was told to do this and she did it all the time. But why? Does the hospital have an arrangement of some sort with company X? This was the first red flag I got from this hospital that maybe patient care isn’t their first priority. There were a number of others. I wouldn’t take Myles there based on my mother’s experiences. I wanted to complain to the person in charge but as my mother said what would they do to her if we complained. Once my mother died I had other things to deal with so I didn’t complain. I regret that now. Not just for us but for all the other people who felt they had no choice but to go along.
There are a lot of people who lie these days. I see it. I know they’re lying. I’m sure you see it too. I have no idea how to deal with this. I do know that I no longer believe them once I see their lies even when they’re telling the truth. I wonder about their motives. How about you?