When you work in a nursing home you see people at the toughest part of their lives. You see people going through diseases and bodies that no longer let them do things like they used to, cooking or cleaning for themselves, having a job and caring for their families. At this point in their lives they must accept they may be in a wheelchair, told when they eat and shower and moved miles from their family and friends. When I met John he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer a year ago and had just lost his wife Katie of 65 years along with the farm he had been raised on. His children thought he would be better off in a nursing home that was 200 miles away. When he was diagnosed with cancer a year ago they had given him a year to live. He couldn’t figure out why him. He had eaten healthy most his life, exercised and was a good Christian. He went to three more doctors who all sadly confirmed the first doctor’s diagnosis. Now he felt he had lost everything he held dear, his wife, his farm and his life and by God no one was going to take his freedom away. His family brought him in Sunday afternoon kicking and screaming profanities. He was not about to cooperate with his family or the nursing staff. He swung at us and told us where we could put his meds. He had been there for a little over a week when his family came to visit him and he was a totally different man then then the one we all first met. He was crying and begging his family to please take him home, trying to convince them he could take care of himself that he wouldn’t be a burden; he would help out on the farm and would pay his way if only they took him home. That wasn’t a possibility sadly. After they left that day he crawled into bed and just gave up, he wouldn’t eat, take his meds or even let us bathe him. We entered his room 4 days later and found him in his recliner. He was clean shaven, a crisp clean shirt and his Sunday jeans. He was holding his wedding picture...
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