Strange experience — Helping a friend

I have spent the last week out of town helping a friend recover from a surgery. I knew it would be a bag of mixed-feelings from the start, but, I never knew how much I would resent him.

There are so many years of a backstory, it would be hard to put in one blog post. But, I could sum our friendship up in a few bullet points:

  • Co-workers
    • A long time ago, he and I worked together. We formed a close work-friendship bond that has lasted time.
  • Similar upbringing
    • Both grew up in a small town.
    • Both wanted to escape.
    • Both have a self destructive tendencies.
      • I grew out of mine many years ago.
      • He grew into his… as recent as this last week.
  • Similar medical condition
    • No escaping it, other than surgery.
      • The surgery is only 20% in the recovery to escape the medical condition.
      • The other 80% of success comes from you and how you live your life daily.
      • Failing to execute the daily changes will result in 100% failure and make the painful surgery pointless.

In the past, I have gone on some vacations with him and other friends, and after day or two, it gets weird. I was expecting the weird factor to increase and come on hot and heavy the longer I was around him.

I was right.

While our medical condition was similar, the treatment (including the surgery) was/is different. The pre & post surgery care instructions vary based on doctor. So while it is hard to compare apples to apples during this post, there are some foundational things that he refused to partake in.

Even before his surgery date, he would make excuses for why he wouldn’t do pieces that were foundational for my surgery. His excuse was always, they told me (his care team) that it wouldn’t matter for him. So, he wouldn’t do it.

I wasn’t expecting that to continue even after surgery. There are some things after surgery that are basic medical fundamentals. For example, after surgery you have to get up and walk around.

Obviously, this doesn’t happen instantly. You have to wait until the a bulk pain is gone, accepting you just underwent major surgery, and you’re not going to be 100% pain free.


Him: “This is too much trouble…” (to get the nurse to help him out of bed) “…I’ll just wait and walk in my halls at home.”

When he gets home, is it any different? Sort of. The excuse of, “It’s too much trouble” was gone. He would just refuse to do it.

When I try to give him advice, he ignored it. To the point, I just told myself. “Stop”. At one point, I gave him advice and he mocked it. You know the way, as you’re saying it, they finish the sentence in that bitchy know it all voice.

To which I said, “Oh, so you already know the advice, you just refuse to take it. Got it! That was my last piece of advice”

Well, I’m now at home and feeling great. I feel blessed to have had the surgery, I felt blessed to have the support system that I had. I was hoping that I would be able to help him share in the same success that I had. But, that ship has sailed.

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