Mark Twain

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

N - No

N is for No!

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Power of No!

I knew the power of No when I was 2 years old - about 70 years ago.  But, as all children learn soon after they learn that glorious word, parents like Yes better than No.   No ... the word fell out of my vocabulary pretty rapidly - especially when it was followed up by time outs, angry words, and fewer treats!  (I am willful, not stupid!)

No got very little use until I was in my 50s.  And I am very sorry to have waited so long to resurrect the use of the word No.

In retirement and in your older years, No, becomes very very important!  The word No becomes your friend.  My mom was a Yes person until the day she died.  I guess she learned from her parents as I did - that Yes was easier.  It pleases everyone when you say it.  And generally, it makes life easier to everyone else if you say Yes.  But it typically makes your life harder when you always say Yes.

I got a lot of practice saying No to my mom when I was her caregiver.  "No, mom, you can't put that hearing aid in your mouth."  "No, mom, you can't drive your car if you go through red lights."  "No, mom, you can't refuse this medication if you want your heart to beat normally."

I even got good at saying No to doctors and nurses.  "No, my mom can't have contrast for her MRI - her kidneys are failing!!"   "No, I won't let her be discharged from the hospital until you fix the XYZ problem!!"  "No, she can't swallow pills.  Use another method (duh)."  I said No to those folks a lot.  And let me tell you ... doctors generally don't like it when patients and caregivers speak their minds.  They are looking for a Yes!  And if you ask them to explain exactly why your No should be changed to a Yes, some doctors just don't have the time for that!

I made sure my own children were paying attention to all the times I was saying No on my mom's behalf!  Listen up my darling children - It is ok to say No on my behalf if I can't speak for myself in the future.  No, I don't want to be kept alive by machines.  No, I don't want to live with either of you.  Assisted Living or Nursing Care is just fine if that is what is necessary!

My daughter is employed in the Retirement Continuing Care Industry, and she understands the needs of seniors, knows my wishes.  She has it all worked out, however, in her mind.

She informed me recently that she will not need to stand up and say No for me ... because she won't get a chance to get a word in.   I will be busy shouting my orders, directing my wishes, pointing my finger at everyone and saying No, No, No - loudly and often!*


She's probably right!

*PS - One other thing about No people.  They aren't all that easy to take care of in their senior years! I intend to be a handful!!  (If my children are reading now - there is a whole lot of eye rolling going on.)


Marie Smith said...

The medical system doesn’t want people who ask questions or challenge them in any way for the most part. No is a big part of that for sure. Informing oneself is a big part of the process and having others do it for you when you can’t any more is paramount. Well said.

Susan said...

This is such a great topic! I was a yes-er all my life (except, as you say, from 2-17), raised by a yes-er. Once I hit a certain age, the brakes came on and 'no' rose to the surface. What a thrill!

happyone said...

I say yes a lot but have learned to say NO when I need to.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Yup, that was our generation - saying yes was easier than explaining.
It is still very difficult for me to say "No". My finest hour was pushing the chart aside and telling my doctor, "No, you need to listen to me about. . . "
P.S. The new hip is perfect.
(AtoZ Theme: very short stories/various genres)
N is for: Narthex, Nave, and Exorcisms

netablogs said...

How nice for your mom to have had an advocate like yourself who wasn't afraid to say "NO!".

Nitisha Mathur said...

I agree that saying a "Yes" is much more easier than justifying a "No". I too am learning to say "No".

You can read my A to Z challenge blogs on:

Alana said...

My late mother in law couldn’t say no to the man who tricked her into having him repair her driveway- in February. No is such an important word. He scammed her-and returned again several months later to try again. No! No!

We have health care proxies in place and need to put our wishes in writing. My son witnessed some of the decisions that had to be made for his Grandmother. It was a learning experience for all of us.

Anne Young said...

When she was small my daughter used to forbid the use of the N word. Sometimes a good idea :)

Following along from A to Z

Wendy said...

I was always a Yes person and it was not a good thing. I'm getting better at saying No but I still need to work on it.