What’s It Like To Be Dependent On Others? (The Wheel Stories)

The following are a few accounts of true events. They are horrific, but hilarious at the same time.

Until now I was loathe to share these stories because I focused on the horrific aspects instead of the hilarious.

However, time heals, and now I can actually find the hilarity in what occurred.

So here is a behind-the-scenes peek of the true and terrifying accounts of what it’s like to depend on others. My hope is that you will get a kick out of these stories!

There were the unfortunate times when my aides (PSWs – personal support workers) left before their duties were over, or never showed up at all. For example, there was the time that one individual called at 7:00 am (when their shift began) because it suddenly occurred to them that it was their anniversary, and they refused to work on their anniversary! One question we had was that she was not married, so we were dumbfounded as to what the anniversary was of!

Then there was the PSW who after accepting the job, called to say that it suddenly occurred to them that they have young children (and they never leave their children with baby sitters), so they were unable to honour their commitment!

Also, there was the PSW who was hired to work for us on Sundays. They called in sick on three consecutive Sundays when it was too late to find a replacement. We surmised that they had found a different job. Or perhaps they were not interested in fulfilling their commitment to us!

Next, we have the story of the PSW who needed to attend to something “important” and therefore found it necessary to run out without a word, that they were cutting out. Trouble was that not only was their shift not over, but that they left me, an immobile person, unable to call for help, alone. It goes without saying that being respirator dependent, this was a bad move.

When my wife called them on it,they just said, “hey what’s up?’, ‘to which my wife immediately responded,” your job is!”

But the kicker was yet to come.

We posted an ad in an online site describing the job requirements.Of course,my requirements are quite detailed and extensive.

Can you believe that the same individual responded, saying that they had experience with the exact same requirements we were looking for? They were perfect for the job which they were just fired from!

Then we had the 27 year old PSW who we hired for Sunday.They were only too happy to take the job.

After going through the rigorous training days (at our expense), they carried out their duty once before informing us that they could not honour their commitment.You see, their mother suddenly forbade them from coming on Sundays!

We mustn’t forget the experienced PSW who got ” fed up” , threw down his exam gloves, and angrily marched out of our house, never to be heard from again! I guess he cracked under the pressure!

Now it’s time for the face cream episode.

At a certain point we decided to go a step up from PSWs and we engaged the services of a full fledged nurse. Now, hopeful that they would have more common sense, which apparently is not very common.

Sadly, we were disappointed once again.

There was a point in time that my face was dry, requiring face cream.

Thankfully my face cleared up.

The highly recommended nurse, without consulting with me, sought out my wife and asked her where the face cream was.

My wife asked in return, “does my husband need face cream?”. The nurse responded, ” I didn’t ask him”. Well, I didn’t.

The nurse returned to me and asked me if I needed face cream. I replied that my face had cleared up, so I no longer needed the cream.

At that point, she returned to my wife and told her that she had to buy more face cream!

My wife, getting exasperated, asked the obvious question, “if my husband said that he doesn’t need the cream, why should I buy it?!”

To which the nurse replied, “because you don’t have any!’.

My wife, by then totally dumbfounded, said, “if he doesn’t need it, why should I buy more?!”

The nurse and my wife went round and round, with the nurse demanding that more be bought and my wife replying that there was no reason to buy more.

We learned from this episode that even nurses can be on a completely different planet!

On the subject of common sense, we have the case of the very same nurse who was instructed to never discuss private matters having to do with my care in a public forum. Especially given the fact that we had young children in close quarters.

This clueless individual proceeded to announce at the dinner table details of my care.

When we asked her to recall our recent conversation, she innocently replied,” I didn’t know that children are people!”

Talk about living on a different galaxy!

Another one on the topic of uncommon sense, we had the individual who switched into extremely thick goggles when he worked.

When asked about this unusual custom, he explained, “they make me work faster”.

Different places of origin apparently have different ways of doing things, at least according to one of our PSWs.

We used to keep the key to our prior house in our mail slot.

This individual called 15 minutes after their shift was to begin. She was exasperated after looking everywhere for the key. We reminded that we kept the key in the mail slot.

To which they responded,”What’s a mail slot?”

When we explained what a mail slot is,they explained,”oh, i see! In your culture you have mail slots!”

The uncommon sense is not  limited to PSWs and nurses. My very own doctor, upon reporting that my blood work came back with elevated levels of potassium, asked if I was eating too many bananas!

We wanted to inform him that bananas would clog my feeding tube!

So there you have it! The woes of relying on others. It takes all types!


  1. Rina Lederfish · · Reply

    omg am I the first comment?!?!?! I think your PSWs are out of this world aka on mars. I do understand that one of your nurses thought that children aren’t people, and I’m a kid so it’s not offensive to children if I say that, and I do disagree with her, but I am grateful to those type of people because it saves me a lot of eavesdropping work.

    1. Ha Ha! You are funny!

    2. Rivki Lederface · · Reply

      not mars; canada.

  2. This is a classic. My favorite line in the whole thing is “I didn’t know children were people.”

    1. Same here, brother!

  3. Marge Kaplan · · Reply

    So glad that you and Shaindel can look at these instances with a grain of salt and a sense of humor. I can only imagine how exasperating they must have been.

    Marge & Harvey

    1. How true, How very true!

  4. Marge Kaplan · · Reply

    I have told your story about the teenagers during WWII to several people now. They were wide eyes with incredulity as I was. Truth can really be stranger than fiction.


    1. Well put, Aunt Marge! And I`m so relieved to hear that uncle Harvey is doing well! By the way, stories that illustrate that fact can be stranger than fiction is discussed in me next post. Love Yehuda

  5. Glad you have the ability to laugh at these undoubtedly frustrating and infuriating experiences in hindsight. I cannot believe the story about the fired PSW unwittingly applying for his old job! You guys must have hit the roof.

    Keep em coming!

    1. We hit the clouds!

  6. It sure is good that you can keep your sense of humor in these infuriating cases- time after time.
    Keep up those good spirits

    1. Time after time is so accurate! Love, Yehuda

  7. Wow. As the saying goes- you can’t make that up.

    1. You got that right! Nothing’s made up, incredibly so!

  8. There is something else that struck me about this post. When you say time heals. Things shatter us today may not bother us tomorrow.

    1. In other words, have patience when bothersome things occur!

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