I hate asking for help. It has been three months of relying on others for assistance, and people are so kind and willing to help. Yet I hate asking for help. Yesterday I was stubborn – ridiculously so.
We had a storm here in Wisconsin. I was up and on my way to work just as the rain was turning to ice / snow. I should have at that point said – it might be wiser to just stay home. I know I thought it. However, I have missed so much work and have stuff to do at work that I wanted to go in and just get it done. I went to work, drove cautiously to work and got out in a stinging rain. I unloaded my scooter and it was dead. No power at all. I felt defeated. It was surely a sign that I should have gone back home. Part of my brain told me to but then the stubborn part said no.
I called my sister and asked her to come help me. We put the scooter on freewheel and she pushed it up while I walked in. This caused my foot pain and to swell. I took it easy at work. My student workers got me water and helped out wonderfully. The snow started as Alicia and I were walking into the building.
My husband text me to let me know the roads were getting bad and my stubborn self said I’m sticking it out at work. I am pretty sure he wasn’t happy about it but I stayed at work. By early afternoon the snow had stopped, when I looked at the radar online though it looked like we were going to get hit again (and we did just not as bad). At 3:30 I opted to go home before it all started.
My student worker helped get my scooter (now charged) unplugged and lined up with the door. I hobbled over with knees, legs and a foot that hurt. I got within 10 feet of my van and got stuck in the snow. I was still on the sidewalk. There was a spot on the sidewalk that had about 3 inches of snow for about 3-4 feet. My scooter is good and goes through a lot. I wiggled and rocked and tried to get through the snow – all to no avail.
I was sitting on my scooter getting colder and trying to figure out how I was going to manage to walk through the snow to my car and drag my scooter with me when a young man stopped and asked if I needed help. I wanted to say no – I think I’ll be fine. I said “maybe”. It was my one concession yesterday. The very nice and kind young man asked what he could do. I wiggled the scooter to a clearer spot so I could stand up and walk to my van. The young man carried my scooter to the van. I thanked him and told him to have a nice day. He was polite, helpful, and kind.
I know if I had called up to my office my student worker, chair, or almost anyone in my office would have come to my assistance. My sister would have come down to help. Yet I was too stubborn to ask them. This young man – a complete stranger – helped teach me a lesson. I have to let go of some of my pride and let people help me.
This last week has been difficult for me. I’ve been made immobile by the attack of gout. I’m still not overly steady on my feet and my foot gets painful when it is down. Yet I have to look at this week and recognize all the people who helped me in different ways.
My daughter, sister, and husband have been very helpful and concerned as I struggled with the pain and other issues. They helped me walk, fetched things, carted me places. My daughter in particular – Vicki – has driven me to work, checked in to see what my pain level was at, pushed me in a wheel chair, and did the bulk of fetching for me.
Other people also stepped up. Several of my faculty at work asked after my situation, expressed concern and were pleased when I came back to work. My Chair was very understanding about my absence even though it was the worst possible week for me to be MIA. My student workers were my legs this week at the office. It was little things like one faculty who told me that they missed me as well as the work I do. It seems like a little thing – just words but those words warmed my heart and made me grateful to have such a good group to work with.
I appreciate all the support and caring I’ve received. I think this is something we (in general) don’t pay attention to because we are all so busy with our lives. My gout may have knocked me on my ass and kept me recliner bound but it didn’t stop me from noticing the stress it put on others. Thank you to all those in my life who expressed concern and offered or gave assistance. It didn’t go unnoticed and it helped in my healing process.