Helping that is what the man in a wheelchair was trying to do as he held the bus door open. He asked, “Are you getting off?”
“No, my connection is at the next stop.” the man replied.
I thought this was interesting that a disabled person was trying to help an able-bodied person. Why is it that we do or do not want to help? For me I’ve always enjoyed helping, but like most men have been hesitant to ask for help. Becoming disabled has made me rethink this.
Now there are many things I wish I could do but can’t. I can’t read street signs. I don’t see well enough to drive. I often struggle to read the bus numbers. Do I get on the bus and hope it’s going where I want to go or ask somebody first?
I hesitated to ask for help for several reasons. First off it would indicate that I was not fully capable. This idea of being independent and capable of doing everything for me was important to me. I had grown up watching the Lone Ranger and similar shows with an independent hero. Now I’ve come to wonder who made the Lone Ranger’s saddle. The Lone Ranger was an individual in a larger system that was interdependent.
The other day in the locker room I noticed someone had a talking watch. This told me he too could not read a regular watch. We started up a conversation on why or why not to carry a white cane.
The question of whether or not to carry a white cane leads to another issue about asking for help. The white cane isn’t just a tool for me but tells others that I don’t see things. Initially I was afraid of being taken advantage of. Then I had a couple missteps and had to take a few flying leaps, to avoid falling down steps. The white cane now tells the bus driver and others that I probably can’t read the bus number. They readily volunteer the number, which helps immensely.
Why would they want to help? For the bus driver it is part of the job. Others readily volunteer their assistance. When I can help others I feel a sense of connectedness. When others help me I also feel connected. I no longer feel alone and vulnerable. I do not have to do everything for myself.
Helping and being helped is like moving a table. I can pick up and move the table myself, but it is awkward and I am apt to bang things. If someone takes the other end we can move it easily and safely. We might even carry two tables at a time, thus maintaining the efficiency.
What is about helping that you like or dislike? I would be interested in hearing your comments.
As always seek joy,
Coach DR. Dave

3 thoughts on “HELP

  1. I had bacterial meningitis in 2011. I wear dark glasses and a hat inside stores and other buildings with florescent lights, so as not to inflame my shot meninges. Sometimes that still doesn’t work and I still get the dreaded migraines.

    It has taken me a long time to realize that I don’t have to do this on my own. My housemate does the grocery shopping because of the florescent lights. I sit in darkened rooms when I visit the doctor because the overhead lights hurt my eyes. I ask my friend if she minds driving my car back to my house so I can take the pain pills to get rid of the pain that the two doses of migraine abortive haven’t stopped. Still, it is hard to ask for the needed help.
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  2. It is saddening to hear of your troubles. I will be posting more on ways to learn to live and hopefully overcome disabilities like yours. I hope they will help.

    PS.To be sure you don’t miss them, sign up on the right.

  3. Migranes are terrible. Work with all those who will help you to find the solutions that work for you. Then try to build the best life you can imagine. I hope you are following the current blog series, “Make a disability your Life’s biggest Gift”.

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