Don’t Let Others Decide For You « Work the Dream. This blog by Work the Dream talks about asking for help when you have disabilities. It made me think of my life. I know there are many things I can’t do or reach, since I sit in a chair all day, but if something is up high, I don’t mind asking for someone to get it down for me. I have noticed there are some things I don’t feel as comfortable asking for help. I begin to think people get tired of always helping me out and that I am becoming a bother, so sometimes I try to do things without help just so I don’t “over use” their compassion.
When I first got my new chair, I was worried that I couldn’t safely get into it without someone’s supervision, so I asked them to stand behind my chair each day to make sure I wouldn’t push it trying to sit down and end up on the floor. They were vigilant for about 2 weeks and after that, they forgot unless they happened to be at the back door when I came to work. Since I felt uncomfortable always asking, I started sitting in my chair without supervision. How hard is it to sit down in a chair? you ask? I walk to the back door with difficulty using my walker. Envision walking at a crouch with bent knees. I turn around and just sit down in my chair which waits at the back door for me because I can no longer step up the 6 inch step into the shop. The problem with the new chair is that it is about 2 inches taller than my old one because the seat is more padded. That means I can barely reach the chair with my behind because I can’t straighten my knees. So, I can barely reach and sit on the edge of the chair, lean back to center my weight until I can get my feet inside and am able to scoot into my chair better. It can be a little scary, especially since my old chair popped out from under me recently and dumped me in the floor. (See an earlier blog.) Being handicapped, a fall is the most frightening thing to contemplate, because I can’t even get up by myself if I do fall. I get scared in rainy weather or when it snows, since I wouldn’t be able to leave my car to get help if I needed it.
Simple tasks become hurdles unless you adjust your surroundings. I can’t reach the back burners on the stove. I burn myself often if I cook. I can’t reach many of the shelves in the pantry. I can’t reach the controls on the washing machine. I can’t reach anything above my head, like cabinets. I have to put work items and items at home I use often, within arm reach. Anything else, I have to ask hubby to reach for me. It is just an adjustment you learn to live with. If I feel like I am becoming a bother, or that hubby is too tired, I just do without. It’s just a new way of life. You do what you can and weigh the pros and cons of everything else. Is it necessary? or important? can it wait? How important are dust bunnies or a cobweb in a corner in the grand scheme of things? Remote controls are wonderful and so is my laptop. Handicap bars in the bathroom become part of the furniture. It’s all in the tools.