Saturday, July 3, 2010

Learning to Accept Help

In November, I was just starting to get into the blog-o-shere.  I stepped into the shallow end of the pool by reading just one blog, who still remains my favorite, The Bloggess.  I know I talk about her all the time, but I immediately fell in love because she shared my sarcastic, witty, and sometimes demented sense of humor.  It wasn't long before she had me reading all her blogs, including her advice column and satirical sex blog.  Every now and then, my beloved Jenny posts something serious though, and that is how I was introduced to a beautiful family who had gone through so much misfortune, the Mayhews. 

She may not know it, but Anissa and her husband, Peter, have somewhat become idols for me.  For me, it started on their Hope For Peyton blog that turned into a quasi "Hope for Anissa" blog when she had two massive strokes in November.  Jenny had posted the event on her blog and I have been following the Mayhews ever since.  Their strength and love as a family gripped me, and though I never comment much, I love hearing their story because it gives me hope when I am in the pits of mine.  It is because of Peter that I decided to start my own blog.  He needed somewhere he could put his thoughts down and reach out to people as he waited for news on Anissa.  I needed a place to put my thoughts down as I wait for bouts of depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis to pass.  His words inspired me in the beginning, and now his wife inspires me today. 

As I sit here, unable to use my right arm due to extreme pain from RA and feeling useless and handicapped, I pull up Anissa's Blog and I think, if this amazing woman can come back from two major strokes that should have killed her (according to doctors), and still get up every day for the last 4 months to take care of her three beautiful kids and keep pushing every day to get better, then who the hell am I to sit here and feel sorry for myself because I have been down and non-functional for a whole 3 freaking days. 

But this is the worst flareup I have ever had and I thought I knew some of Anissa's frustration from my past health issues.  Not exactly, but I thought I could understand some of it.  Boy was I wrong.  The pain of the last 3 days have brought on a whole new meaning for me of handicapped and useless.  As I have had to ask my husband to open the milk for me, refill my water bottle, wash my hair, or turn a doorknob because I couldn't grasp it, a new meaning formed.  As I lost use of my right arm because any movement at all, even typing, cause too much pain, a new meaning formed.  As I spend hours typing with one hand, and then lay completely still in bed watching reruns because it's the only thing I can do where I am semi-comfortable, a new meaning formed.  As I burst into tears because I was stupid enough to try reaching behind me to unclasp my own bra, a new meaning formed.  And with this new, deeper meaning of what it is feel handicapped and useless, I bet I still don't even scratch the surface of what so many others go through.

So I will stop feeling sorry for myself, but I will accept my limitations right now.  I can never heal if I don't give my body the break it wants/needs.  I will ask for help unclasping my bra, turning on the shower, washing my hair, and making breakfast.  I will ask for help picking up the laptop so I can write my next blog one-handed or surf Facebook.  But what I most recently learned from Anissa, I will ask for comfort when the reality of the situation overwhelms me and I feel like my world is crashing down.  I will reach out to my friends and family and ask for that gentle hug and "poor baby" to get me through the next minute, hour, or day.  Because sometimes, comfort is the most important help you need.