Asking for help is a really difficult thing to do. I have discovered this amazing truth in the last few weeks as I have been hopping around with a broken ankle. I always told people it was difficult, but now I know that it is!
Negotiating everyday life with one foot in a cast and using two crutches has thrown up significant challenges. I leave my glasses (without which I can’t read) upstairs and I sit down to write a letter. Do I ask someone to go and fetch them for me, or do I go myself, a venture which will take rather more time and no small amount of energy. Until now my m.o. has been to try not to ask anyone to do for me that which I can and ought to do for myself. Right.
Part of the dilemma is that the people around me I have been asking are my parents, both in their 80’s. I like to think that when I normally stay with them I help out as much as I can, and cause the least disruption possible. Not this time.
I arrived the day after Boxing Day with my left leg in a backslab plaster that I wasn’t even supposed to rest on the ground, let alone hobble on. I had fallen for a second time and bruised my coccyx. I had a streaming cold. I felt sore and miserable. In the wee small hours of that first night, when all good children are fast asleep, I woke to try and clear my sinuses, and as I blew my nose copious quantities of blood issued forth. It went everywhere and I could do nothing. My pillow, my face, my bed and even my hair gave the appearance that I had been the victim of some frenzied attack. I felt helpless. Useless. Powerless to help myself. And so reluctantly I called out pitifully “Mum. Mum, are you awake”. It was all wrong. I was as embarrassed as any four year old who had just wet the bed. I felt guilty. I felt frustrated and very cross. I should be doing this for them.
But I guess sometimes it is more blessed to receive than to give. Sometimes.