Having this disease has been an unbelievable lesson in humility. I have had to accept that there are going to be a great many things I cannot do along the way. It becomes a sort of internal struggle with my pride. It is quite surreal at times. I was so weak at points over the past week that I had trouble doing the simplest things, like tying my shoes or picking up my pills out of the pillbox or giving myself my shot. And I have to fight the urge to make excuses for myself...to somehow justify in my own mind why I need help with these things.
But it doesn't matter Why.
What matters is that I did need help.
Chris is so utterly amazing with me when these things happen. I am so stubborn and so independent that I will sit and struggle with shoelaces when my hands are obviously not working at that particular moment and I curse the shoes and curse my hands and there stands my husband nearby, watching and waiting. And I look up at him and curse my hands and shoes again. And he waits.
And then if I am really being stubborn he will calmly say,
"Caroline, is there something you would like to ask?"
And I breathe. And I tell that bothersome thing known as Pride to be quiet and I say,
"Honey, can you please help me tie this shoelace?"
and 5 seconds later we are good to go.
Obviously this does not happen every day. The past week has been exceptionally bad and I have needed more help with simple things than usual. But even if I am having a Great day/week/month the lesson is one that applies, regardless of whether a person is disabled or not:
People need help sometimes. And to get help, you have to ask for it.
Sure, sometimes you get really lucky and someone anticipates and offers help or that one special friend reads your mind and does the thing she knows you need most. But for the most part you gotta Ask for what you want or need.
That is so easy to say, and SO much harder to actually do. It takes a lot of pride-swallowing, humility and acceptance of your faults and shortcomings, be they physical, emotional or otherwise. But when you are brave enough to ask for help something amazing happens. People say yes, and they are in fact, honored that you asked. And then something even stranger happens. These little things add up and they bring you closer to people and you find yourself having deeper more meaningful relationships with those you love. And while having a day when you can't drive or can't tie your own shoelaces really sucks...knowing that there are people out there that love you enough to do those things for you...well, that's really pretty awesome. :-)