Sunday, July 6, 2014
Sometimes it's hard to share with others when we're experiencing health issues and when we do, sometimes it's hard to accept help from others. If you're like me, I'm appreciative of the offers to help but I don't think about how others could help me. I'm fiercely independently dependent. I'm reliant upon help from my parents and my spouse yet accepting help from others doesn't come naturally for me and even obvious suggestions don't come to my mind easily. Even now during recent health struggles, friends are offering to help me out. Only, I can't think of what one could do to help me outside of just talking to me. Sometimes you have to hit someone over the head to get them to accept help. Perhaps I would be more open to concrete, specific offers of assistance rather than general offers, haha.
In high school when I had a central line for TPN for six months, I couldn't get my central line wet resulting in the inability to take showers. I had to cover my central line with plastic, I then kept several hand towels over my central line and then kneeled over the tub and washed my hair under the faucet. My parents helped me with this usually, although I could manage by myself. It wasn't until shortly before I had my central line removed that the suggestion of going to a salon and having my hair washed was presented. And with that concrete suggestion, I went with it and it was absolutely heavenly. I was able to relax, have my hair washed thoroughly and without pain of my central line pulling with my arm movements. All for a small fee of $5, it was one of the best $5 I spent. And to think, I could have accepted someone else's help six months before even if it was just occasionally intermingled with my own efforts.
A friend of mine is having back issues and was needing help with transport to a doctor's appointment and childcare during the appointment. Again, it didn't cross my mind that others outside of my parents or spouse could or would be willing to go to appointments with me. I simply scheduled any medical tests with my parents' schedules in mind so that one could go with me. Even as an adult, I still want someone to go with me when I'm undergoing any medical tests or procedures. I just simply don't think someone should have to go alone and frankly, the thought terrifies me. I don't think anyone should have to face medical tests or procedures alone.
Despite how hard it may be for us to accept help from others, especially others outside of our health circles, it can be a wonderful thing. Typically, if someone is offering to help you out it's a genuine act of care and they're concerned about you. And let's face it, sometimes we really do need some help...even if it's just a shoulder to cry on.
This is my life with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Short Bowel Syndrome. I was diagnosed with FAP as a child, underwent total colectomy at age 9. I experienced life threatening complications resulting in 4 more surgeries that year and developing medical PTSD. I had an ileostomy for 6 years before having it reversed into a straight pull-thru that also resulted in life threatening complications requiring an additional surgery the following year. In 2021, I required my 8th surgery to remove my gall bladder due to gall stones and FAP. This surgery exacerbated my, at the time undiagnosed, Abdominal Migraine which is now being treated.