Tag Archives: asking for help

When You Give

In the second grade, I was in Mrs. Brumfield’s class. There are a few special memories I think of when remembering Mrs. Brumfield and her class: She always wore bright red lipstick and because she used my personal book, Abel’s Island, to read to the class for our afternoon reading time, I have a smudge of that red lipstick in the front cover of my book. It still remains one of my favorite children novels. Our circular building held classrooms divided like a pie and our door faced the playground–I especially liked the monkey bars, so much that I gave my palms blisters; but once my name was written on the chalkboard and I had to stay in from recess.

Mrs. Brumfield’s favorite type of animals were pigs. We even made “pigs” using pantyhose stuffed with pillow cotton and after we tied off the curly tail, we hot-glued on felt ears and sewed buttons for the eyes. My pig has pink ears and purple buttoned eyes…and it is in my special box. On our birthday, we got to make a chart using pictures from home to tell the class a bit about our favorite things and about our family. A family member was invited to attend and sit with us up front, but because neither mom nor dad could attend mine, Mrs. Brumfield allowed my best friend at the time, Stephanie, to sit with me.

At the end of the day, there were two dismissal bells for the bus shifts. Because I left on the second bell, this allowed me ten extra minutes of reading time…as we always ended the day with quiet reading in our own “corners or desks areas.” Being a book nerd from an early age, I took this time seriously and never wanted to leave class at the second bell if I was in mid-sentence. And Mrs. Brumfield gave us a take home assignment, but it was “fun” homework: when it was our turn, we took home a large Ziplock bag containing a book, entry log, and a stuffed animal of a mouse in overalls holding by Velcro–a chocolate chip cookie. Our assignment was to log our different activities of what we did with our new pal. Mom tried to find a few educational activities. 🙂 The hardest part was keeping track of the cookie! The book:

if_you_give_a_mouse_cookie

If you have read either this book or the other, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, the overall concept of the story is the same: you give and they keep asking for more–eventually circulating back around to what was initially given.

Recently, my parents went on an extended weekend vacation back to Colorado. It was not initially the reason why we set the Lifeline for use, but it was planned to have that established before their trip for safety reasons. My weekend was not much different from others. I had a few appointments already set, tasks I needed to accomplish and had some sister chat times. I carried out my days like usual routine–my own breakfasts and lunches. Several ladies from my parent’s Sunday school class signed up to deliver hot meals for my dinners. I cannot tell you how much that was appreciated!! A few ladies contacted me just to see how I was doing and if I needed anything. Genuine kindness.

Mom did ask a girl from town around my age to come in the evenings to spend the night (mainly for my Lifeline factor), but also to help take out trash, clean Muffy’s kitty litter, help with dishes and anything else I might need. We decided this was best in their absence–she came in around 10pm and left in the mid-mornings for her other duties and jobs. It worked nicely and since the Olympics were still being covered in Primetime, I usually was in the basement at the end of the day relaxing and working on a friend’s late Christmas present while watching the Games.

I really cherished the weekend, but also saw how much I possibly take for granted within my family all the extra help they give so selflessly. Miriam would ask if I needed help with anything else before going to bed herself and unless it was something I just couldn’t do, like unbutton my new sweater so I could wear it the next day, I didn’t initially ask for much assistance. Maybe it was embarrassment, maybe pride. Maybe I am used to my family seeing me struggle, like when I try to pick up medicines that have fallen to the floor, and they just come to the rescue without my asking. Or often, maybe I am just tired of asking for people to give their time and help–as I turn more dependent, I am becoming stubborn and wanting to still do things on my own. How do I balance between the two? It is something I am still in process of learning.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Muffy, Uncategorized

Solid Grip

Normally when I accidently drop a medicine on the floor, one of my family will hear it land and come quickly to the rescue. No one saw or heard me drop a pill tonight, and instead of asking for help, I tried to pick it up myself.

I don’t say coincidence, but my dropping of pills is always the same two and they never seem to end in causing me troubles: the first is skinny, yet cylinder shaped, and has the smooth outer wax-looking covering making it slippery for my numb fingers; and the second pill, well, it just so happens to be the exact same color as the wooden floor and when it drops–it’s transparent. It’s a daunting task to find this pill, and when I do, it is usually if I tip my head at very awkward angles or the lights suddenly reflect a shiny stud on the floor. I take both these pills twice a day…some days, like today, are just aggravating!

When I dropped the former of the pills this morning, I was alone. I tried with no success to pick it up with my fingers, but after a few minutes, resulted in grabbing a spoon from the drawer and pushing the pill into the middle of the utensil. Pulling myself back into standing position, balancing the pill on the spoon had me feeling as if it was a raw egg. 🙂 The spoon-retrieving-medicine was a success, so when the pill dropped again tonight, I started the same process, except this time first asking Marcia for a spoon. It was then Dad realized what I was doing and came to the rescue.

It must not have been my day for medicine, because shortly after this I set out to refill my day caps for the coming week. When I got to the latter of my two trouble-making pills, I didn’t drop just one…but two, as they slid out of my hands. I did the usual awkward angle head positions and found one, but as I gently swept it closer to me in order to pick it up without falling off my chair, it speeds away and goes back into transparency. It’s then that I let out a disgusted, frustrated: “UGH. Good grief!!” Mom came to the rescue and found both.

I had one more refill, but in this case, the pill is never the problem–the bottle cap is the problem. It is one of those “squeeze the cap on the sides while you turn the bottle,” and I normally don’t bother to try anymore with opening it. I can’t remember the last time I opened a bottle like this normal…it has to be a few years; the atrophy in my thumb muscles played a role in this long before numbness was a problem. My hand format consists of placing the bottle in my left hand–one of the “push here” spots rests against the bone of the thumb that stands out since the atrophy; and the other “push here” spot, I place my pointer/index finger and squeeze as hard as I can, while twisting the bottle with my right hand. It never started to become a major problem until the numbness increased.

Maybe it was my frustration of medicines today, but as I tried to open it, instead of giving up right away, I set out to try something else. I unsuccessfully tried using a pair of needle-nose pliers, but in this attempt I noted that most of my problem was not the “push and twist” of the cap, but my holding the bottle firm in the right hand. So, I found the non-slip rubber jar opener pad in another drawer and just tried again to see if I could open the medicine bottle.

It was not easy, even with the assistance…but after a few more big squeezes and strains, the bottle opened. And I cried. In that moment I felt victorious. I should see the same in life…that even the most difficult days are worth living, because I am held firm in God’s hand.

7 Comments

Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times