Some people see bravery and courage as doing something without fear or apprehension. As for me, well I see it as doing something in spite of that fear and the knowing that there are some things in life that you just have to do. Sometimes recognising that and actually doing it can be very hard to do. Or just a bit degrading or demoralising. That can sometimes make it hard to see the difference between admitting defeat or accepting the help you need. I have always been a bit cagy about asking for help. It has been in my nature for 24 years so you will excuse me for my lack of trust in others or my apprehension to approach people.
But today, I had an unexpected brave streak in me. Rather than suffering in silence and not asking for help, when clearly I needed it, I actually asked for help. I wanted to be helped. It had been such a challenge for me since my admission on Sunday to actually function in normal everyday life. I was getting out of breath and worn out from even doing the simplest of tasks, like getting up and walking from the bed to the lightswitch in the bedroom. It was starting to take a lot out of me and I will be the first to admit that. Being a variable condition as it is, I found that my asthma really does take a nose dive at this time of year and I can be sort of alright one moment, then the next barely conscious or able to breathe properly. Its a scary thing, but there have been times when I have actually thought to myself "This is it. This is the one that will take me." or in the aftermath "How many more times will this keep happening and how much more can I honestly take?" Many people do look down their noses at me. Sometimes I get someone saying "It's only asthma, how bad can it actually be?" or "I have it and I can do things", or even "You're too young to have a disability". I think after all of that, anyone would be reluctant to ask for help wouldn't they?
But, I am getting off the subject, today I actually plucked up the courage in Tescos and actually asked about borrowing a mobility cart. The lady agreed after a quick chat and I even showed her my disabled bus pass (as it is generally awarded to those with mobility issues) and she showed me the scooter. After a few moments of getting used to it (and crashing a couple of times!) I was soon whizzing around the shop like a pro! And what fun! I enjoyed going around the supermarket without getting so short of breath that I was actually happy. Its been 3 years (nearly 4) since I have been able to do that and actually enjoy being out and about. I didn't feel disabled or "broken" anymore. I felt independant and strong. I felt like I was 24 years old again.
We are now looking in to getting one of my own, so that I can get out of the house more often and not have to worry about getting so breathless that I need to use my nebuliser constantly. So maybe in the near future, you can expect to see me whizzing around town and having the time of my life in enjoying shopping and wandering around town once more. Just don't expect any fancy maneuver work!! Oh and watch your feet as I am still a learner!
2 years ago