Sunday, May 20, 2018
Asking for Help
Long ago I made a deal with my body that only one thing could go wrong at a time. In exchange, I would do my best to take care of my body by eating well, exercising regularly, and taking a handful of nutritional supplements every day. I was suckered. Over the years, my body reneged and multiple things started going wrong at the same time. There was nothing I could do about it.
Now, I am dealing with periodic flares of my chronic pain condition and am on the threshold of having hip replacement surgery. I think the hip and the pain condition made a secret deal to aggravate each other to ensure that I would take neither one for granted.
I'm anticipating that the hip surgery will relieve the hip pain, but may incite a flare up of my "normal" pain condition. Richard, my sweetie, reprimands me when I think this way and, momentarily, persuades me that this outcome is unlikely; and it is just as likely that I will be free of both pains.
But I know better. Or at least if I hold onto the likelihood of having a pain flare post surgery, I won't be surprised when it happens.
I am also anticipating that I'll be miserable and physically impaired for a while. I'll need help.
Richard is unwavering in his desire to be by my side and help in any way he can. It's usually me who plays the stoic card and thwarts his attempts.
But surgery is a big deal. I'm admitting I'll need his help.
The hitch is that a few weeks after my surgery he has plans to attend our soon to be nephew-in-law's bachelor party in Las Vegas. Richard and our nephew-in-law to be have a tight relationship. They can geek together and spout Monty Python lines at each other.
I fear that I still won't be able to manage without Richard when this weekend arrives. Can I ask him to forgo the celebration to stay home and help me navigate around the house and pick up my crutches when they fall? Can he go on the trip and enjoy himself knowing I'm at home, hurting, and struggling?
Asking for help gets so complicated. I want him to stay home with me, but don't want him to miss the party. He wants to go to the party, and be by my side. A bunch of impossibilities. If I ask him to stay, he will - no grudges attached. But I'll feel like a villain for depriving him of a good time. Even if he chooses to stay without my asking, I'll still feel like the great depriver.
A real conundrum. I think the only way through this is for each of us to honestly say what we want and be as understanding and as accommodating and loving as possible - whatever the outcome is. (Easy to say, right?)
What would you do? How do you deal with asking for help?