Glad You Reached Out

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/301/31342575/files/2014/12/img_2101.jpgRecovering from painful surgery is tough. Needing help with everything is so hard. My wife is amazing, my kids are thoughtful and my family and friends are fantastic. But, it’s still really, really hard to be in pain and need so much.

Plus, pain meds make me contemplative (when not knocking me out). So I’m lying here overthinking things…

Think about how hard it is to ask for help on a good day. Do you yell out to ask someone to hold the elevator? Accept the grocery clerk’s offer of help to your car? Let someone know you really do need help putting up that ceiling fan? If you are like most Americans, I doubt it.

I add “Americans” here not because I think this is in anyway a unique American experience. I add it here simply because I’ve no idea how the rest of the world works in this regard and I wouldn’t want to assume that people of all nations are as awful as Americans are about asking for, and accepting, help. Also, note I said asking for and accepting help. Not offering. I think most of us are genuine and sincere in our offers to help. There are lots of offers. So, why do we have so much trouble accepting those offers?

I’m not new to needing more help than I’d like. But since Friday, it’s a fresh round of full time need. I had foot surgery (to fuse a very painful, arthritic joint in my foot), and cannot put any weight on my left foot. I have a big splint on it just now to allow the swelling to go down before getting my cast. Then it’s 6 weeks non-weight bearing, followed by another long chunk of time in a walking boot.

That means I am hobbling around on crutches, with a giant lump of a splint making me unbalanced. Add to that the constant pain meds to manage the pain and I’m like a teetering top. I need help with everything. Dressing, eating, maneuvering, you name it. Yes, getting to the toilet. Plus, my legs are bad in general so it’s a little hard for me to drop down to sitting using only my right leg and to launch myself back up. Sigh.

My wife is ever ready and present with strong, warm arms to help me. She arranged her life just so she could come home from many months away to be here for the surgery and to help me. So, why is it so hard to accept her help? When she breathes a deep sigh, why do I worry I’m too much for her, instead of gathering that’s she’s tired, or has many things on her mind?

I don’t know.

Yesterday, my wife took my son out for some special birthday time. We knew I wasn’t ready to be alone yet for an afternoon and so I asked my best friend if she would come and hang out with me and my daughter while my wife and son went out. “Glad you reached out,” she said first, and yes, of course she was available. Perfect answer to prove my theory here. We need help; we need to ask for it; and those who love us will be happy to give the help we need.

My mom says it’s really hard for her clients to ask for help. [I know my mom would have totally made herself available, but I knew she had client meetings all afternoon.] She also says that it is really important for us to ask. Why? Because we all have family and friends ready to help us with whatever need we have, but we don’t let them in. When we ask for help, we give the people we ask the chance to Do Something. To care for us. To make it better in some small or big way. Those things make people feel better. So, instead of saying: “Kind of you to offer, but now, we don’t need anything,” consider saying: “Yes, please bring us a casserole.” Maybe you’ll get 7 casseroles, but, can you really ever have to many?

Doing things – big or small – for someone you love makes you feel good. Does this mean it’s magically easy for me to ask my wife to walk me to the toilet? No. But, I try hard to remember she wants to help. Helping me probably makes her feel good. I love it when a friend or family member asks me for help with something and I can give it. I need to remember that when someone offers a hand to help me up.

And I am guessing, so do you. I’ve said this before, it’s Butch to ask for help when you need it. Be Butch!/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/301/31342575/files/2014/12/img_2096.jpg

About Tristan Higgins, aka Butch Jaxon

I am a butch. This blog is about what I think. If you do not know what butch means, you are probably on the wrong blog. In the interests of inclusion, though, I can tell you that “butch” means a lesbian that is big, strong, tough, more macho, less girly. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules – which is an ongoing theme in my blog (and in the comments), but those are the basics. A butch will most likely not wear makeup. A butch is often referred to as “sir” by someone who is not paying attention. What else? I am, after all, not just a butch. I am happily married to the most amazing woman ever, and the mother of two fantastic kids. I am also a lover of, in no particular order, beer, bow ties, breasts, movies, hiking, bookstores, travel, dogs, geocaching, polar bears, the gym, music, gadgets, and more. By day, I am an intrepid corporate entertainment lawyer. Although I try hard not to be labeled as such – sporting a bleached Mohawk, for example. Think more entertainment and less corporate. By night, bring it all on! In my blog, I talk about things from a butch perspective, but this is not just for butches. We all love our femmes. Please do not let me offend femmes, mine in particular! If you like what you read here, I hope you will comment and let me know what you think. If you do not like what you read, well, what the hell do I care? Start your own blog. Be Butch. View all posts by Tristan Higgins, aka Butch Jaxon

4 responses to “Glad You Reached Out

  • Sue

    This time last year I got a new knee! I remember that helpless feeling…. Hope you’re up and around soon.
    Merry Christmas❤️

    Like

  • bejai

    As a nation we honor independence and abhor dependence. Its like picking Wet over Dry exclusively. Not logical but true. Thanks for reminding us that the simple act of asking for help takes such courage!

    Like

  • MainelyButch

    Take care of that knee! This will give you some good writing time…pain killer blogs! LOL

    Like

  • carolynmcb

    Sorry to hear you’re in pain, but glad you have all sorts of help. When my mother came home from the hospital after being in a month, I was her caregiver. So I understand. You probably already know you’re very blessed to be surrounded by family and friends.
    (BTW, go with the red)

    Like

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