This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Brittany Foster 1 day, 18 hours ago.

  • Author
  • #21202
     Colleen Steele 

    “If you ever need anything please don’t hesitate to ask!” How many times have people said this to you after a conversation about your health?

    Not knowing what else to say, I think some people say this. There are people who probably would be more than happy to help but not sure how.

    Have you ever taken anyone up on their offer? If so, what sort of help did you reach out for? What sort of help do you wish you could ask for?

  • #21210
     Brittany Foster 

    I have always had a hard time asking for help. I just always am the type to “do it myself” or at least try to. I never want to make it seem like I am a burden to others and it is hard to shake that feeling as a patient that I am somehow burdening people by having them help me with my medical conditions. Trying to tackle everything on my own has led me to have pretty severe anxiety around my medical conditions so I realized that I needed to stop acting like I had the power to do everything and anything on my own and finally ask for help. Usually there is just a select few people in my life that I ask for help with certain things and each person pretty much knows what their role is when it comes to my health. Like, my mom is always the one to stay with me in the hospitals and take time out of work when she can. My boyfriend is good for bringing me what I need when I’m there or for visiting but it’s just too high stress of an environment where he is not as much help as my mom is. My dad is usually there for the things like my boyfriend does and my sisters try to help when they can too.

    • #21215
       Colleen Steele 

      Truth be told, allowing your family and boyfriend to help you in whatever way they can probably helps them too. Otherwise they might feel helpless. It’s a win-win all around.

      I think where it gets trickier is when friends and acquaintances want to help. It was the main reason we registered with COTA. Instead of trying to figure out what to say to us, it gave people something to do and every penny raised was reserved specifically for medical related expenses.

      When he felt up to it, and of course depending who the person was, I encouraged people to visit him when he had long stays in the hospital. To make it more comfortable I would tell them to bring games to play or movies to watch. It helped take their minds off the fact that they were visiting someone in the hospital.

      The other thing that honestly was a big help was gift cards. Whenever people insisted that they wanted to do something or bring us something I would suggest gift cards. Especially when my son was recovering from transplant, they really came in handy.

      As far as people who tell me to call if I ever need anything…I don’t think I ever did. I’ve only accepted help when people persisted. It would be really hard for me to call someone and say, “Hey, remember when you said to call you if I ever needed anything?”

      • #21235
         Jen Cueva 

        I know that I already wrote a book, Hehe

        Colleen, I think that gift cards and the way you had visitors bring games, etc. are great suggestions. I have some visitors that come and are so loud and think it is a “Family Reunion” as they bring their friends and neighbors, too. As I said this can e overwhelming for me.

  • #21234
     Jen Cueva 

    Great question, Colleen! I too, like yourself and Brittany find it hard to ask for help. As I just wrote in my column, I am more the caregiver type, so I try and do all that I can. This is the nurse in me, again.

    Just this morning, my hubby kicked me out of the kitchen as I had planned to clean up and rest since we have plans this evening and tomorrow. I am quite stubborn, Hehe

    I also do not want to be a “burden” to anyone. When I am at the hospital, it is always my hubby who rarely leaves. I have to make him go home and check on Sasha. My daughter and son-in-love also usually visit daily. If my Mom is in town, she is since she comes when she hears I am in the hospital, she is there most of the day, too. My sisters may text and check in but rarely stop by, even if I am 5-25 minutes from both of their jobs.

    I do have one best friend in Dallas who has came and sat all day, too. I love her for that, we are like soul sisters. I do not usually let anyone know that I am in the hospital, my hubby tells my mom and sisters and my Dad.I am horrible with that.

    I remember a few months ago, I did text Brittany and let her know since I went in for a heart cath, and was admitted.

    I often feel like in a small hospital room, too many people at once can be overwhelming, honestly.I think people should spread out their visits, LOL- Do y’all ever feel like that?

    Once, my hubby text everyone and said no visitors until Noon, so I could get some rest, him, too. Hehe

    I have friends and family who say, “let me know if you need anything”. they know that I am not that kind of person, It is very difficult for me to ask for help. My few close friends, will come and not ask.

  • #21672

    Yes, I too have learned to ask for help, even from strangers. Although I have some conditions that don’t show, I also recently fractured my back and have to wear a large back brace and use a rollator/ walker.

    The elevator at the gym was broken so I asked an 11-year old boy sitting there playing a game on his phone if he could carry my rolling gym bag down the stairs for me. He was happy to do so.

    The thing is PH and conditions that don’t show make it more difficult to ask for help.

  • #21674
     Brittany Foster 

    As a past teacher for middle school students I realized that kids really LOVE to help when they can. Some of the “hardest” kids that I had or the so called “tough ones” were actually the ones that would run to hold a door open for me or ask me, “can I help you Miss Foster?” A lot of times they loved knowing that they were needed in those ways and I let them carry my rolling chair that I used when I had to change classrooms and had them carrying my book bags to my car at the end of the day. It just proved to me that more people do WANT to help, especially kids and teens.

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