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I’m Grateful for the Helpers
A COLUMN BY JENNIFER POWELL
I like to keep my life as normal as possible. This can be difficult given the physical challenges multiple sclerosis and chronic pain pose. Nevertheless, I try.
Saturday was one of those days. I mistakenly assumed I could tackle Costco — the Goliath to my David. Hence, I must outsmart this mammoth rather than power through the challenge. Local knowledge is that they open their doors 15 minutes prior to regular business hours. You can bet I am there. I find the closest parking space and begin my shopping with a few others. A well-executed plan.
MS laughs at plans.
The best-laid plans are no match for MS. I have learned to navigate around the expected fatigue and general malaise, but the intensity of immediate, acute attacks leaves me lost.
I experience profound spells of disabling fatigue. The weightiness envelops me from head to toe. Within an hour of onset my body becomes leaden and my mind hazy. Cog fog intensifies as I check out and head for the exit. I move to ask the attendant for help but opt to forego because three parties are before me.
Just as a tear begins to well, a middle-aged gentleman offers his help. I accept with gratitude. I watch as this perfect stranger helps a perfect stranger. Tears fall freely and I ask if I can give him a hug.
The tears fall like rain as I drive home. Mr. Rogers told us to look for the helpers. I smile and thank God for sending me His. There are angels among us. They are our helpers when we are tired, weak, and weary. Look for them and they will make themselves known. Ask for them and they will step up.
I think of my angel. I think of him and his random act of kindness. Does he know he is an angel? Does he know my day is better because of him? Does he know?
“Pay it forward” comes to mind. I feel a beautiful call to oblige. I will look for angels but also be one. I will pay more attention to my environment. I will be one of the helpers. Only then can I perpetuate the beauty of my own experience. Only then will others experience what moved me to tears.
My disease will continue to affect my mind and body. I refuse to allow it to affect my heart. I refuse to allow it to affect my faith both in myself and the human condition. I will refuse blinders to avoid the sight of hurt. Instead, I will attempt to heal that hurt whenever possible.
I will be the helper.
Scooterjon says – I remember back to my healthier days and I think I always tried to be helpful to others. That’s just the way I was brought up. I know what the lady in the story means when she says her fatigue envelopes her from head to toe. It feels like a total exhaustion and many times for me I haven’t done anything.
If I’m out somewhere when fatigue hits me I would go and sit in my vehicle. If I close my eyes and rest for 10-20 minutes I usually can get home but I’m very careful with my driving. I also ask for help if I need it, most people will help!