Friday, February 18, 2022

Stroke Survivor Challenges and Blessings

One of the challenges I face with a stroke-affected left side is restroom doors.

The restrooms in some businesses and many highway rest stops are like airports that have no-door entries to restrooms. They are easy to navigate with my rollator and are perfectly discrete. 

Some public restrooms, however, have heavy doors that I cannot fully open. I can't get my rollator or myself safely in or out.

Often other ladies graciously offer to hold the door open for me. If no one shows up, Hubby comes checking on me, knocking on the door and asking if I'm okay. If I'm through hand-washing, hand-drying and hair-checking, he pushes or pulls the door open and holds it open for me to escape.

Now that is the sanitized version. 

What really happens is that he bellows, "Are you all right Linda?"

I shout "Yes." If I'm not ready to come out but I'm okay, I holler back a time frame for my exit. 

Occasionally he becomes concerned and lurks about until he sees a lady approaching the restroom door and asks her if she could check on me. Often the result has to be a God-thing with the lady checking on me turning out to be a nurse, rehab therapist, or the daughter or niece of a stroke survivor.

I appreciate Hubby being brave enough to ask strangers for help. I appreciate that they are always gracious and ready to help. 

And then there is another category--those individuals who see me and immediately offer to help me without me ever saying a word about needing help. 

And it is those folks who have taught me, I'm sure without ever intending to, valuable lessons. I learned I was carrying around a load of prejudice. 

There was that young lady in Walmart who asked if I needed help. She had body art tattooed on every inch of skin not covered with her minimal clothing. 

She was quite perceptive in how to help. I had to drop my prejudices about younger individuals' choices about clothing and body art. 

She was a blessing. 

And I realized I had automatically--and erroneously--categorized her as someone uninterested and dismissive of old people. 

Lesson learned: Beware of categorizing others based on outward appearances.

Then there was the tiny Asian lady who rescued me when I got one of those electric Walmart scooters hung up in the handicapped stall. 

That edition of the scooter required two hands. I used one hand  to press the button that kept the scooter moving. If I took my hand off movement stopped. 

There were two other buttons, one to press for turning right and another for left. I had only one hand that worked. I could reach neither without releasing the go button. 

My experimenting did lead to some movement. I got the scooter jammed in the opened stall doorway ARGHHHHH! 

From there I could see that a line of ladies awaiting their turn had developed.They tried to help to no avail. I couldn't get out, and my meager attempt to push as those ladies pulled failed.

I was truly trapped. But that one tiny Asian lady waved everybody out of the way. Then she just reached under the front of that heavy scooter and jerked it out the door. I thanked her effusively. She just smiled.

She was a blessing. 

Lesson learned: One doesn't have to be big to be powerful. 

That day I also learned to always use my rollator or a grocery buggy rather than the electric scooters even though I know the stores surely have easier-to-operate versions these days. 

It occurs to me just now that I seem to learn a lot of lessons in Walmarts, and I don't even really go there much since Hubby does most of our shopping!

Question for you: Which word is used in your locale, "buggy" or "grocery cart" or "shopping cart"? 



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  2. I never thought how you might get locked in a restroom. Outside people could easily see you need help. Inside and alone would be another matter. Amen for hubby.
    Enjoyed the stories of the helpful persons. The mighty Asian lady and the tattooed girl. Gives you faith doesn't it?

  3. I say "shopping cart", but I have noticed that ladies who are southern and older than me say "buggy". YES, we should not judge by outward appearances for sure, even the bible hints at this. But it can be hard at times to overcome this. I think you learned something important in a gentle way.

  4. in the deep south of Georgia we just call them basket. Mama would say, sandra go get me a basket. she meant shopping cart which is what the people in florida call it now. when I was young florida said basket too.
    this is a perect post. info we can use, humor, laughter with not at you and your restroom episodes. I smiled, laughed, grinned and clapped for the heplers you found. excellent post and a good slap upside the head for me. I too would have thought the same thing about the tatoo girl. thank you and God bless your hubby.

  5. I use both words. People really are kinder than we think. And I love hearing about the generous, giving people.

    As to the prejudices. I graduated high school, and that was long hair days. Which I did not mind for the most part. But I saw a guy in a nearby town with long hair back in a ponytail...and I thought how gross. Then I went to college for a year, and he went there...I took a beginning photography class, but the professor told me I should come sit in on the advanced. I did and that guy was there. We were headed in to the classroom one day and he was carrying a load of books and needed a drink...but could not let go of the books and hold his hair he asked me to hold back his hair! Are you laughing? Turns out he was the nicest guy.

  6. Guilty!! Boy this post hit me right between the eyes as to "prejudice" and judging.. I do try to help people when I am in a store if I the man in his electric cart...everything he wanted was on the top shelf. He disabled and me 5'2"...I did manage to get the box down for which he was grateful..but I do judge people much more than I should..there are some pretty awesome people that are different than me..I have found that out many times volunteering at Celebrate Recovery. People with their Hurts , Habits and Hang-ups are basically just the same as me on the inside.
    On the word I think I use shopping cart mostly or basket (which it really isn't)
    Great post today, Linda.

  7. I am glad you encounter helpful and kind people along the way. Around here we call them shopping carts, or simply carts.

  8. Shopping cart! Haaaha. Your last comment was funny to me because although TG does a great deal of the grocery shopping, he won't go near Walmart! He hates that store so much! I love and was blessed by your stories, much as you were blessed by the kind tattooed young woman and the savvy Asian lady. Just this morning I read in my Bible again, that we are not to judge. That doesn't mean we are not to discern, but in our hearts we know the difference. It's so nice to meet you and to discover your blog! I hope you'll visit IHATH again! xoxo

  9. I enjoyed your post. I liked what you shared about the young person who was covered in body art and little clothing, was a blessing to you. I too have to not judge a book by its cover. You reminded me of that. Thank you.

  10. I so enjoyed this post. Nice to hear about some kind helpful people. Yes, help comes from the most unlikely people at times.
    I say Shopping Cart.
    People in Great Britain say Trolley. :)

  11. I don’t like tattoos but I, too, have met some very nice people who are covered with them.
    In the South where I now live, people call them buggies.

  12. Wow, that sounds like quite an adventure.
    Good reminder not to judge by appearances.
    In my neck of the woods we say shopping cart.