Dear Annie: I am an 80-year-old female, a widow. I live alone.
I have a history of having arthritis, and I can’t take medications for arthritis due to having had stomach ulcers. I had a hip replacement in the spring, and I had hoped I would be able to walk without the use of a walker. It is apparent that I am going to need the walker to function. I talked with my orthopedic surgeon. Surgery is not an option. I have scoliosis as well.
I have a small walker with three wheels. I keep it in my car for use when I go to the beauty shop and for other short trips. I do need help in getting the walker out of the car. I am able to drive, and when I do, I primarily drive in town.
I have always been active, volunteering at hospitals and other civic organizations. It’s been difficult to ask for help. I have someone who gets my groceries and who is available to help me in my house. She comes every two weeks, unless I have a doctor’s appointment.
I have missed going to church. My children do not live in the same city, so asking for their help is not an option. None of my friends has offered to help. I can’t go by myself since I don’t have any help to get my walker out of the car.
I offered to pick up one friend and give her a ride to church. She said she preferred to take her own car because she liked to go early. She did not offer to give me a ride.
I have always been active in church. I can watch religious programs and sermons on TV, but there is a void because of my not being able to attend. Most of my time I spend at home. I do like to read.
I took care of my husband for years because he had Parkinson’s and dementia.
I feel guilty for not going to church. But I am very prideful for not asking for help.
I feel left out. I suppose it’s a matter of pride for me not to call and ask for help.
What are your feelings?
— Seeking Your Opinion
Dear Seeking Opinion: My opinion is to swallow your pride and ask another friend for a ride to church. You don’t have to feel left out anymore. People want to help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help.
Look at it this way: When someone helps someone else, they feel good about themselves. So, by you asking someone for help, you are actually helping them feel good about doing something kind. It’s a beautiful full circle.
Especially with Thanksgiving and the holidays coming up, you are going to want to be with community, and community will want to be with you!
Annie Lane, a graduate of New York Law School and New York University, writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Email questions to email@example.com.