Thursday, November 07, 2013

Reaching My Reacher

What do you do when you can't reach your reacher?

I have a reacher in my office. For those who don't know what that is, it's a thing that reaches to places you can't reach. For me everything that falls on the floor also falls into that category. But, a couple days ago, my reacher, which sits on my desk awaiting duty, or play when I get a little bored (I can pick up a dime given time), fell to the floor. Right smack in my way.

Most of you know that I use a wheelchair pretty much full time but I can walk a few steps. My office is placed right beside the accessible washroom and I can make it from chair to throne and back no problem. But now my reacher was on the floor, in my way and, obviously, out of reach. My walking is unsteady at the best of times and anything that interrupts my gait inhibits any walking at all. I was stuck.

I did several things:

1) I stopped drinking my tea.

2) I stared at it for a long time waiting for it to leap into my hand. It isn't a wand, I'm not a wizard, it lay there like a cold dead thing.

3) I began to look for someone to ask. The office was quiet, everyone seemed out. I tried to will them to come. They didn't. Never have I felt so incredibly alone.

Thinking that if I concentrate hard on work, time will fly by and eventually either someone will come or the day will end and Joe will arrive to pick me up, I set about being industrious. That worked fine for about 15 seconds and then, being 60, I thought, "Oh my gosh, Dave, urine trouble now!" I am in the third age of man: diapers, tan pants, black pants - an emergency was approaching quickly.

Then, I saw a fellow with a disability, from the downstairs work programme, head by my office on the way to the head. I called out his name. He stopped, stuck his head in and said, "I'll come in on my way back from the toilet." Great! He's coming back.

Why do some people take 4000 years to take a wee?

I mean really.

He arrived back and I asked him to pick up the reacher for me. He smiled broadly and grabbed it up and put it back on my desk. I thanked him.

Seconds later I relieved myself and made my way back to my desk.

I saw him again later and thanked him again. He said that he was glad to do it. And I saw that he was. He said that he liked helping people out sometimes because people help him out all the time. I told him I knew what he meant.

And I do.

It's nice to be in a position to give help.

And sometimes ...

It's nice to be in a position to need help.



Anonymous said...

Oh my - what a terrible predicament to be in. I hate having "to go" and not be able to get there. Wondering?? No phone? Surely someone would have been in their office. I'm sure you blessed the fellow by letting him bless you.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Anon, I had a phone, but I just couldn't get myself to call the reception desk to find out who could come back to my office and pick something off the floor. I just hoped that eventually someone would come - that's where the washrooms are after all. I think if it got bad I would have called. But I'm glad it worked out the way it did.

pattib said...

Dave, have you ever thought of getting a service dog?

Anonymous said...

Didn't you apply for a service dog a while ago? Do you mind sharing about what happened with that?
I am blind and have a guide dog. when I drop things and can't find them, he'll point them out with his nose. He's not trained to retrieve, but that is certainly a task a dog can be trained to do.

FunMumX3 said...

One word... accio.


wendy said...

I see this a lot in my work. People who "receive service" are often very happy to be able to "be of service", especially in ways that go beyond what is often asked or expected of them. So glad he happened by in time!

Glee said...

Everyone needs to be a helper and be appreciated. Glad you didn't wet your pants Dave :)

Dave Hingsburger said...

About the service dog - yes we thought about it. Then I had a moral crisis when I realized that I wanted a service dog more for company than for service. I thought that, though I qualified, I shouldn't be taking something away from someone who really needs it. As my needs change I will revisit the decision. I had the chance yesterday to meet a service dog who was just lovely.

Kristine said...

For a couple years, I had a roommate who was also in a chair. We each had a reacher, which we called a "grabby," and when either of them dropped, the other became a "grabby grabber." :) Since then, I've found tricky ways to use a long piece of string/yarn/etc or a cord, or anything I can loop around the fallen grabby, and pull it back up.

But it's soooo much easier when somebody else is around to just pick it up!

B. said...

Yup, I know how it is. Glad it worked out.