Friday, March 11, 2016

Waiting With Worry

Image Description: A hand with the word 'softness' on the tips of the fingers.
It's been a difficult week. Full of stress. Full of illness. Full of vulnerability. I knew, yesterday, that I'd be taking today off sick. I need to get well. I'm tired. When the day finished at work, I had one more thing that had to be done before I got home. It involvement an interaction with a professional who is tasked with helping me, touching me, and generally doing things that, but for disability, I'd not need someone else to do. I don't have to do this very often, so when I do, I pretty much have a different person every time.

As I waited, the anxiety grew. I'm not normally anxious about getting the help I needed. But for some reason, my week had collectively clobbered me, and I was feeling deeply afraid. I wanted whoever opened that door and invited me in to simply be the rare kind of professional that has softness at the tips of their fingers and kindness on the tips of their tounges. I didn't want gooey, over the top, smarmy smothering kind of service - I never want that. I just wanted kindness and efficiency that didn't diminish me. I wanted, well, softness on the tips of their fingers.

I sat there worried.

Knowing I needed the service.

Wondering what kind of stranger would be thrown my way by a shift schedule determined a week or so ago.

I remembered how so many people with disabilities, in various places where I worked as a direct support professional, back when we were called, front line workers, who wanted to know who was on what shift.

We thought, with the arrogence of those in power, that they were just fascinated by us. But, now I know, they just wanted to know who was going to be thrown into their lives and, even perhaps, into their way.

The door opened. My name was called out. I could tell by how he said my name, that the kindness on the tip of his tounge had transferred my name into a greeting. I was in safe hands, with softness at the tips of his fingers.


Frank_V said...

To this day, EVERY touch by a health service professional results in my muscles jerking away from the touch that is trying to help. That reaction transferred for several years even to my lover's touch. It was uncontrollable. That negative reflex has gone away, at least when it is my wife's loving touch. As always, thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

softness at the tips of your fingers - what a lovely description of the experience of kind, respectful touch - which as you know, can be rare in the provision of direct care that you describe.
I'm so glad that you got what you needed, Dave.
clairesmum (trying to sort out the open ID process)