When something goes wrong, do you not question even internally what happened? What went wrong in that situation for that result. This question is a hamster wheel for me. I am constantly questioning and seeking different results ‘if only’ this had happened. Recently at the Detroit Airport I had an episode. It wasn’t unusual, the same old. My face was melting like butter, I couldn’t hold anything heavier than an egg in my left hand and my left leg was dragging along like I had maybe a little too much to drink.
The airport was crowded, it was the evening rush of arrivals and departures. The hustle and bustle of business people and travellers filled the building, faces glued to their electronic devices hardly looking up to miss the garbage bins or small children that happen to run in front of their way. The only thing that kids have on me is that they are quick. We might have a lot of things in common when I have episodes like this, but they do have speed.
As we gathered in front of the elevators listening to the families reuniting together in happiness someone from behind trying to squeeze through the small opening between myself and another individual. Well, unlike someone who has balance, I went down like a freshman during their first football practise, and hard. It went silent. The group gathered around in a large circle and my Mom started to try and pick me up. I “I do, I do,” I told her. I proceeded to shift over and slowly move onto all fours and then one by one use each leg to push myself upwards. I forgot to mention that while I was on the ground, the guy who had originally knocked me over stepped over me like a pylon that had fallen over in the parking lot. Something that was just inconveniently in the way.
It’s funny now that when I think about it. Sometimes when someone looks so fragile or if there’s something wrong with them, you are afraid to touch them or help them. It’s better to ignore the situation than involve yourself. After retreating away to a chair while my Mom gathered the luggage I needed to get out of there. I could feel my chest begin to get tight, my throat was getting a big lump and the room was starting to close in on me.
I needed to focus. I began to wiggle my toes. Breathe in counting to ten pushing out the bad air and in the good. We get our luggage and then are able to get to the parking lot with less trouble. As my Mom goes to get the car I stop to take a moment to reflect on the last twenty minutes. I asked the famous question, why. Why did everyone just stare. Why was it okay to walk over me like a sack of potatoes that had fallen off of a truck? In short, none of it was okay, but it happened. The hamster wheel began to turn. Change needed to happen. It needed to happen yesterday. So that’s what I have been working on. Following up with the hospital that I stayed at the see what changes to patient care have been made since my stay, email government health care officials on how the patient experience needs to change. Healthcare programs need to talk to each other, this crazy system we have right now is not working.
If I hadn’t been thought of as a roadblock, a barrier, a pylon; it wouldn’t have changed or put the thoughts in my mind that something needs to happen in my life and things need to change. So being a pylon isn’t so bad. It made me think and I hope others that it’s okay to go up to someone when you see something bad happen. Be kind. And maybe when you think that there is something wrong with the system (like being circled or stepped over) people’s minds need to being sparked for change because looking up at the ceiling while on the ground is not a feeling I would like something else to have.