I visited my dermatologist face-to-face this week. It was my first appointment since sheltering in place in March. My health plan had cancelled two prior appointments, due to the non-emergency nature of my need and the greater need of others to access the medical offices and hospitals during the pandemic.
My need is a result of having spent all of my youth and most of my adulthood as a sun worshipper. The damage to my skin is considerable and so I must periodically go under the dermatologist’s knife. This has been true for 20 years, three health plans and at least five dermatologists. I need their help. I won’t die without it, but I do need it.
I also need help cleaning my house. This was obvious when the couple who cleaned our last two houses also sheltered in place and could not work for us. My husband and I took on a responsibility we hadn’t even been aware of for more than 10 years. He vacuumed, I scrubbed floors and toilets. We both found a new appreciation for what our couple cleaners do and how well they do it. They returned to work this week. It was not a moment too soon.
My husband gets help from his son and my daughter to improve his physical stamina. His son is a yoga teacher and my daughter is a personal trainer. They both have paying clients. They work with Murray, my husband, for love. Murrray marvels at his own willingness to walk greater distances than he has walked in 10 years thanks to them.
I need a haircut. The same daughter who works with Murray cuts my hair since sheltering. Nothing fancy, just a half inch off of the back — which I can’t see. I need her help. We have bartered haircuts — she does mine; I do hers. She does a far better job.
I’m getting truly bored with cooking. In March I made bread almost every day, and tried at least one new recipe a week for lunch or dinner. It was fun to have the time to cook more adventurously. Now I want Blue Apron or some other boxed ingredients for my meals delivered to my door — with a genie chef while they’re at it.
I need more help than I once did. Are you getting the theme here? I also need more mental and emotional flexibility. Ditto more humor and patience.
I’ll start my own series of Zoom meetings for older adults in about a month. I need help figuring out how to be the host of those meetings. More competent and experienced friends and colleagues will help me, I hope. I don’t want to fall on my face or mute myself unintentionally. And when I get that help, I want to be able to graciously accept it, and enthusiastically express my gratitude — because I need all the help I can get.