What do I mean walk in their shoes? I mean that we don’t see what is beneath the façade of the person we meet… or walk past.
Recently, I watched a programme on TV that brought some of this out. The lady (whose home was ‘made over’ for her) had suffered a near fatal stroke some years ago and the residual effect was more than was obvious. Clear was the fact she was paralysed on her left side. Not obvious were the other effects, which is why I say…
Walk in their shoes
As with many, perhaps most, people who have a chronic illness there are many other issues. I have to admit that I watched the programme, fascinated. I related to what she felt. She, like me, is housebound unless someone takes her out. She could not even go into her garden –which she loved more than I love mine.
Her friend spoke about her and said, “Her home has become a prison.” That is not surprising.
It’s not just the ‘big things’ like going out on to a movie, to a park, or to the beach that are missed. Honestly, it is the simple things. Forgot something on the shopping order… it stays forgotten unless there is someone who will go. No more hopping in a car, or even walking or catching a bus to the nearest shops. No more taking the bin up to the roadside for collection, no more shopping trips unless it is arranged with a family member, friend, or care worker. It’s the toilet paper running out and no spare roll in reach when you need it, or trying to reach something on a shelf that a care worker has put away. (And the care worker is taller than you.)
There is always an ‘emotional side’ to any loss, whether it be the loss of a person, a job, or a function. When it is a function that is lost, either because of an accident or illness, if the loss is permanent, there is a mourning process. After a period of time other people expect the sufferer to be ‘over it.’ But the loss of function is still there, still reminding the person of what is no longer possible.
Although the information at the following link is by a legal practice, there is much useful information.
If you are the carer for a person who has lost ‘function’ it’s a lonely life. See the post about being a carer.
Another 'walk in their shoes' example
Sometimes the loss of function is because of age, and many times it is the loss of many functions. Additionally, poverty is often a factor with the aged if they have no family.
This example is an elderly man, well, an old man. At the link below is an 8 minute radio interview. Someone noticed the difficulty this old man was having… and it snowballed.
“When East Perth cafe owner Jules Aknin noticed an elderly man walking the streets on a chilly morning he offered him a hot coffee and a toasted sandwich to warm him up.”
Unless you walk in their shoes...
You will struggle to understand the level of difficulty someone can experience. And this is whether it is emotional, physical, or both.
Sharing some thoughts as I cope with my deteriorating health.