Helping ourselves

Perhaps all new things need to be got used to, my new bicycle certainly does. After falling off the other evening I spent two hours up at A&E without being seen, so the next day I went to the doctor just to check there were no broken bones. He asked me if I’d been wearing a helmet. We chatted about that and he remarked “If you fall on your shoulder we can help you. If you fall on your head, it’s much more difficult for us.” What strikes me about that little piece of advice, although quite justified, was the use of the word ‘we’ – we can help you.


I know it was well meant and if I had a break it is the x-ray and doctors I will ask to set the bones and ‘help me’. Even so there is a subtle implication in the doctor’s choice of the word ‘we’. I would prefer ‘you’ can get help.


The more I can be implicated in helping myself, the less of a victim of whatever circumstance I am, even falling off my bike. Therefore the more empowered to live my own life and make my own choices.


Being in what is called the “caring” profession, I like to think someone comes to see me to help themselves. There is obviously little I can do to help them if they don’t want to help themselves, or if they think I am going to do it for them. It works to the extent we ourselves make it work.


Back to the bicycle incident though, the doctor’s advice was not quite right as “they” did nothing to help. It is now entirely up to me how quickly I can make my shoulder and arm better. I’m the one doing the exercises, putting on hot and cold compresses etc.

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