“I can do it myself.”
These are words that are often spoken by young children as they begin to gain independence. As children start to figure things out on their own, they are offended when loved ones offer to help with basic tasks they have mastered.
However, these words were spoken several years ago by a man in his early 30’s. This man, well, it was me.
Before I get too far into this story, I need to make the disclaimer that I have never done well with medications. Anything stronger than a regular strength Tylenol will make me sick for days. The problem is, I didn’t really know that before the incident I’m about to share with you.
I’m one of those folks who waited until adulthood to have his wisdom teeth removed. When asked by the oral surgeon about my tolerance for pain, I told him, “Well, if you could just make me comfortable. You know, maybe fix me a cocktail that has one of those little umbrellas in it. Give me the feeling that I’ve been hanging out at the beach all day.”
As the effects of the “cocktail” kicked in, well, I don’t remember much after that. I do remember that just before the procedure started, I made some kind of wise crack about the dental school the surgeon attended (he was an I.U. guy…a friend was attending dental school at Ohio State at the time…so, I felt it was necessary to insert a slight jab).
Following the procedure, Emily took me home and, as far as I’m concerned, life was good. The truth is that I was out of it. And, life wasn’t so good for those around me. I picture myself as an ideal patient. Others might disagree.
At one point, I needed to visit the restroom. Emily, being the kind, caring, compassionate, and loving person she is, offered her assistance. She noticed that I was not of sound mind and felt like I could use some help.
I responded to her offer with a less-than kind, caring, compassionate and loving statement of, “I can do it myself.” So, against her better judgment, she let me have it my way.
The way Emily tells the story is that shortly after I made my way into the restroom, she heard a loud crash. She walked into the restroom to find yours truly passed out on the floor with one arm in the toilet! Yep, “I can do it myself!” Many will say that I got the reward I deserved!
Later that evening, Muncie experienced a small earthquake. Emily made the decision to sleep in our guest room (she said I was loud, had oral surgery breath, and was a bloody, drooling mess). Our guest room also doubled as a music room. So, when the earthquake hit, the drums and cymbals began to shake and make their presence known.
Emily came into the room to let me know there was an earthquake. Still dazed and confused from the “cocktail”, I tried to calm her down and informed Emily that it was just my mom coming over to help out! I said to check the door because I was certain it was my mom knocking. I believe it was 2am, not exactly a time my mother normally drops by.
So, I learned two important lessons that day…
- If someone you love and trust offers to help you, let them help you.
- As I result of my fall into the toilet, I can’t remember the second lesson. Oh, wait, guys, listen…it’s okay to sit down in the bathroom. In the words of Larry David, “It’s more comfortable. When you get up during the night you don’t have to turn the light on and wake up. And you get to read.”