Saturday, September 29, 2012


There are many that would say I am beyond help but today I thought I would beg for your help on two sensitive issues.

First up is a sensitive issue with my mom.

I take my mom out for lunch or dinner quite a bit. Usually we can make it home within the bladder time limit. Once in a while we can't and presents a situation I am not comfortable with. Mom can't get to the bathroom on her own. Once she gets to the bathroom and in the stall she can do everything herself. She just can't get the wheelchair there on her own. Oregon and California both have laws that allow cross sex caregivers to take their patient to a restaurant. But in this case I don't care what the law says, I just don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. I will say as soon as I get mom to where ever we decide to take, I am out of the room and standing next to the door waiting for her to yell that she is through. So what do I do?

1. Take Mom to the men's room, then stand guard at the door? This would make mom uncomfortable.

2. Take her to the women's room and knock on the door wait and if I don't hear anything push her in and
    get the hell out there as fast as I can and wait for the OK signal from Mom. But what if someone is in
    there and doesn't answer? Or what if someone goes in there while mom is in there and I am waiting for
    her OK I'm ready call? This is the one that makes me the most uncomfortable because I don't want to
    cause strangers to be uneasy.

3. Ask for assistance from a restaurant employee? How would you feel if you were working at a restaurant
    and someone asked you to help with their Mom?

4. Survey the restaurant and look for one of those nice women folk that just has that kind and helpful look
    about her and ask for her help? That puts mom in the hands of strangers. And how would feel if a
    stranger begged for help?

The last time I did the combination of two and four. I got her there, got the hell out of there, waited in the hall and when a woman came along asked if she would check on mom. Turned out to be a nice woman that was very glad to help and bring mom out to me. Suggestions please?

Next up is a sensitive issue with a long lost friend.

You are all aware of the accident I had when I was young and the impact it had on my life. A great thing about a small town is when there is a trauma the community pulls together and helps out. It took a village to get me through that accident. I owe them my legs. Thank you Klamath Falls, Oregon. So many people to thank and remember . The Yell Squad visited me in the hospital. Beautiful young women all of them. Larry who was in the car when the accident occurred kept in touch. My dad's coffee club kept dad grounded and supported, Larry's dad Loren, Sherm Ackerman, Harold Howard and the rest of the crew. The year I cam home from the hospital I was given the number one season ticket to the legion team, The Falcons, and a standing ovation when I finally was able to go to the game. I remember and will always remember every act of kindness paid to me during that time. Way to many to mention all of them here.

Did I tell you the story of Dr. Fellers? Dr. Fellers was the Dean of Student Affairs at Southern Oregon College at the time of the accident. He found my parents a place to stay while I was in the hospital and several days a week would make the trek from Ashland to Medford to visit me. Forward ahead over twenty years. I was thinking about him one day and thought I should find him and thank him. Didn't know where he was. Every January my brother and I would fly to Las Vegas to bet on and watch the NFL playoffs. This particular year was a couple of weeks after I was thinking about Dr. Fellers. The flight was full and we had to fight for seats. Brother and I ended up sitting apart on the plane. I was put next to a very nice lady that turned out to be Dr. Fellers' daughter. I found out Dr. Fellers was living in the same city as my parents, about five miles where I lived. I got his phone number, called him and thanked him. I was surprised he remembered me. He was grateful that I took the time to call. He then became my client and I did his tax return for the next several years until he passed on.

You all know the story of my recent connect with childhood friend, Dave Taylor. He would drive the eighty miles on a weekly visit me in the hospital. When I got home from the hospital he was one of two friends my age that would come get me load the wheelchair in the car and take me for rides. Thanks to a bizarre set of circumstances and amazing fate I ran into Dave a couple of months ago. I was able to tell him how much he meant to me during that time. He was stunned that I remembered and pleased he had a role in my recovery.

Now thanks to Facebook friend, Suzanne, I have the address of the other person that used to come, load the wheelchair in the car and take me for rides. She is the girl in the picture at the end of today's entry. You know her story from previous blog entries. She was in the hospital the same time as I was. We had the same doctor who thought we could help each other and introduced us. We helped each other recover and became good friends. It was never romantic, she was engaged at the time, I was paralyzed, it was just two people making time go fast. Making pain go away. I would like to send her a letter thanking her for her part in my recovery. However, she is married. I know how I would feel if another man contacted my wife. It would tick me off for a bit but most likely I'd get over it. My dilemma, should I contact her or let well enough alone?

There is what I need help with. Mom's bathroom issues. Should I contact Susan?

You input is very much appreciated.


Glenn Brown said...

Hey William.
Issue #1. I'd go with finding a female staff member and asking her to help out by just wheeling her in. You said your mom can help herself once she's in the stall so the staff member wouldn't be doing a whole lot. And God always makes a way for his children so he'll find someone.

#2 If you do have Susan on FB, you can send her the letter there. That way it would be private. If you want to go a step further, you can send her like a fruit basket, something both her and her husband can enjoy. (and you put that on the note, for you and your husband to enjoy)

That was an extraordinary story, God really sent angels in your time of need, and you returning the favor with thanks is wonderful.
Finding the daughter of the doc on the plane is amazing.

Anonymous said...

I think you should contact the woman and let her know that she was important to you at the that time. Expressing gratitude to someone is appreciated. I do not think her spouse would mind. as NIKE says...Just do it.

William J. said...

Hi Glen

Good to see you here.

Your input is very much appreciated.

I am leaning towards asking the manager of the restaurent. Most places we go to eat we are regulars to we know the manager and I don't think they would mind.

Unfortuanetly Susan isn't on facebook but I like your idea of a fruit basket. Nice extra touch.

I am one of the luckiest people in the world because of the angels that have always been sent my way. From the time they told me I wouldn't walk until the time I did there were angels every step of the way starting with the medical Dr., Dr. Wilson. That is why I am such religious man.

The Dr. Fellers story was just amazing but those things just seem to happen to me. Blessed I am.

Thanks for your input! Everyone say hi to Glenn, he is my Facebook Friend, a good Steeler Fan, and a Satellite Sister fan. And a relgious man. Perfect for the people that hang out her.


William J. said...

Hi Anonymous.

I am leaning that direction. I also heard she has some health issues so maybe knowing how important she was to someone would help a little.


Glenn Brown said...

:) Thanks William. Its good to be here.

Mary said...

I would absolutely send her a note. No one in their right mind is going to be jealous of a note saying you made a big difference in my life once and I want to thank you for that. If Joe got a note like that I would just think it was really nice, and it would add to my good opinion of him.

I think asking the restaurant manager for help is a good idea. Honestly, if I ran into a man in the women's room, and he was obviously helping someone, I wouldn't care. Women's rooms have stalls, we're not open like men's are. It's not like you're peeking through the cracks or anything. :)

Lady DR said...

I think your options #2 and #4 sound workable, particularly if you're regulars at most of the restaurants. Asking the manager makes sense, as she can pass the word to your waitress. I suspect most waitresses would be quite willing to wheel your mom into the restroom. If there's already someone in there, she might ask them to let you know when Mom's ready to leave. I've found most people, even if they don't look like the likeliest candidate, are happy to be asked to help. I remember one trip to Denny's, before Mom was in a wheelchair, when she went to the restroom, using her walker, while I went to get the car and bring it to the door. A lady came out and asked if I was "Dana" and said Mom needed help. I think most of us want to help, just often don't realize help is wanted. If asked, we're more than willing.

As to Susan... yes, I think a letter or note, telling her how you appreciated her help and encouragement twenty years ago is a good idea. Too often, we don't have the chance to tell someone how they've helped us and too often we don't realize we made a difference in someone's lives, but it's so good to know we did. I'd enclose a copy of the photo you posted. I suspect her husband will be glad to know someone appreciates and acknowledges what she did to help. If Himself received such a letter, I'd only feel pride in what he did and happiness that it was appreciated.

William J. said...

Hi Glenn

We have a really good group of regulars that hand around here. DR and Mary that just posted. Pat who is ill right now. Dona who has a husband and dad she is caring for. Kaye who just retired from work. Mary Z who helped with the new Goggle setup. Red Whistle and Simply Amused come and go. And I am sure I am forgetting someone.


William J. said...

Hi Mary

It is interesting to get a woman's perspective on both issues. I am pretty sure I am going to send the woman a letter based on the responses here.

I also didn't think anyone would care if I was helping someone but it is new territory for me so it is nice to get someone from the stronger sex to confirm that helping someone wouldn't make anyone think I was trying to sneak a peak.


William J. said...


The general consensus seems to be ask the manager. I also have experienced that most people are glad to be asked and felt important because you asked them.
I like the story about your mom. It just shows people are kind.

Sending the picture with the note is a great idea and based on the response here I am going to write Susan and whaterver will be will be.


As how they've helped us and too often we don't realize we made a difference in someone's lives, but it's so good to know we did. I'd enclose a copy of the photo you posted. I suspect her husband will be glad to know someone appreciates and acknowledges what she did to help. If Himself received such a letter, I'd only feel pride in what he did and happiness that it was appreciated.

Kaye said...

Hi Bill -- everyone.

I support everyone's comments on asking the resturant manager's assistance in locating help for your mom. There are more out there than you know that are willing to help. I find myself offerring help when I see someone with their elderly parent when all they need is someone to smile at them, or hold a door open. Also, I love Glenn's idea on the fruit basket and DRs suggestion on including the photo. I bet she's been thinking about you, too.

dona said...

Hey Bill, send Suzanne the note/letter, I think she will be happy to receive it as I am sure her hubby will also.
As for mom, I think #2,3,& 4 are all good ideas. It seems as you go to some of the same places and these people know you, and would be more than willing to help as are most if given the opportunity.

William J. said...


Wow good to see you here. Hope things are well with you.

I know when I am out I am also offering my help, I just never thought of it the opposite direction until you mentioned it.

And I am going to contact the gal and send the picture.

Thanks for checking in.


William J. said...


Wow this is just like the old times when all the good women check in!!

Glad to see you here.

The consensus is contact Susan and ask the manager. I am going with that.