Retooling My Attitude

tool_belt

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)

The right tool makes every job easier, whether you’re a cook or a carpenter, a seamstress or a surgeon.  And sometimes, the simplest tool can make a world of difference.

A few days ago I received a grabber as a gift.  You’ve seen them advertised on TV — a trigger at one end operates a claw mechanism at the other.  You can get them as fancy as you want — foldable, extendable, super heavy duty.  I opted for off-the-rack at Walmart, less than $15. But what a little miracle it is!

You see, the stiffness and scarring caused by my disease limits my lung capacity.  That’s why any activity causes my O2 saturation to drop like a rock.  When I bend over, I get even more breathless because my innards compress against my lungs, further reducing my breathing capacity.  This makes simple tasks, like picking up clothes off the floor, a feat that requires planning. Bending twice makes me dizzy. A third time requires a rest break and pursed lip breathing.  grabber

As a result, I let things pile up.  I’d kick clothes into a mound for several days and then gather them up all at once. Errant kleenex and nebulizer ampules dotted the floor around my chair.  When I did get around to picking up, it took half a day of crawling, reaching, gathering and breathing breaks to finally see the carpet again. Not anymore!  With my grabber, I spend less than 30 seconds each morning picking up my room without a huff or a puff.  If something slips off the hanger in my closet, no worries!  Even the long lost socks behind the dryer are back in play.

I never realized something so simple could have such an impact on my day.  Breathing easier is a definite plus.  But I think the biggest benefit is that I feel just a little more in control. When I walk into my bedroom, it isn’t littered with the detritus of my disease.  It’s neat and clean, no longer screaming a constant reminder of the little things that seem to get harder and harder to do.  I know that my disease will take its course, there’s really nothing I can do to change that. But I can affect my attitude and my outlook — and those are the most powerful tools I have.

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6 thoughts on “Retooling My Attitude

  1. Another very encouraging word! Thank you for sharing your experience. You are touching people’s lives very deeply with your wonderful attitude in the midst of difficult circumstances. It is always a joy to read what you have written. God bless.

  2. Ah yes the joy of the little grabber tool. I had one once, for about two weeks, before the hubmonster tried to give it a go and snapped it in two. Sigh. Now I look at it’s remnants sitting in a corner by the bedroom door, waiting until someone gets me a new one so I can pick it and the rest of the stuff that has piled up around it. Add pink ribbons, add lace, do something to keep anyone else from being tempted…

  3. I agree with the previous comment, “you can write” – have you started your book yet? I, for one, would certainly buy it because you are an amazing story teller! You’ve got the right attitude! You don’t need to be bogged down with things you can’t do easily, just do the things that make you feel better! Sending hugs to sustain you on this journey! Carol

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