Friday, October 7, 2011

Week In The Rearview Mirror

Started the week off thinking I'd nailed the ochem 1 exam only to find out REALLY dumb mistakes cost me.  Honestly, I lost 5 points for being stupid.  Did not label my axial and equitorial H atoms despite that I named their corresponding substituents.  Dumb.  Double dumb?  Copying over the amide functional group incorrectly to my flash card.  I get an "A" in stupidity!  :)

Then, I ran into an elderly, confused man with a hearing aid and slight lilt.  Coming off the elevator from the parking ramp he looked bewildered, lost.  When I stopped to ask if I could help him find something, he very quietly said, "My wife.  I've lost her and cannot find her."  Further asking him where he last saw her (two hours earlier when they'd had lunch), where they were supposed to meet (somewhere on campus but he was not sure where anymore), and what time... you could see he was embarrassed.  He did not want to burden me by having me help him and yet, I did not feel burdened TO help but walking away leaving this poor soul to fend for himself amongst the throng of students did not sit right with me.  I called campus security to try and help him.  Since no news reports have come out about missing elderly man, I presume he found his wife and is safely at home.

Then today, I flunked one tiny pre-lab quiz (I'm carry 100% otherwise) and did so-so on the major.  I'm not getting cocky anymore since my ochem test came back!

Later today, walking to ochem, there was a man about my dad's age.  Leaning over, holding himself against the door jamb, looking pale. No one stopped to ask him if he needed help.  I watched as I got closer... so, I did.  This is not bragging about my Pollyanaish ways (I'm not) but more an insight into how many people see others struggling and don't stop to offer assistance.

Really?  Elderly 80-ish man, slumped over against a door jamb and it took me to stop and help?  I asked if he was okay.

"No, not really" he replied.

"What can I do to help?"

"Nothing," as he described what my dad deals with: shortness of breath that comes and goes (a-fib is my guess), blurry vision, general weakness.  He is probably suffering some sort of CHF, loses consciouness only to regain it a second or two later.  I was concerned.  Asked him if I could get him a chair to recline on while he caught his breath. He said no, and tried to walk away only to stumble a little.  I got around the corner and another man, my age, was already on the phone with security.  While that man had not directly offered assistance, he was wise enough to see that the help was needed.

I wish the elderly would let those of us who offer, help them.  I do not offer out of pity, only concern.  Concern that someday, I will be that elderly woman resting to catch her breath and hoping some youngen will come along and have a kind spirit to help me.

Today is not that day.  Today was my day to offer assistance that I can provide, for medically, I'm not there yet.

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