23 & Me & You & I Will Dare

Hi Darling Ones,

If you’ve had any experience with toddlers, you’re probably familiar with the “I can do it myself” phase.

This is where the toddler wants to do it themselves. It can be anything from putting on their own socks to zipping up their coat. Usually this takes way more time and tears than if the toddler just accepted some help with the task.

I’ve always been a big I can do it myselfer, thanks to sheer stubbornness and a fierce independent streak.

After all, I created this website all by myself 23 years ago today.

At age 51, 147 days after having a stroke, my I can do it myselfness has took a turn toward the toddleresque. Even though I recognize that by doing it myself I’m making things harder for everyone involved, I can’t stop trying.

This comes up quite a bit in the physical therapy for treating my lymphedema.n This is different than the physical therapy for treating my wobbliness and poor stamina, which are not to be confused with my occupational therapy. That’s for treating my Floppy Scoop in hopes of making the awful heaviness go away.

I have physical or occupational therapy four times a week now, so I have a lot of opportunities to try to “do it myself.” This includes everything from trying to wrestle my walker in and out of the car to putting on my own socks.

Yeah, putting on my own socks.

Facing a chronic condition requires you to make yourself vulnerable over and over again, to strangers and the people who love you. Every day I find myself shucking another layer of humility, and I’m always stunned there’s even any left.

I thought I’d left all of my humility on the emergency room floor back in March when the medical staff kept reaching around and under my left breast to attach wires, exposing my breast to BFK and the rest of the room. Or maybe it was later that night when I had to ring for an aide every time I needed to go to the bathroom.

But I still had more humility to lose when my kind and wonderful lymphedema therapist took off my socks during our first meeting to look at my dry, calloused, thorny-nailed toes and swollen ankles.

It was the socks that prompted me to shout “I can do it myself!” I said it so much during our first appointment she has begun to tease me about it. “Do it mine self,” she says, mimicking what her kids say when they want to do something themselves.

The thing is that no matter how much I want to do it myself, I cannot.

That’s why I’m writing this update and once again asking for financial help.

I cannot do this myself, recover from the stroke, pay off my medical debt, and support myself. I’m trying!

Some things are getting better. I can now make a turkey sandwich in under 10 minutes. My eye doctor is pumped by my progress and I might be able to get new glasses soon. The swelling is going down in my legs, and my physical and occupational therapists kicks my ass harder every week because I’m getting stronger.

Still, I only managed to bill $850 worth of work in June. July is even worse, at $650.

The stroke side effects + the vision problems caused by the diabetic retinopathy and macular edema make working difficult, and I don’t have the time (see all the therapy above) or stamina to chase new business like I used to.

So I’m once again turning to you, Darling Ones, for help.

If you have the means, could you donate $23 to my GoFundMe in honor of I Will Dare.com’s 23rd Anniversary?

If at some point in the last 23 years I’ve moved you with my writing or made you laugh or introduced you to a beloved book or your new favorite song maybe you could throw some bucks my way? Or maybe you’re just a super kind, generous, brilliant, and obviously good looking human with $23 to spare.

And if you can’t spare the money, I get it! I’m the one asking the Internet for money, but maybe you could share this with people who do have $23 to spare?

Thank you so much for being with me all these years. I cannot do it alone, and thanks to you, Darling Ones, I haven’t had to.


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