Thursday, October 20, 2011

When Lending A Hand Leads To A Slap On The Wrist

                                                                                                Julie Kemp Pick


Today was a cold, rainy, and blustery October day in our Windy City. As I was about to walk over to the high rise office building en route to my eye doctor's office, I saw an elderly man with a cane approaching.  You could hear the wind hollowing as the rain started misting, so I offered to help him up the curb.  He thanked me, but said that he was doing fine on his own. Then I told him that I was having trouble walking through this dangerous wind tunnel, and suggested that we walk together. Once again, the proud man politely turned me down.
Within seconds, he started to lose his balance, and I grabbed his left arm, while another man appeared on his right side. We both helped him until we reached the stairs. Then he thanked us, and grabbed on to the railing. The other man left, and I kept him company until he safely entered the building.

I told my eye doctor the story, and he told me about an incident that happened many years ago when he was working at a hospital in the city. He said that the wind gusts were so strong, that they blew a 30 year old doctor right into the building, and he died of a broken neck. 

After that horrific story, he gave me the good news that the pressure in my eyes was fine.  I can't stress enough how important it is to see an ophthalmologist regularly. If glaucoma is caught early it is usually very treatable with eye drops. Because symptoms don't occur at the onset,  if left undetected it could potentially lead to blindness. I just thought I'd throw in that quick PSA, as I normally ramble on about the absurd and amusing.

Next,  I paid my bill and asked for the key to the ladies room. As I was getting ready to leave, I noticed that I looked like I had just stepped out of a horror movie. The drops left yellow dye under my two black eyes. While I was frantically trying to wash my allegedly waterproof mascara off,  I heard someone banging on the door in the hallway. Since you had to unlock one door before you passed through the swinging door which led to the three stall doors, I was so safely tucked away from civilization that I thought someone was locked out of the men's room. When the pounding didn't stop, I went over to open the door. Then an agitated elderly woman greeted me with, "What took you so long? I've been waiting here forever and you have the only key!"  I was grateful that she didn't  push me out into the wind tunnel.

Speaking of lending a helping hand, I'd like to thank the people who have been especially helpful to me in passing along some fabulous awards:

Rosalind at Rosalind Adam Is Writing In The Rain was kind enough to bestow me with this special "no strings attached" award. Be sure to check out her entertaining blog that has tips on everything from dancing to favorite recipes. She even threw an amazing virtual coffee party to celebrate her mother's life and raise funds for a worthwhile cause.


Julie at What Else Is Possible? generously shared the Liebster Blog Award with me. I have already passed this award on, but I will gladly share it with anyone else who is interested. Julie also recently added another blog entitled  The Pet Parent Diaries.  She has worked tirelessly in helping animals, and is extremely supportive to fellow bloggers.


Christy at  Christy LaShea  is quite The Versatile Blogger  herself. She started writing a book in the 7th grade and continues to write her own insightful material, as well as engaging book reviews.
Susan at I Think; Therefore, I Yam ingratiated me with this award whose mission is to post links to 7 of your favorite previous blogs, in addition to forwarding it to 7 people. Am I thinking about digging up past stories when I can barely get enough people interested in my present ones? I will answer in 7 letters : I YAM  NOT. In addition to being a gifted writer, Susan has an incredible sense of humor that always shines through in her blog. 

Eve at Clueless Eve passed this award on to me. This is one of my favorite awards because it's simple but elegant. I only recently became acquainted with her work, but I've enjoyed her honest and refreshing approach to writing. I hope you will join me in getting to know all of these imaginative writers. Although I almost got physically blown away today, these bloggers will blow your minds.


  1. Great stories! Glad you didn't get pushed out either.

    Thanks for the reminder about regular eye checks. People tend to overlook these and they are so important.

    Congratulations to all award winners!

  2. Congrats on the awards and thank goodness you made it "through the tunnel" safely. If they know it is dangerous why don't they do something to modify it?

  3. I couldn't agree with you more about the regular eye check-ups. There's glaucoma in our family so I always have to have that horrid pressure test. There's obviously a serious design issue if they have wind tunnelling at such strengths around the clinic. Glad you kept safe.

    Thank you for the lovely mention and congrats on all those awards.

  4. New York has wind tunnels, too. You were very thoughtful to help that elderly man. I wonder if the woman banging on the ladies room door would have?

  5. COngratulations on the awards! I get my eyes checked every year.

  6. Hi Julie .. glad your eyes are ok .. funny story though about the mascara etc .. but your Doctor's story is a bit of a scary one - one of those freak accidents I suppose .. but a very unfortunate one ..

    Cheers for the laugh - but glad the old boy was good to get to where he wanted to go that day ..

    and great awards .. Hilary

  7. @Isis - They are so important! Thanks Isis!

    @mbj/Delores - It's been that way for years, and so many seniors have appointments there. I tried to talk to the man at the front desk about it, but of course he was gone when I left.
    Thanks Delores!

    @Rosalind - I agree that there is a serious design issue with those towers. Thanks again Rosalind!

    @Carol - I was waiting to see if they walked out together! Thanks, but anyone else would have done the same thing as he was clearly having trouble.

    @Alex - I knew you were a smart man! I'm very excited about your new book and all the good things that are coming your way! Thanks Alex!

    @Hilary - It was a frightening story that is hard to imagine. I started to read your latest post about South Africa and the lights started flickering last night, so I'll catch up later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks Hilary!

  8. gosh, that sounds like dangerously poor design somewhere along the line. Good on you for taking the time to help. Glad your eyes are healthy. Have a good weekend. Sue

  9. Thanks for the PSA :)
    What is up with someone pounding on the bathroom door. What if you were in the stall? Sorry, rude people annoy me. As for the awards, congrats for so many. I know you passed one to me that I still need to write about -sorry. Darn, now I am one of the rude people. Hate when that happens.

  10. You pack so much suspense into each post. I enjoy it all. What a discrepancy between the elderly man and woman who needed help. You never know whether someone expects help or will be offended by the offer.

    Shabbat shalom, Julie.

  11. @Sue - I agree that the towers were poorly designed. It's good to see you here! Thanks for everything!

    @Rhonda - Glad to be of service! I don't know why she didn't practice her Kegel exercises! You are always great about following through! I'm excited about your fantastic giveaway next week!

    @Robyn - My posts are suspenseful? Did you have an early start on the Manischewitz? Thanks for making my day!

  12. Hey there,
    Thank you so much once again for your kind words. It makes my day to know there are such lovely people here in the blogging community. Thank you so much for the mention, it melts my heart. I'm sorry for not realising you had already had this award but i thought you deserved it.

  13. The wind blew him into a wall and broke his neck? Good grief!

  14. @Eve - I appreciate that you thought of me. It's so hard to keep up with who has what, but it's the gesture that counts. Arlee Bird said that his award was having people return for comments, and I think that's the best part of blogging too.

    @Regina - That is such a horrific story, but the force of the wind must have slammed him into the brick building. We all have to be careful and appreciative of every moment. Thanks for stopping by Regina!

  15. Yikes, that's a grim tale (re: broken neck). It's the kind of thing if you put it in a novel, no one would believe!

    Glad your eyes are okay.

  16. @Talli - I was really shocked when he told me, and you're right I probably wouldn't believe it if I heard it under other circumstances.

    Thanks Talli, I was very fortunate that my doctor found it early, and the drops have kept it under control.

  17. Congrats on all your awards, Julie! And thank you for the shout-out. :)

    Oh my gosh, the story about the guy breaking his neck totally creeped me out. It's great you were able to help the elderly man, and I find it touching that he was so proud. The elderly woman in the bathroom seems like a real charmer!

  18. Thanks Julie! I really wish they would do away with that whole bathroom key business. It really brings out the worst in people.

  19. Congratulations on all of the awards!

    Hmmm, I wonder why they have one key for a bathroom with three stalls? That's odd.

  20. Why would your doctor lock the bathrooms with a key? That is so odd. Thanks for the glaucoma info. I didn't realize it could be treated early with drops.

  21. Congrats on the awards!
    Great stories - glad you didn't get shoved into the wind tunnel :)

  22. @Caitlin - Someone must have an extra key hidden somewhere! Thanks Caitlin!

    @Tonja - Some of the doctors in the building do, while others have an open door policy. Yes the drops work miracles, though some people do require surgery. Thanks Tonja!

    @Susanna - I certainly hope I don't cross paths with her in another restroom on the wrong side of town! Thanks Susanna!

  23. I guess she had to go. Congrats on the awards.


  24. I have a kind gentlemen in my building that uses a walker- sweet person ,however he is so independent (if that be the reason) that he doesn't even want a person to hold the door open for him- and he struggles. I respect his choice however sometimes ill just stand there in case he needs me!

    Congratulations on your awards- they are really nice!!

    I know all to well how those wind storms can be-I'm a leaf in the midst of the wind.