Learning From Illness
Posted by Melissa Dickman on Jan 3, 2013
I got off the bus to switch to the light rail - and as I was walking I was distracted with my phone, texting a friend. I was walking in a poorer area of the city, with many abandoned businesses, and few people on foot. As I walked past one empty building, I heard a voice cry out, "Please, you have a phone." I stopped, looked around the corner and found a homeless man under two thin blankets. (Yes, I live in the desert - but winter temperatures that night were to hit freezing...) I went up to him, he was crying and his shoes were off. He begged for me to use my phone to call 911, he said he was covered in rashes and in pain and needed help. I called for help, and in a few minutes the fire department was there and taking him for medical treatment and a warm place for the night.
For one of the first times, I realized how important it was for me to feel sick that day. In one part, so I would be in the right place at the right time to serve the man by calling for help... but also so I would have the compassion for him in that moment, as I knew what it felt like to be in pain and just really want some help. I am also so grateful that I have access to regular healthcare, and to friends who can help me and support me on the days I do not feel well.