This was written on April 10, 2010.
One evening earlier this week, I stepped off the bus, and the warm humid weather hit me in the face -- and the lungs. I have allergies and asthma, and both have been bad lately. My destination was only about two blocks away. I started walking, feeling dizzier and dizzier with each step. I tried to cross the street, but by the time I reached the median strip, I felt as if I were about to faint. I have had some fainting spells recently, so this was a realistic concern. I grabbed on to a pole that was holding up a street sign and let it hold me up, too. A sympathetic driver stopped right next to me and asked me whether I was OK and whether he could do anything to help. I was genuinely moved. I told him that I was beginning to feel better and that there wasn't anything he could do to help me. "Do you have someone to call?" he asked. That hurt, as the thought of it always hurts. No, there is no one looking out for me, no family, no significant other, no close friend who would drop everything and come to help me if the need were severe. "No," I replied simply. "Are you sure I can't do something to help you? Don't you have anyone to call?" he kept asking. When he was finally convinced, he advised me to go sit down on a bench and rest, and then he drove away. His advice was excellent. I should have thought of it myself. If I'm sitting down when I faint, I can't fall and hurt myself. I sat for a while and rested until my stubborn determination got me up and going again. I was so happy when I arrived at my destination that I hugged every friend there.
"Don't you have anyone to call?" I've been thinking about that for years, and it always hurts.