After undergoing two cataract surgeries earlier this year, my doctor advised me not to pick up objects heavier than a book. Initially, my niece and a friend helped me buy groceries and carry them to my second-floor condo. But by week three, after the second surgery, I was on my own. I had to figure out how to bring the contents of two overflowing grocery bags from my car to my home without disobeying doctor’s orders and potentially ripping the stitch in my left eye.
I pondered how to meet this challenge and devised a simple solution. At the grocery store, I explained my issue to the checkout person and asked her to pack the groceries so each bag did not exceed the weight limit. She loaded my purchases in eight bags instead of two. I lifted each bag from the cart into my car, from my car into the cart kept in the garage by the condo association, and then one by one into my apartment. The solution was time consuming but simple in its elegance. It’s easy to stress about the challenges that illness and impairment impose on us, but with calm thoughtfulness, the answers may be easily accessible.