Don’t Put Your Foot In Your Mouth

, , , | Prishtina, Kosovo | Hopeless | April 29, 2016

(I am travelling in Prishtina, Kosovo, when I happen to step on a broken glass bottle and my foot immediately starts to bleed profusely. Not wanting to call for an ambulance I simply head to the nearest public place, which in this case happens to be a bar, hoping they will have a first aid kit.)

Me: “Excuse me, do you have a first aid kit?”

Barkeeper: “Sorry, I speak only little English.”

Me: “Disinfect?” *pointing to my shoe, now almost entirely coloured red from the blood*

Barkeeper: “Ahh.” *he proceeds to hand me a huge bottle of very nice vodka* “This.”

(I thank him, pour some of the vodka in a glass, and go to the bathroom to disinfect the wound with the alcohol. The wound is luckily not too deep despite the massive bleeding. I use the paper towels to stop the bleeding and head back to the bar.)

Me: “Thank you so much! How much for the vodka?”

Barkeeper: “No. Vodka is free.” *he hands me the rest of the bottle* “This goes in your mouth. Keep. Present from Kosovo.”

(I am shocked, thank him again, and leave him a nice tip, which he tried very hard to refuse. Then I limp off with my almost full one-litre bottle of the best vodka in the house. The wound didn’t get infected, and healed quite nicely in a couple of days. The Kosovan hospitality is definitely not a myth!)

Sized You Up As One Size Down

, , | Lufkin, TX, USA | Hopeless | April 28, 2016

(I have been striving to lose weight and, for the first time in a year, have gone clothes shopping. I assume I’m in size 24 garments, but when I try an outfit on, I find I’m actually a size 22. Feeling confident about myself, I go with my mother to grab breakfast in my new outfit the next day.)

Random Guy: *stops to look at me* “You look beautiful. You know that? And you should always wear green. It really agrees with you.” *walks off*

(It was a small thing, but any time I have felt down about something, I remember that and it’s given me a surge of confidence. Thank you, sir, for that.)

An Anti-Depressing Turn Of Events

, , , | IN, USA | Hopeless | April 22, 2016

(This happened during what was one of the worst times in my life. I’ve just transferred to a new college and it is a rough transition. I am lonely, self-conscious, have about a million doubts about myself and my life. My anxiety has gotten so bad that I am literally sobbing in the doctor’s office just by attempting to discuss it with him. This man has been my whole family’s doctor for most of my life.)

Doctor: “I know you’re reluctant to try medication, a lot of people are, but sometimes it’s just brain chemistry. And seeing you here like this, hearing that you’ve already tried therapy, I just want to help you find something that will help you.”

Me: “I just don’t want that to mean that there’s something wrong with me.”

Doctor: “That’s not what this means. It means that you’re doing what you need to do in order to live a happy, healthy life. And if it doesn’t work for you, you can stop whenever you want. Look, there’s this new anti-depressant that’s still in trial stages but it’s doing really well and has minimal side effects. How about I give you some of the free samples and you just try it out?”

(I eventually, reluctantly, agreed to this. As I left, I was handed a cardboard box, definitely bigger than I’d anticipated for just a few free samples. It turned out that my doctor had given me ten bottles of the stuff, all free samples, so that I would have enough that I could take back to college with me if I decided to use it, plus some free samples of an allergy spray that he knew I sometimes had trouble affording, and a prescription for another anti-depressant just in case this one didn’t work for me. This doctor honestly saved me. I took those anti-depressants for just about a year and they worked. I don’t take them anymore; I’ve changed enough in mind and body and lifestyle that I don’t need them now. But I never would have gotten to this point without them. My doctor took the time and effort to think of me as a person as well as a patient and went the extra mile to make sure I’d be ok. THANK YOU. This, to me, is what all doctors should strive to be.)

A Good Sign(s) Of The Times

, , , , , | London, England, UK | Hopeless | April 19, 2016

(I am deaf, and so I communicate mostly by reading lips and using BSL (British Sign Language). I frequent a coffee shop every day on my way to work, but since the place is always busy and in a rush I usually have my order written down to speed things along. This time however, was different.)

Me: *hands barista my order on paper*

Barista: *looks down at the paper, and then up at me, and then beams a huge smile*

(All of a sudden, the barista starts talking to me in fluent BSL!)

Barista: *in BSL* “Hi, I was hoping I’d catch you today!”

Me: *replying in BSL* “You know BSL?”

Barista: “Just a little. Ever since you’ve been coming in and felt like you had to write your order down on paper, I didn’t feel comfortable with it. I think you should be able to order just like everyone else, so I started learning BSL. How am I doing?”

(At this point I start tearing up, and am so emotional I can barely sign.)

Me: “I think… that’s one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me.”

Barista: “It is absolutely my pleasure. Now, shall I get you your regular?”

(It has been years since that encounter, and every day the barista was there we would have a small chat in BSL. She has since left but we remain in touch and I always thank her for that day when someone learnt a whole language just to make me fit in.)

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Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

, , , , | Minneapolis, MN, USA | Hopeless | April 13, 2016

(I have had a sudden allergic reaction, but since my partner is at work and we only have one car, I have to take the train to go to my regular doctor. I look like I’ve been stung or punched, I feel feverish, and I can’t stop itching. I start to cry slightly out of frustration and pain. A clearly homeless man gets on.)

Man: “Miss? Miss? Are you all right?”

(I shake my head, still crying. The man pulls out a bag of stuff that shelters commonly give out, including tissues and wipes.)

Man: “Are you sick, miss? Do you need a tissue? Don’t cry!”

Me: *sniffling* “Thanks… I’m on my way to the doctor’s, actually. I’m having an allergic reaction plus a bad fever.” *the man hands me a small pack of tissues*

Man: “Do you know how to get there? I could get off and help you.”

Me: “No, it’s okay. I know the way.”

Man: “Are you sure?”

(I thanked him and got off at the next stop. No one else even noticed me, but he had!)

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