Tuesday, December 18, 2018
From the Other Side
I am handicapped. No way around it. A form of denial manifesting in a wish or hope of “improvement” in the future I have now trashed as a pipe dream of unreality.
I was up against it last night. Evenings and nights are my worst time to walk. And it was a massive distance – traversing corridors on two different vast and shining floors of the university after maneuvering myself off a huge parking lot. I had to stop many times and lean on my cane (a fairly constant pal now). My two companions, frankly, irritated me with overly concerning themselves with my condition often to the point of massive irritation which manifested itself in rudeness. I have done this myself in the past with offerings of assistance but not with any "helpful" advice as they did (“maybe you should consider a wheelchair, consider a zimmer?”) last night. They meant well. I know they did. Then one said I should consider the surgery (12 weeks in hospital) as her mother, who died last year, was very well taken care of in the 12 weeks she had been in that hospital. I did snap at her a little (I was in extreme pain at the time) and asked her what her terminal mother had to do with my condition which involved vein and artery stripping and a brutal recovery if successful or not.
So all this is to say that I apologize to anyone physically challenged who has crossed my path before. I have tried to be careful and kind but sometimes it just isn’t enough.
These days I have doors slammed in my face, kids running and tripping over my cane nearly toppling me, the non-handicapped parking “for a minute” in a designated handicapped spot and comments like “well you’re walking, it can’t be that bad,” or “so many are far worse off than you,” or “everyone has a cross to bear in life”.
Jeez, as if I don’t know all these tired tropes off by heart and meditate on them periodically on a bad day. Today is a bad day. But I’m heading out on some book selling errands and a drop off of a small gift to a dear old couple (5 years older than I qualify as old).
Let’s all be kind and careful.
And mindful of each other.