Sunday, April 20, 2008

Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes

I hate gravel. That I learned today for sure. And I hate bad manners around PWDs. I also hate my own bad manners in response sometimes. Or is it that I feel guilty just for asserting myself? I don't snap at people and yell at them or anything. What I have found is that people don't like a firm "No" with eye contact, which I have found necessary sometimes for self protection. I guess my main reaction where I perceive myself as being rude is when I say, "What?" with raised eyebrows at someone who doesn't just look a little longer than you would at most people, but who keeps staring for an extended period of time. At times I feel I should be more sweet and patient with rudeness but just don't feel like shoving it in the pantry with the cupcakes, letting people harm me. Someone today literally pushed in front of me with a large board and physically stopped me from going forward: "You can't go that way." Hello, a scooter can't go sideways across a hill (or a ramp)--you can tip yourself so easily if you don't hit it straight on. I had to go up. But asserting myself to get the access needed versus being nice? Like the Simon and Garfunkel song, "Every way you look at it you lose."

If I really am catching someone off guard, like popping in during the middle of a consultant's product demonstration, I do worry about interfering with someone's concentration, especially if I accidentally lean on my scooter horn or crash into a table (both of which have happened). Or if they offer to shake hands and haven't had time to think maybe that's not such a good idea.

What I don't mind is surprising people in other situations, not telling someone I am disabled before I pick them up from the airport or meet them at the kids' school. Then my attitude is "deal with it," or rather, watch them deal with it. Some people can do this with grace, others struggle mightily for a bit.

What was nice today? When we were stopped for a while, my husband came behind my chair and pulled my shoulders back toward him so I had additional support for a while. Great pain relief. He also rubbed my hair at the same time, maybe too intimate for onlookers but nice after that much fatigue. It's difficult for me to sit in a low backed chair for long with all the neck pain. Difficult terrain makes that worse.

What I concluded today? I seem to be more disabled than many other scooter users, at least by pain if not in function, because I had difficulty going on at all at points and couldn't charge ahead full speed. The pain from jostling my spine was too high. Others seemed not bothered at all.

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