Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sputter....

Scene: me, sitting on sidewalk in front of a giant Lexus SUV parked on top of the zebra-striped access aisle. I'm waiting to leave and am in a lot of pain.

50ish woman, adopting a pitying, talking-to-a-child voice: "Awwww, I guess you need me to move my car. It must be in your way..."

And to think another mom was worried about parking in the space on the far side of the access aisle and asked me about it! She wasn't sure it was a regular parking space since it wasn't well marked. The access aisle definitely was well painted, though.

In other news, I had to file with the BBB against the medical supply company, which now doesn't acknowledge receipt of the UPS package with the returned wheelchair cushion and thus hasn't sent out a new one. Promises to "find out" and then return our calls go unfulfilled. It's been 8 weeks, damnit. I want a wheelchair cushion that fits so that I can sit up more. This is ridiculous. I even emailed the two co-owners of the firm directly. No response from one, and the other response is inadequate. With 88 complaints in 36 months while similarly sized DME/medical supplies online companies have just 1 or 2, there's something really wrong going on. Do not use Allegro Medical for anything. Use SportAid. Unfortunately Allegro comes up quickly on internet searches for particular products and looks legitimate, especially with that lovely BBB label on the front page. Yes, I ordered my scooter directly from them to save money, but that was a huge problem too, but I thought a single isolated incident. Wrong. Do not use Allegro. They lie. They don't care.

And for goodness' sake, any "ableds" who are reading, teach your children some manners around wheelchair users.

Does this get any easier? Do people just stop caring and resign themselves to second class citizenship? It's emotionally exhausting. The pain is more than enough.

6 comments:

Full Tilt said...

Hi,

Sorry you are having such a bad week. In my state, we have a Department of Business and Professional Regulation, a Consumer's Line, and a number in the phone directory that puts people in touch with resources in order to make complaints against businesses. Perhaps when you are feeling better, you might find out what's available in your area and report Allegro Medical.

No-one should have to go through your seat cushion ordeal. Thanks for the heads up on these people...

I do hope there is some resolution to your pain. I have OA which isn't fun either. Take Care.

yanub said...

I was talking with a man at the beach while I was there, and we got onto the topic of wheelchair-using parents and the schools. It took 7 years (!) for him to get a key to the elevator at his kids' elementary school so he could meet with the principal or attend events not held on the ground floor. And he only got that key by accident, and against the will of the principal! Something needs to be done on a national level to force public schools to actually be accessible.

Allegro, huh? I have seen their ads in plenty of places and seen their link come up in search. But now I know to avoid them and will! Thanks for the heads up. I wonder what it will take for you to get them to make good.

Lisa Moon said...

{retches in disgust}
Ohhh, there are no words for people like her... well, maybe some, but none I'll leave to foul up your classy blog!

As for Allegro, omg that's SO much worse! The ignorance of a few fools, but a company which deals with this daily? Criminal. I shall ensure nothing I use comes from them and will certainly warn others away, as well.

As for if it gets any easier, I cannot say. Recently I've gone through some intense physio to work on my 'gait', learnt from 3 years of crippling nerve pain, muscle spasms and so on. Now, with that hard work, I'm able to walk quite 'normally'. Well, for a short time; then I'm still felled by the extreme pain that caused me to curl up in the first place.

Good news: it will help lessen 'secondary' pain from limping, such as my hips and such.

Bad news: when I walk those short distances out in public (with no assistive devices) no one knows I have this disabling pain. Is that ok? Well, only if they don't bump into me, knocking me over, smack into me with their shopping carts, etc. Nor can I stand in that looong shopping teller line with everyone else... I'm in so much pain I want to vomit... please move, I think to them, hoping they can read my mind... but they never do...

Yet when I use my scooter? People do move - sometimes. And then they do stupid things like you've written about.

I think in general, not just with disabilities, etc., that parents are not teaching manners anymore and the adults have given up as well. I see many examples of sheer lack of caring for others, respect for self and others and the earth we live on... It IS exhausting and I've had enough, too! I want a vacation, dammit... whoops, pardon my language.

End rant. Sorry. ;)

PS Hugs of support from someone who DOES care. xox

Wheelie Catholic said...

Frida-
I had trouble with Allegro too.

So sorry to hear you're in so much pain. The waiting times for medical items are ridiculously long.

I think we need to keep making noise and speaking up about these things, but it can be very very difficult.

May I send a hug? If not, s'ok too.
Ruth

FridaWrites said...

Hugs are always welcome, thanks!

Thanks for letting me know you've experienced this too--I felt embarrassed for being taken in, though I will say that they deliver...eventually. The wheelchair cushion would have been a huge help in the past few months--and I might be considering other kinds of work with it, but I can't know until I get it. Arg.

FridaWrites said...

Full Tilt, I did file with the BBB since they need to know--enough actions and the govt. will take action against them. No telling how many more people are dissatisfied/unhappy with them. If for some reason I don't get results, I'll research more--it's a relief there are other groups that will help.

Yes, I think it's OA I have in the knees, and they've gone from mild to shockingly crunchy in the past year, even with the scooter.

Lisa, thank you for the support about and relating your own experience. Like you, I also struggle more on foot though that's not visible to other people. I am actually feeling better when I'm using my scooter, though I may not feel great. One thing I loved about being at one seminar with other people with disabilities is that everyone moved around each other carefully--assistive devices or not. Never among others have I have retrieved food from a buffet otherwise without some anxiety about increasing my pain.

Yanub, I'm lucky that most of our school events are on the ground floor--and they will give me the elevator key when I need it. That makes me mad that the man you mention couldn't get access at all. The elevator is new this past year, though, due to a physical addition to the school--thank goodness. I could only get to the 4th and 5th grade rooms before by walking the side and length of the building outside a long way and entering from the ground level (school's built into a slight hill). Couldn't do that pre-scooter.