Wednesday, February 2, 2011
My day out
Monday, January 31, 2011 10:43:47 PM
We woke on Wednesday morning to a house with no electricity which meant no heat, to Internet, and NO COFFEE. There was a huge ice storm in South-West Ohio last night, leaving everything coated in glass. It is very pretty to look at, but getting out of the house to find heat, Internet and good coffee was pretty tricky.
I had spent Tuesday banished to the house by fear of walking on the ice that fell during Monday night's storm. The prospect of another day inside made me want to pull my remaining hairs out. Fortunately, Adrienne is made of sterner stuff than that and we made it to Kofenya for fresh coffee and Wi-Fi.
The last time I was outside had been Monday when we went to Ikea and Jungle Jim's. I have said many times before that if happiness could be bought, it would be on the shelves of Ikea. If it could be eaten, then it would be found inside Jungle Jim's.
These are both large stores so I decided to take my wheelchair. I seldom use my chair these days, staying on my feet as much as possible. It was strange at first to get into it, but I quickly got over it; I can go fast in my chair. It can be lots of fun, especially on a level floor like at the big furniture store or the gigantic grocery store. The downside is all the TABs (Temporarily Able Bodied people) taller than me, which makes me feel more vulnerable. It is also a reminder of what my traitorous body has done to me. People treat me differently when I am in my chair than when I'm using my cane. When I am using my cane, they are glad to see that I am getting better and it gives us both an excuse to celebrate God's miracles.
However, TABs often feel the over powering urge to grab the chair, not realizing that when I am in it, it is a part of me. This on Monday at Ikea when an employee tried to tie a big yellow bag onto the back, like it was one of the trolley/carts people use to put smaller items in, I blurted out, “ Please stop, I don't like it when people touch my chair.”
I am not shelf to place things on or a cart to carry items in. I would be glad to help, but please ask permission before loading me up or attempting to adapt my chair for those purposes.
I know that people usually try do what they feel is best in each situation and I often try to be gracious, sometimes at the cost of my own peace of mind. After all, they could be showing me the other end of the spectrum. The Ikea employee stopped, apologized and walked away.
Had I not been so flabbergasted at what I had done, I might have explained better that I appreciated his effort, but there was a step missing; the step where he acknowledged me as a person first before transforming me intro a very expensive shopping cart. My companion told me I had been rude and by the look on his face, offensive. She understood how I felt and reassured me she would have reacted the same way.
All I had done was tell him the truth-touching my chair or me is upsetting.
Since then, I decided I feel better for letting him knowhow I felt. And when I say me, I mean my chair, my cane, or whatever adaptive equipment I am using. He was perfectly capable of talking to me first and letting me know what he wanted to do.
I am sure that if I upset the kind gentleman, he has gotten over it by now. I also hope that next time the situation arises, he will stop to ask before acting.
Please feel free to leave your comments below.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 01:05:32 PM