Many of you know that I had surgery earlier this month. This rant has been building for a week already so it's time to let it out. When you see someone who is on a walker or in a wheelchair, please be nice. By nice I mean to please treat the person just as you would anyone else.
For the second time in my life I have to use a walker. The experience has taught me several things about being disabled. My harshest lesson is in how society treats someone who has a health challenge. It's as though I have been relegated to a second class citizen and that's not cool for anyone.
We're shopping in the same stores as always and going to the same restaurants. The difference is noticeable and not imagined. This rant isn't to ask for anything special. It's just a request to be treated the same as before. That's all.
Need help with that? Here are a couple of suggestions.
Talk to me normally. Believe it or not, even though my legs don't work my hearing does. It isn't necessary to use a loud tone of voice when speaking to me. You don't even have to talk slower. I. can. understand. you. just. fine. if. you. talk. to. me. like. you. normally. would.
If you're an employee in the store and seem me coming towards you, don't turn your back and walk away. You don't have to be afraid of me. I may be about to ask if you have olive oil or what aisle the foil is on. This has happened twice so far.
To the server who waited on us the other day... It's also okay to look at me instead of over me or avoid me. You don't have to ask my husband what I want. You also don't have to look at him and ask about a tea refill. When he's drinking soda and I have iced tea, you're better off asking me than him. He might look at you and say "Yes, the lemonade will be fine." Wouldn't that be confusing?
Hopefully this post has helped clear up some misconceptions. If not, then please ask. Feel free to leave a question in the comment section. After all, I can still type and might just answer you back. :-)