Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Got another forgery then, have you?"

The last few weeks I've been on two crutches rather than one. This started when I tripped and tore a toenail off, then continued when I got new neurological symptoms in a rather large new section of my left thigh.

While I am normally all in favour of the wonder of mobility aids, because they give people freedom and independence and, well, mobility, I get seriously less enthusiastic when I need two crutches rather than one. It means I am hurting my elbows and wrists on both arms instead of just one, it makes doing nearly anything a nightmare. I have to ask for help a lot more, it hurts, I hate it.

If it turns out to be long-term I'll just have to get the hang of it, but in the meantime, I'm seriously unimpressed.

This morning I got on the bus. It's a local service where it tends to be the same drivers most of the time, so I know some of them. Today, on spotting that I had two crutches and not one, a driver I know reasonably well said, "got another forgery then, have you?", and laughed.

It was banter. That bloody word. Can't I take a joke?

On top of feeling distinctly unimpressed with the two crutch situation already, this idiot added a whole other layer of fed-up-ness to the mix. For the rest of the day I felt self-conscious. Do all these people think I'm faking?

If he had thought about it, even for a millisecond, he would perhaps have realised that an increase in the number of crutches perhaps corresponded with a deterioration in my health. He would perhaps have realised that I might not be overjoyed about that.

Today was so painful. My arms are completely wrecked, and my right hand is considerably worse than usual. I don't know if that is a progression of the condition, or just a reaction to too much crutch use today.

It's not funny. It's not banter. It's thoughtless and fucking cruel, if you take even a second to think about it.


onethoughtfulwoman said...

Hello, I am cloudgazer on twitter and I really liked what you put here. Not that I am saying I liked the topic of why you had to write it but your frankness and courage. People can be so thoughtless and most would not even try to get out on a bus with those things. Perching on 2 dam crutches must have been precarious and bet no-one offered to help? Have only looked at this one so I am still quessing as to the neurological problem, have a fare idea though. Good for you to show spirit and be who you are and not a victim. I have my own weakness, perhaps too scared to share. Thanks for this and a thought provoking post. I shall be watching. Best wishes from another feminist.

Margaret Smith said...

I really sympathise. I was diagnosed with CFS/ME in Dec 11 & amongst my cluster of symptoms, lifting & carrying is quite painful, specially hands & wrist. As I'm a trainer I bought a trolley case to carry laptop, projector etc. Whilst dragging the case in a great rush to collect something, someone said "going on holiday then?!". They thought I was being very grumpy not appreciating the humor.

The truth was, which I mentioned, was that I was in pain which would continue for several days. Being a life long depression sufferer has meant battling with stigma for over 30 yrs. Now having CFS/ME, not just being a largely invisible condition but contradicted by my being mobile & at work, it seems like another long battle is beginning!

Denise said...

Wow thats really thoughtless of that driver. Sometimes people can be really harsch I hope your situation improves soon. Keep on fighting!