Friday, June 14, 2013

TRYING TO MAKE MS FRIENDS IN POWER CHAIRS

When I was sitting in my power chair at my MS doctor's office earlier this week, a woman in a power chair came off the elevator. During the 5 years I have been going to that MS Center, I have never seen a person in a power chair. In fact, I have never seen a person in a wheel chair. Newbies. Anyhoo, she headed for the loo. I was so curious to see how she managed, but of course I looked away. The loo was directly in front of me. Looking at her chair, her frail body, and the fact that she needed a poser chair not just a manual wheel chair, meaning her arms/hands were too malfunctioning to move wheels, I was dying to know how she might use that rest room.

She came out after a short time and pulled up about 10 feet from me. Usually, it is awkward to address another person in a wheel or power chair. I have come to do this: "Hi, I'm Diane. I have MS." That works pretty good. The person will nod and ignore, say just "Hi," or "I'm Naomi," or the jackpot, "I'm Loretta. I have Huntington's."

After I said my "Hi" the woman just said "Hi." Well, fair enough, obviously in a MS Center she has MS, and I forgot to say my name. That she hadn't given me hers first could have been a red flag. But, both of us sitting there in silence seemed like such a waste of energy. "I'm Diane. What's your name?"

"Carol," She said as she looked away.

We sat there in silence until she shouted to the receptionist, "Do I just go in the gym or do I wait for my therapist?" "Just wait. He should be her soon." She nodded. We sat in silence.

Then she turned her chair to face me, my side. Now what should I do? She was staring directly at me. Finally I turned towards her. "Is that a nice gym?"

"Yes."

"It looks nice."

That was all we spoke. She sat there looking at me until her PT arrived and off they went.

When I go to a coffee shop, I have more of a conversation with a total stranger in a business suit in front of me than I had with a woman who actually shared a connection to me. Over the years it has been that way. I don't get it. What are people afraid of? Before I was in a chair, people were drawn to me. I could never wait on a bus without some stranger approaching me and my table would always include a stranger at coffee shops. It is so much FUN to meet new people and talk. But now...if someone is in a power chair...all so strange to me.

4 comments:

Muffie said...

When I was sitting in my power chair at my MS doctor's office earlier this week, a woman in a power chair came off the elevator. During the 5 years I have been going to that MS Center, I have never seen a person in a power chair. In fact, I have never seen a person in a wheel chair. Newbies. Anyhoo, she headed for the loo. I was so curious to see how she managed, but of course I looked away. The loo was directly in front of me. Looking at her chair, her frail body, and the fact that she needed a poser chair not just a manual wheel chair, meaning her arms/hands were too malfunctioning to move wheels, I was dying to know how she might use that rest room.

She came out after a short time and pulled up about 10 feet from me. Usually, it is awkward to address another person in a wheel or power chair. I have come to do this: "Hi, I'm Diane. I have MS." That works pretty good. The person will nod and ignore, say just "Hi," or "I'm Naomi," or the jackpot, "I'm Loretta. I have Huntington's."

After I said my "Hi" the woman just said "Hi." Well, fair enough, obviously in a MS Center she has MS, and I forgot to say my name. That she hadn't given me hers first could have been a red flag. But, both of us sitting there in silence seemed like such a waste of energy. "I'm Diane. What's your name?"

"Carol," She said as she looked away.

We sat there in silence until she shouted to the receptionist, "Do I just go in the gym or do I wait for my therapist?" "Just wait. He should be her soon." She nodded. We sat in silence.

Then she turned her chair to face me, my side. Now what should I do? She was staring directly at me. Finally I turned towards her. "Is that a nice gym?"

"Yes."

"It looks nice."

That was all we spoke. She sat there looking at me until her PT arrived and off they went.

When I go to a coffee shop, I have more of a conversation with a total stranger in a business suit in front of me than I had with a woman who actually shared a connection to me. Over the years it has been that way. I don't get it. What are people afraid of? Before I was in a chair, people were drawn to me. I could never wait on a bus without some stranger approaching me and my table would always include a stranger at coffee shops. It is so much FUN to meet new people and talk. But now...if someone is in a power chair...all so strange to me.

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Webster said...

When I was sitting in my power chair at my MS doctor's office earlier this week, a woman in a power chair came off the elevator. During the 5 years I have been going to that MS Center, I have never seen a person in a power chair. In fact, I have never seen a person in a wheel chair. Newbies. Anyhoo, she headed for the loo. I was so curious to see how she managed, but of course I looked away. The loo was directly in front of me. Looking at her chair, her frail body, and the fact that she needed a poser chair not just a manual wheel chair, meaning her arms/hands were too malfunctioning to move wheels, I was dying to know how she might use that rest room.

She came out after a short time and pulled up about 10 feet from me. Usually, it is awkward to address another person in a wheel or power chair. I have come to do this: "Hi, I'm Diane. I have MS." That works pretty good. The person will nod and ignore, say just "Hi," or "I'm Naomi," or the jackpot, "I'm Loretta. I have Huntington's."

After I said my "Hi" the woman just said "Hi." Well, fair enough, obviously in a MS Center she has MS, and I forgot to say my name. That she hadn't given me hers first could have been a red flag. But, both of us sitting there in silence seemed like such a waste of energy. "I'm Diane. What's your name?"

"Carol," She said as she looked away.

We sat there in silence until she shouted to the receptionist, "Do I just go in the gym or do I wait for my therapist?" "Just wait. He should be her soon." She nodded. We sat in silence.

Then she turned her chair to face me, my side. Now what should I do? She was staring directly at me. Finally I turned towards her. "Is that a nice gym?"

"Yes."

"It looks nice."

That was all we spoke. She sat there looking at me until her PT arrived and off they went.

When I go to a coffee shop, I have more of a conversation with a total stranger in a business suit in front of me than I had with a woman who actually shared a connection to me. Over the years it has been that way. I don't get it. What are people afraid of? Before I was in a chair, people were drawn to me. I could never wait on a bus without some stranger approaching me and my table would always include a stranger at coffee shops. It is so much FUN to meet new people and talk. But now...if someone is in a power chair...all so strange to me.

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OldLady Of The Hills said...

When I was sitting in my power chair at my MS doctor's office earlier this week, a woman in a power chair came off the elevator. During the 5 years I have been going to that MS Center, I have never seen a person in a power chair. In fact, I have never seen a person in a wheel chair. Newbies. Anyhoo, she headed for the loo. I was so curious to see how she managed, but of course I looked away. The loo was directly in front of me. Looking at her chair, her frail body, and the fact that she needed a poser chair not just a manual wheel chair, meaning her arms/hands were too malfunctioning to move wheels, I was dying to know how she might use that rest room.

She came out after a short time and pulled up about 10 feet from me. Usually, it is awkward to address another person in a wheel or power chair. I have come to do this: "Hi, I'm Diane. I have MS." That works pretty good. The person will nod and ignore, say just "Hi," or "I'm Naomi," or the jackpot, "I'm Loretta. I have Huntington's."

After I said my "Hi" the woman just said "Hi." Well, fair enough, obviously in a MS Center she has MS, and I forgot to say my name. That she hadn't given me hers first could have been a red flag. But, both of us sitting there in silence seemed like such a waste of energy. "I'm Diane. What's your name?"

"Carol," She said as she looked away.

We sat there in silence until she shouted to the receptionist, "Do I just go in the gym or do I wait for my therapist?" "Just wait. He should be her soon." She nodded. We sat in silence.

Then she turned her chair to face me, my side. Now what should I do? She was staring directly at me. Finally I turned towards her. "Is that a nice gym?"

"Yes."

"It looks nice."

That was all we spoke. She sat there looking at me until her PT arrived and off they went.

When I go to a coffee shop, I have more of a conversation with a total stranger in a business suit in front of me than I had with a woman who actually shared a connection to me. Over the years it has been that way. I don't get it. What are people afraid of? Before I was in a chair, people were drawn to me. I could never wait on a bus without some stranger approaching me and my table would always include a stranger at coffee shops. It is so much FUN to meet new people and talk. But now...if someone is in a power chair...all so strange to me.

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Donald Lewis said...

When I was sitting in my power chair at my MS doctor's office earlier this week, a woman in a power chair came off the elevator. During the 5 years I have been going to that MS Center, I have never seen a person in a power chair. In fact, I have never seen a person in a wheel chair. Newbies. Anyhoo, she headed for the loo. I was so curious to see how she managed, but of course I looked away. The loo was directly in front of me. Looking at her chair, her frail body, and the fact that she needed a poser chair not just a manual wheel chair, meaning her arms/hands were too malfunctioning to move wheels, I was dying to know how she might use that rest room.

She came out after a short time and pulled up about 10 feet from me. Usually, it is awkward to address another person in a wheel or power chair. I have come to do this: "Hi, I'm Diane. I have MS." That works pretty good. The person will nod and ignore, say just "Hi," or "I'm Naomi," or the jackpot, "I'm Loretta. I have Huntington's."

After I said my "Hi" the woman just said "Hi." Well, fair enough, obviously in a MS Center she has MS, and I forgot to say my name. That she hadn't given me hers first could have been a red flag. But, both of us sitting there in silence seemed like such a waste of energy. "I'm Diane. What's your name?"

"Carol," She said as she looked away.

We sat there in silence until she shouted to the receptionist, "Do I just go in the gym or do I wait for my therapist?" "Just wait. He should be her soon." She nodded. We sat in silence.

Then she turned her chair to face me, my side. Now what should I do? She was staring directly at me. Finally I turned towards her. "Is that a nice gym?"

"Yes."

"It looks nice."

That was all we spoke. She sat there looking at me until her PT arrived and off they went.

When I go to a coffee shop, I have more of a conversation with a total stranger in a business suit in front of me than I had with a woman who actually shared a connection to me. Over the years it has been that way. I don't get it. What are people afraid of? Before I was in a chair, people were drawn to me. I could never wait on a bus without some stranger approaching me and my table would always include a stranger at coffee shops. It is so much FUN to meet new people and talk. But now...if someone is in a power chair...all so strange to me.

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