I spend a great deal of time in this blog talking about how NOT to approach me about my disability. Every now and again, I will get the exact opposite reaction. Even more rarely, I will get both in the same day, which serves to remind me of how a simple change in words and tone can make all the difference.
Scene 1: Fully packed waiting room of a radiology lab. I was waiting to get my head examined (no really, a CAT scan in preparation for sinus surgery). It was a hot day, and the AC was doing next to nothing to cool down the room. The staff was working at a snail’s pace, so everyone was hot, cranky, and packed in like sardines.
I managed to squash myself into a corner, but I must move whenever the door opens in order not to block people from coming in and out. The door opened, so I moved aside. An older woman, still in the doorway, came to a stop to loudly proclaim “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU????” The entire room of people turned to see what she was talking about. Which was, of course, yours truly. And…cue me as the Sideshow Freak.
Scene 2: Later the same day. Having wasted four hours at the radiology lab for what was meant to be a one-hour appointment, I finally pulled into the Trader Joe’s parking lot to do the shopping. As I was leaving (still in a bad mood from Scene 1), a woman coming into the store said, without breaking stride, “Oh, I feel for ya, sista! Gonna get better, right? Gotta get better!” And continued on past me into the store.
Yanno what? She was absolutely right. It did get better. Because of her.