Don’t let the Bastards get you down

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My OT & Physio had realised I spent far too many weeks simply sitting in the same chair in the same room all day and every day until being put to bed at night.

To break the monotony it was decided to give me a huge lift emotionally by arranging a trip in a car to a local forest tea room. The coffee shop and car park were disabled friendly enabling me to attempt such an outing.

After finding a table Jane, my OT, ordered our lunch and drinks and I was enjoying every moment of fresh air, people watching, listening to voices all around me, children running around in a near by play area. Jane cut my lunch up to manageable sizes so that I could eat with my left hand. This was something I had now grown quite used to and didn’t think anything of until noticing the faces of mothers around me, showing their shock, disgust even as they were doing the same for their toddlers and here was Jane doing it for a woman of her own age! This was the first of many uncomfortable emotions, that said four years on I don’t bat an eyelid.

I was exhausted after this trip and slept on the way back home but it had done everything Jane & Marianne had intended and more, it increased my confidence too.

However, the next uneasy feeling from that day which didn’t actually catch up with me until the following week, reduced me to tears in my fragile state. I was at that time fragile in every sense of the word. If I see the couple I am about to refer to, although I no longer feel upset, my emotions revert back to this occasion.

After my fabulous lunch I needed to visit the disabled toilets before returning to the car ( this reminds me of a time visiting the same with my mother’s help whilst I was in control of a disabled scooter, I got us all trapped inside, this is for another blog but until then visualise a Mr Bean sketch).

We made our way to the toilet and on leaving bumped into a couple I knew, just finishing their forest walk. Very surprised to see me they asked how come I was in the forest? I was meant to have had a stroke so how come I’ve been walking in the forest? My occupational therapist so outraged at their behaviour decided to reply sarcastically saying, oh yes we have just completed and named a route. What is even more shocking is despite my obvious difficulty standing, talking etc they actually chose to believe I had been for a walk!

Admittedly I was helped with putting on make up before leaving home to help my confidence, no make up on earth can disguise the difficulties I displayed. This couple could not drive back to our village quickly enough to inform people. Then someone told me that this couple were spreading the word they had seen me in the forest, I had been for a long walk, was wearing make up, I definitely was not unwell and hadn’t had a stroke. Why hadn’t I sold my raffle tickets for the local fete? This simply reduced me to floods of tears and as for the response from both my OT & Physio I dare not repeat! Mind you, it stopped the tears and made me laugh!

 

2 Responses to “Don’t let the Bastards get you down

  • Hi Sas,

    The way you write makes me wanna cry and then laugh…..the words are lovely, the people shits, and the emotions so strong.

    So many people will, I fear, concur so with your experience and feelings – but may never write it down.

    Reading your words will help them, as well as help all those shits who won’t understand. (sorry about the language 🙂 )

  • Dear Sas,
    I just discovered this post and your site (via Stroke Survivors Tattler) and wanted to thank you for sharing this dramatic story about your encounter (on an otherwise lovely outing, sounds like!) You’re perfectly describing those living with the luxury of what Dr. Ann Becker-Schutte calls “healthy privilege”. Many are otherwise good people – just clueless, sadly. I wrote about a similar theme recently (being judgmental) at http://myheartsisters.org/2015/01/25/judging-poverty-and-illness/
    regards,
    C.

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