I made an enemy today. I don't know how I manage to piss people off on such a regular basis but I do. I guess I've got one of those personalities. Really, I try to be nice - actively try.
Here's what happened.
We tried to go to church today but there was so much snow around the disabled entrance (the walkies entrance was very well shovelled) that there was just no way I could manage to get into the building. We drove home and I could tell, though he wasn't saying anything, that Joe was upset. I do sometimes feel like a drag on his life. But snow is snow and a wheelchair is a wheelchair and there's not much else to be said.
So I got into the lobby of the building and ended up chatting for a few minutes with an elderly woman who was sitting on one of the couches in the lobby having a significantly difficult time with breathing. She told me that the cold air makes it hard for her to breathe. Then she was saying that she was worried about a trip next week to the eye doctor. The weather is supposed to be blisteringly cold and she can't stand out waitng for a bus, she'd stop breathing.
I mentioned to her that she should register for WheelTrans because they come right to the door and the service would be perfect for her.
"I DO NOT HAVE A DISABILITY." Her tone was harsh and her eyes ice cold.
Now she was sitting on a couch unable to breathe, unable to get up and walk ... ok, maybe that's not a disability - and maybe I'm a pumpkin waiting for midnight.
She then went on to tell me all the things she did. Giving me evidence that she was fully functional, that she did not in fact have a disability. Well everything she said she did, I do too. And I have disability.
Oh, well, I guess some people think of disability as a demotion from full personhood.
When I was talking with the OT about my power wheelchair, she said that most people wanted scooters because scooters allow people to think of themselves as 'other than' disabled - while a power wheelchair kind of loudly announced disability status.
I thought that disability just meant adapting to the world in a different way, not becoming a different being.
But, then, maybe I'm odd.