Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Three Stories from the life of a Disabled Man: Story 3

 I showed up to get blood work done. I was surprised that there was no line-up, I'd been a month or two ago and what with COVID keeping people out of the waiting room, we stood dutifully six feet apart in a queue that moved incredibly slowly. I thought I'd gotten lucky because of the time of day. I was welcomed in and I took a seat.

Then I noticed nearly a dozen people being turned away. I couldn't hear why they were being sent packing. On my way out, I ask and found out that it was now appointment only and those I'd seen turned away were, like me, people without appointments. My disability, I was told, was the deciding factor in letting me in. It's hard, apparently, for me to make my way around so they 'bent the rules' for me.

I didn't know how to feel about what had happened. I was glad to have gotten my tests done, true. But I don't have difficulty getting around, we have a car, we are retired, it's not tough. This was done without my knowing. People did things without me being informed or giving consent.

I ain't gonna lie: I was glad I didn't have to go home, make an appointment, and come back.

But I'm also not sure I was happy to learn the truth behind what happened. It made me wonder what other things are happening for me and to me because of my disability that I'm not aware of, I see prejudice when it's nasty but do I see it when it comes wrapped in kindness? Or being made the exception to rules others have to follow? Or, or, what?

Joe says I overthink these things.

Maybe I do.

Maybe sometimes I just need to let shit happen.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

Benevolent paternalism is still paternalism. If someone is given an adjustment they don't need because an assumption is made about them because they are visibly identifiable as disabled, then it's not a 'reasonable adjustment' (the term in the UK Equality Act) - it's unfair treatment. I'm with you - I don't want to get unfair treatment even if it's unfair because it's advantageous.