Yesterday I was doing laundry for the first time in my new building. My roommate and I moved to an accessible building because I’m getting a wheelchair, so I expected people to have some tact when it comes to disabilities.
I have to take my Walker to carry the load of laundry. When I was getting into the elevator, a gentleman had the gall to not only point out my obvious issues walking, but to also suggest that I was an idiot. “your foot looks broken why aren’t you in the hospital?” Now being completely unused to people talking about the horror that is my foot, I sheepishly mumbled something along the lines of “I have a chronic condition”.
I have never been so ashamed and humiliated. I wanted to start crying right there. I’ve been trying to tell myself that it doesn’t look that bad, it’s not that obvious, nobody is staring. I don’t want to go out anymore. I feel terrible about how it looks. The muscles in my calf are wasting too, so one leg is smaller than the other, and I will no longer be doing laundry in anything but full length pants.
Would you walk up to a person in a wheelchair and start asking “what’s wrong with your legs?” No. So why is a Walker any different? Apparently Canadians are far more ignorant than I have previously thought.
What I obviously need to do is get one of those wearable signs, and write “don’t ask” on it and wear it whenever I go out.