Saturday, November 2, 2002


Well! Would you believe it? A whole month has gone by since I introduced myself!

How are you all?

The weather here has been a mixture of sunshine, rain and storms and I think I heard that a hurricane hit some of our friends in America. Never mind, soon be Christmas!

My thoughts began to veer towards this festive time as people have begun to be more impatient when shopping; haven't the time to stop and chat for very long; lots of feet tapping and tutting!

I have to admit to shopping for Christmas presents well out of season now. There are quite a few favourite places where we find little treasures - gifts we know will please friends and family.

The other Sunday, my Arf and me decided to brave the crowds and went on the hunt for something to add the finishing touches to our newly decorated bathroom. We found just what we wanted and were coming out of the shop when a gentleman, well dressed and around middle age barged right in front of me and nearly knocked me over (I was using my crutches at the time)! Arf, ever protective, tapped the man on the shoulder and told him he'd almost made me lose my balance - to which the man said absolutely nothing.

Arf said an apology wouldn't go amiss but the man insisted he had already apologised so Arf left it at that. Then the man's wife decided to add her two pence worth and said that she'd just finished using crutches and that her husband would never be so thoughtless!

No harm was done but her comments hurt me because I knew I would never finish using my crutches. In fact, most of my time out is spent in my sassy wheelchair! She never gave a thought as to why I was using them - but then, why should she, except through common courtesy? It's not as if I had 'MS' tattooed on my forehead!

This is not the first time I've felt almost invisible. However, I can also tell you of so many times when I've had the utmost kindness shown to me. Once, a lady offered to take me to the disabled loo in my wheelchair should Arf need to go to the 'gentleman's' cloakroom. She assured us she was a nurse and understood the awkwardness I might feel.

We are all vulnerable in these situations but one bad experience is nearly always outshone by small acts of kindness such as this. No-one sets out to upset us 'slightly impaired' folk. We don't have a right to all of the good things in life.

As the busy season draws near, we too have to have patience with those able-bodied people from another planet who are simply too wrapped up in their own little world to notice our plight. We are special! We have to cope with our MS and everyday chores as well as dealing those people whose brains have gone to live in a hotel!

Three cheers for us!