“I just have to ask…”
“Why do you need a walker?”
“I just have to know…”
It is almost rare to go somewhere without someone asking me something about the wrist brace, the walker or the power wheelchair.
Yesterday, I was at my primary care doctor’s office getting ready to check out and a woman stops me to ask. The office staff was mortified about how this woman did it. She seemed to be asking like she worked for the National Enquirer with her big eyes looking at me as she came closer into my personal space.
She just had to know…
I don’t really mind. I am seen laughing and joking with others in the waiting room. I am relatively young and seem to be too happy to have any real issues.
The waiting room at the doctor yesterday was full and there was a lot of humor in such a small space. This woman was not part of the cutting up, but she was listening and watching everyone carefully. We just happened to get finished at the same time, which gave her an opportunity to be an inquiring mind.
The office staff apologized for the woman’s behavior. It wasn’t necessary. I shared with them other instances where people have bluntly, and often inappropriately, asked me what was wrong with me. The woman said she felt sorry for me. I thanked her for her sympathy, and said, “It is what it is. I do not feel sorry for myself.”
Did she also ask the elderly man in a power wheelchair what was wrong with him that he needed the chair? Or the other woman in the waiting room who used a cane?
I started wondering when assistive equipment became such a conversation pieces? Not that I really mind, I suppose. I guess I can appreciate that I am approachable enough to satiate her need to know.
When I was taking things from my car once I returned home, I was approached by another inquiring mind who lives down the street. She was walking her dog and said she saw me walking mine with the power chair and was wondering…
I do not like to focus on the problem—the illness, the symptoms, the limitations. On days I would prefer to invisibly get done what needs to get done, there are inquiring minds such as these. I have to wonder about the timing…