The Ultimate Guide to Social Interaction Between Able-bodied and Disabled People‏

Since I've recently begun using a mobility scooter close to home, I've especially noticed an awkwardness among a few folks I'd thought were friends. I came across this article that I find meaningful @
My husband & I are very much aware of the mixed stares I get when out shopping, etc. w/ the wheelchair and it's very annoying!
Curiousity and a range of emotions come with being human, but c'mon!

The blank stares and pitty faces of strangers in a store - close contender in being the absolute worst thing ever!

I'm sorry to hear your need for this, but you'll learn something positive from this certainly.

Thanks for the link - I'll check it out.

Thanks, just julie!
Some days this kind of experience really gets to me, then other times I can 'laugh it off.'
I don't have enough "I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse?" t's for these kind of moments! lol ;)

Well said, Ninibeth! :) Yes, one would think there would be less ignorance in the 21st century, but unless they're in 'our' shoes, most folks just don't get it.
I'm thankful for my friends here in our community! :)

Thank you for posting this. What a great read! I especially like that it has two sides for recommendations. If everyone just tried to understand each other things would be better. But ignorant, stupid people will always be out there who refuse to understand another perspective. Ah well. I have to admit, I loved the response of the handicapped woman to the insensitive lady. Thanks again for posting this.

Hi Suzy,
It's great to 'see' you! ;)
Yes, human nature is what it is & unfortunately there will always be ignorant people refusing to try to grasp (a fraction) of what our lives are like.
I often wish I could wear a discrete camcorder when out in public to give the world a glimpse of what's seen - yikes! :0

Hmmm… What a great idea…

Hey Patti. I'm very interested in your post because I think I used to be one of those people before my diagnosis. I've had several bleeds but no one would be able to tell by looking at me. I think before this entire ordeal I used to be a bit standoffish with people in wheelchairs/motor scooters/or those with disabilities. This AVM has humbled me because I know now that I could very well be one of them. People who are physically able sometimes say the dumbest things because they just dont get it. It's a sad reality. Maybe you can or will be a teacher to someone. Maybe the lesson won't be visible or known to you. There are those people who are convenient friends meaning they're your friends while you're healthy and able-bodied but when the going gets tough they don't know how to deal with that aspect of friendship and slink away. God bless you and all of those who've stopped by to read this. :-)

Thanks Jessica and JC! :)
Jessica, I think I too may have been 'guilty' :( of the same behavior that now offends me when I was able-bodied.
There is somewhat an unspoken sense of camaraderie among fellow wheelchair and/or personally owned mobility device users.
Who knows, maybe this experience will inspire me to write or possibly create (another) video! ;)

In my opinion the ability of an able-bodied person to not only look beyond what a person has lost and instead value what the individual has managed to overcome is the definition of true beauty. It was not the survivors choice to have had an AVM experience, but rather the strength and positive attitude so many have developed that is exemplary and distinguishes them in a predominently non-caring society. I admire you all!

Rob Forsythe

Likewise, Rob! :)

I'm so sorry to hear you are experiencing these difficulties. I think that the key is to try and look for the good stuff instead of the bad stuff. I, for example, think it took my being on a wheelchair in order for me to discover humanity's true compassion. There have been few times when I have felt other than welcome in my wheelchair and I encountered assistance EVERYWHERE I went. I am serious, people act 100x nicer now than before. Granted, sometimes it is annoying to have somebody else do something I am capable of doing without me asking, but then I think if they do it for me, they will also do it for someone who truly needs it. Do I ever get those mixed stares? sure! all the time, it is the natural human curiosity I guess! However, it is important that we recognize it as such and not let it bother us. If we are on the lookout for the positive reactions of people we are sure to notice MANY of them!

Thanks for your input, dreyx2000.
Yes, human nature is what it is & "mixed stares" are unavoidable.
I do my best to overlook this & to laugh it off, or ignore it, but then there are times like this particular instance where it struck a nerve - ouch! ;)
I was inspired to read "My Body Politic," by Simi Linton :)