Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Theme Thursday: Friends

This is a bit of a thorny issue with me at the moment. It isn't that I don't have friends or dislike those I have, but painful truths have a way of asserting themselves into one's life when least expected, and with the coming of Godot, several long-standing friends have made themselves scarce while others have unexpectedly come to the fore.

The recent incident in which an acquaintance panicked as my head hit pavement, rather baldly illustrates the point that not everyone is comfortable with mobility devices, whether they have an old auntie that used a traditional fold-up or my ultralite. In speaking with other chair users of various ages and backgrounds, I've learned that this flight, and the fear and ignorance beneath it is common.

I will experience anew who can be trusted, who is comfortable with the fact that I am the same person I always was, sitting or standing, and who must be graciously shown the door.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that those at greater distance have actually shown more interest in terms of questions and comments than those in my non-virtual circle. My mother's remaining family, almost all of whom are geographically distant, have taken little interest in this situation. As I have never been particularly close to them, that is to be expected.

Several friends of years continue to write, call or come by, and I was thrilled the first time one of them dismantled Godot properly, stowed the chair and yours truly in his Jetta, and went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. This individual also has no fear of going to the cinema or other public venues with me and does not spend any of our time together complaining about what a pain in the arse it is to deal with Godot, something which cannot be said for many others. I should note that this person and I have a history of seeing each other through life's changes, and there is little about which we cannot speak. Such friendships are rare and to be treasured.

I'm still adjusting and learning about getting around in large spaces with Godot, and still making friends, in both the blog world and beyond, something I hope to keep doing until my last breath.

Blogging has opened my eyes to new worlds and I am happy to be a part of this evolving phenomenon.

Until Next Time...


Linda Pendleton said...

I was reading your feelings of frustration and identifying with them in some ways. When you wrote about hitting your head when the chair tipped ...I laughed, not at you but in memory of my tipping over. No one ever told me not to go up the ramp into my front door in the forward motion. I thought a "running " start would help but discovered, luckily in a slow- motion movement, that I was able to keep from hitting my head and back on the cement walkway. My sister who had gone in the house ahead of me, panicked...and I had to "roll" out of the chair. So I went through a little of what you have. I am an amputee and now two years later, this month, I have my prosthetic on all the time and only use my wheelchair for nighttime transport into bathroom. But it is so comfortable for me that I sit in it all the time at the computer and to watch TV. And I have hand problems from the use of the computer and the chair!

Even though I can walk without a walker or other assistance, I don't have a lot of muscle endurance and still continue working out to strenghten so I can do more things in the community, even like going shopping.

I believe many of us may go through times when those special friends can be there for us, and some times it is more uncomfortable for family or others to keep tabs, or to offer assistance.

I hope you are finding pain relief.

Yom might enjoy reading this on Michael's blog. We have to laugh at ourselves to get through some of these events.


Elizabeth Bard said...

Hi E - thanks for sharing such honest feelings about the sorting out of people in your life. It's sounds like you've maintained tremendous spirit through this change in your life - and if people can't get on board, it's clearly their loss.

I also read that you are looking into coming to Paris. Do let me know. I've spent a lot of time in the Louvre - and know all of the hidden elevators...

Ronda Laveen said...

Some, actually many, people are uncomfortable around illness and disfunction. It is too bad. It sounds like you are sorting it all out though. I liked the honesty in your post.

Michael said...

e-- a very courageous post. I indentify with a lot of what you write here. The Tea itself in blogland was a case in point. Thank you so much for coming, btw, bump and all.

I do feel for your plight. You are a very true person. I like and respect that.

Alan Burnett said...

A post of strength, truth and great meaning. Disability does have the habit of filtering out real friends as I recall from when my deafness descended. Take pleasure and comfort in those who remain solid and true and ignore those who don't. Happy TT.

Candie said...

Oh e I understand what you mean.I'm sending you much love and plenty of sunshines!I'm here with my guitar!Lol
How do you like the music today?Just like my mom used to say referring to our origins,the Gypsy Kings are our cousins!See my cousins are playing for you today!;)

Anonymous said...

I've had practise at wheeling Mum around while at hospital so am prepared if the need arises. Can't understand why some folks treat others the way they do. Let them step into your shoes, y'know?

Brian Miller said...

i am glad that blogging has expanded your definitely has mine as well...and most of the best friends...are here on thursday!

Skip Simpson said...

I too have found many new friends here in Blogland, and I count you as one of them! Great post, and Happy TT!

Ed said...

You are a fellow blogger and the great part about that is I know I don't put judgement in any of my blogger friends...they're just fellow bloggers!

Kabbalah Rookie said...

They say that people come in to your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When Godot came in to your life it gave you a better idea of who was who. I understand your frustration.
If I had a car and lived nearby, Godot wouldn't put me off taking you for a night out. Until then, I shall continue to enjoy your virtual company.

JeffScape said...

Yeah... to use some vulgar "French:" real friends don't give a shit (not in the negative connotation).

Baino said...

Oh e. I think sometimes people just don't know how to cope with disability so they shy away which is very sad to my mind. I had 'friends' who chose to be childless and when we were all yummy mummies with strollers and toddler paraphanalia were nowhere to be seen. I had friends who found inviting a widow over and a table for 7 or 9 too uneven and they too have moved on. The ones who remain are the best. They understand, they care and they are willing to learn to cope with what life throws at us. They're the true friends in your life. I'd push you around if I was closer! At least we'd get a 'disabled' parking spot - very handy this time of year!

Wings1295 said...

I have some past experience with a wheelchair, and it was never really a fun thing. It did what it needed to do and that's about it.

I hope you find some new, great friends in the blog world. I know I have!

Betsy Brock said...

I can relate to a lot of this! I'm glad to know you! :)

The Silver Fox said...

It's a shame that some people wait until you need them the most to show that they're unavailable when it counts.

Tess Kincaid said...

Synchronicities are fueled by the internet! I'm glad you're my bloggy friend.

Kate Hanley said...

What an honest eye-opening post. Thanks for sharing!

Harnett-Hargrove said...

There is a resonance here. -jayne

RLM Cooper said...

A heart-touching post. You have a wonderful friend in the one who wrestles with Godot. Keep that friend forever.

Jasmine said...

It a shame people are scared of communication or failing to respond correctly. We live in such a (so called) correct society people are frozen by he inability to know how to act. It doesn't last for ever. And the friends that become distant, well I'm sure new ones will spring from the most unlikely of places.

Have they forgot what its like to get on a bus with a pushchair, shop in narrow isles with a pushchair...? But these things we do without thought for those we love. No matter what age.

Tracy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! It's always nice to make new friends. Thank you!

e said...

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for popping in.

Linda: Thank you for sharing your experiences here. I had no opportunity to roll, simply flipped back and was on the ground in the blink of an eye. I still stand and walk on a limited basis, but very short distances.

My chair is a sports chair designed for lightness and to maximise my ability to get around without having to be pushed. The heavier chair I was using prior to this gave me tendonitis of the wrists and arms and would have resulted in long term damage had I continued to use it.

Good luck with the strengthening and I hope your ability to do more in the world improves steadily. I too am working on strengthening my upper body at this point.

My pain comes and goes and unfortunately will increase with time and I will need to adjust medication accordingly.

You are right about learning to laugh and thanks for your comments. They are much appreciated and I will check the blog you mention.

Elizabeth: You are a dear to visit. I hope that wonderfully cute fils of yours is thriving and you enjoy being a mom. I will take you up on that kind offer eventually. I also want to order a copy of your book.

Ronda and Mr. Toast: Thanks!

Alan: You are spot on in your observations as usual and I feel lucky to have made your acquaintance in blogland. I am sorry that your deafness caused some of your friends to leave your life. Their loss.

Candie: Merci. I would love to hear you play guitar, and I loved the music today especially since I love Spanish. I also enjoy the Gypsy Kings.

Subby: Ignorance isn't bliss for those of us who must deal with it. Best to your Mum for her upcoming surgery.

Brian: You're one and you are right!

Skip: Thank you, kind sir and so are you!

VE: Thanks!

KR: I hope we enjoy each other's company in blogland for a long time to come and if you ever wish to visit, let me know.

Baino: I think the whole notion of de-mystification of disability is frightening. People would rather dwell on their pre-conceived notions than accept that there are others, just as capable in many ways, who live differently.

Wings: My chair gives me the ability to go into public life, and I am not one to sit at home!
Thanks for your comments and for blogging.

Betsy: The feeling is mutual!

Foxster: Just life sorting things out...but you're right.

Willow: Thanks! I really enjoy your writing and must visit more often.

Kate: I call them like I see them, and you're welcome!

Jayne: Thanks much for your comment. I enjoyed your post as well today.

AngelMay: My friend is wonderful and he doesn't actually wrestle since Godot is easy to dismantle.

Jasmine: There is a lot of fear underlying the behaviors. Please visit again. I enjoy your blog.

karen said...

Hi E.. this was a really amazing post! I have to confess, I'd be one of the clueless useless people, having no experience with Godot type equipment! However, I would still give it my all to try and learn the required skills, if only I lived on the same continent and could pop round and take you out to coffee or lunch somewhere! You might, alas, just have to initially wear a crash helmet until I was able to do it properly :)

PS - regarding the daycare, I'm busy trying to upgrade my paypal so that it can also receive money, and this could be an easy way for people to sending a little something along for the kids. thanks so much for wanting to contribute, I'll keep you posted!

Mike said...

People shy away from people with illness or disabilities. I don't know why, but it just that way!

I love the friends that I have made on the internet!

Sorry That I was late!!

Dreamhaven said...

Having been a nurse for 36 years, it still amazes me that a change in ones physical status makes some people act as if it were contagious. How foolish to lose something so valuable over something so small in the general scheme of thins.

Megan said...

Let's go to Paris!

(I am saving. It's going to take at least six months, though.)

Coffee Messiah said...

It's amazing just how many different disabilities there are, and how some feel "distant" as you say.

For who knows, some of us may too visit that realm, and how does that make you different? except for motion maybe, it doesn't.

Hang in there and great you have that old friend to get you out and about ; )


I Wonder Wye said...

Oh boy - can so relate. I figure the 'friends' who I guess thought disability and cancer is something catching, therefore to be avoided, will eventually get something -- and will be surprised to find themselves alone eventually...I use a wheelchair for LD, like airports and museums and stuff, I walk so slow with a cane otherwise -- I cannot count the times I am invisible to are the worst offenders -- I had to say to one clue-less "Step any closer buddy and you'll be singing soprano" because I was staring right into his crotch....geez...some bling for you over at my blog....

Lisa Ursu said...

"I am the same person I always was, sitting or standing"
I love that!
Happy belated tt to you.

lettuce said...

can i meet you and megan in paris?

so glad to have "met" you here