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What happened to YOU?

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    Originally posted by cass
    mine was an mva too. sitting at red light on way to engineering job, about 8 a.m. or half past. guy going over 80 mph rearended me. i don't really care to relate it to every joe/jane doe who asks.
    And yet you've posted it on a public message board that has at least 10,000 members, not to mention the random traffic (no pun intended) that wanders through.



      Once a month? Is that all? Your fiance is on Easy Street, GreenTea.

      The worst offenders are drunks. In my drinking days, I got it bad. They called me everything from Dr. Strangelove to Ironside. Maybe that's why I stopped going to bars 23 years ago.

      Your first reaction is to retaliate, verbally at least. But I always kept my cool because you never know who has a knife or a gun.

      This past weekend, an able-bodied guy near my town died from just one punch to the head.

      Back to the original subject, last weekend at the beach some little kid said to his father, "Daddy, why is that guy in a wheelchair?"

      I didn't even see the kid because I was way too busy checking out the lifeguard's, um, er ah..... "uniform."

      Hey, Toots, can you run in slow motion like Jasmine Bleeth?

      Due to my "habit" (Oh, sorry I though your eyes WERE
      down there), I can't complain about people staring.

      Another little tyke asked his dad what the contraption (Braun wheelchair lift) was on top of my car.

      I yelled "I keep my mother-in-law up there, Junior!"

      When they mention the permanent/temporary thing,
      I say "Sure, it's been temporary for 36 years now."
      Last edited by Uncle Peter; 22 Jul 2008, 9:12 PM.


        I agree with Scott. I think it takes courage to ask ,and it is a great opportunity to share your story. The reaction I usually get is amazement and then I see it sink in how easily it could happen to them. Educate 'em.


          Originally posted by Curt Leatherbee
          I still say its a very rude question that only stupid people would ask such a thing out of the blue.
          One could say that only stupid people turn down the opportunity to educate others when said opportunity falls in their lap. Of course, that sort of general labeling would be equally wrong.

          Would I think of asking Fat people why they are fat? of course not.
          Oh, please. Are you truly unaware of the fact that people stare at fat people just as often as they stare at people who use wheelchairs? Have you never heard of total strangers advising fat people in restaurants that they should order off the Weight Watchers menu? Or of people suggesting that they only shop in the vegetable aisle at the supermarket? As Juke said, it isn't likely that anyone would randomly ask a fat person what happened because the most common cause is ever so obvious, but has no one here ever asked someone with a cast or crutches what happened to them? Ever seen anyone with a major bruise or stitches and inquired about that? What about a dent in someone's car? The person you ask may be physically fit, but there's a good chance that whoever else was in the car could have been injured in the accident and then you may be bringing up painful memories for the owner you are talking to. Maybe Betheny would never ask anyone a question like this, but I've seen it happen often enough to know that it is quite common. And I've never heard anyone claim that it is stupid or even rude to ask about the cast on somebody's arm.

          Let em do a search on the internet for different causes of Paralysis if they are that curious, but then again if they are so stupid to ask such a question they are probabley too stupid to know how to operate a computer.
          I really wonder why you are so angry, but I suppose it would be rude of me to ask why.



            Only once since the accident

            A lady at KMart (employee) kept talking only to me while my husband sat next to me checking out. She kept on and on about how "he gets around really well" and "does he take care of himself" and finally "I used to take care of people like that". I took some deep breaths and said "LIKE THAT? You mean in a wheelchair. IT's just his legs that don't work. You can even talk to him, he'll talk back." Wow, I generally view these people as having a different kind of disability. This one got to me.


              Wow thanks for everyone's responses! I think my fiancee and I have some new material to use now for our more rude/drunk curious questioners. As for the truly sincere or otherwise slightly unaware of social norms, I think we'll keep to the real story.


                My two cents-I would rather have them ask than stare. Maybe because of the weird nature of my injury (sleepwalking) I feel more comfortable sharing my story. I hate the stares when I park in the handicapped spots (because I look too young ) that turn into looks of pity when I get my chair out. AB people in general are clueless about SCI-I was there once myself.



                  Better get used to the idea of being offended. You should look at a question about a disabilty as a chance to educate someone rather than being offended. If not your going to spend a lot of time being offended.
                  Naturally people are interested in what happens to you. We all should be as curious as children. After 35 years people still ask me. If you choose to not educate others, then why should they be interested in a cure.
                  I hope this don't sound too harsh, but it is what it is...


                    "What happenen to you?" never bothers me, the one that pisses me off the most is "I know how you feel" coming from an AB


                      a lot of ppl get way too offended by the question. i mean, yeah, when someone asks flat-out rudely, that's one thing. but usually it's just curiosity, and i just answer honestly.

                      a funny response i thought of, but have never used:
                      "what happened? i'll make you a deal. first you tell me the story of the single-most devastating thing that happened in your life, then i'll tell you mine."

                      Originally posted by darrel
                      "What happenen to you?" never bothers me, the one that pisses me off the most is "I know how you feel" coming from an AB
                      yup, someone spends a few days in a chair from breaking a leg, & all of the sudden they know. nevermind the fully functioning bowel/bladder, sensation, etc... these ppl are ignorant fools & likely cannot be educated.
                      "If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."
                      ...Mark Twain

                      I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
                      ...Winston Churchill

                      A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
                      ...George Bernard Shaw


                        Originally posted by darrel
                        "What happenen to you?" never bothers me, the one that pisses me off the most is "I know how you feel" coming from an AB
                        that's an APPARENT AB....

                        how much do you REALLY know about what that person has gone through, endured, conquered, etc...I for one would look at my good friend Sue and initially assume that she's completely AB, but I KNOW better...I know she's been through everything I have(and more) and it took her years to recover where she's at(competes in triathalons and going through the police academy currently)...I know there are others out there that are in similar situations....I NEVER assume that someone is diminishing or demeaning what I go through b/c you don't know what they've gone through unless you have the opportunity to talk to them.
                        L-1 inc 11/24/03

                        "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......


                          My husband gets that a lot but it's mostly from other people with disabilities. He's a member of a gym that is for disabled people only. I go with him sometime. 9 out of 10 people there ask when they meet, "What happened to you?" before they even ask your name. It doesn't seem to offend anyone at the gym.

                          Every now and then he gets asked that by people in public, usually non-disabled people. He just tells them. It's really no big deal to him unless some attempted touching is involved. That's very rare though. That's only happened once that I am aware of and it was actually quite a funny story once the initial shock wore off.

                          I like what murrey said.

                          I can see where the questions would bother some people though. The questions bothered me when we first started dating. I'm not sure why now. Maybe because it was all new to me and I didn't know how to react. They really don't bother me now after 8 years of this. My husband is just a talker and will talk to anyone about anything! If we are in a funny mood we might say something funny. Like I might say, "He pissed me off one too many times." People look shocked, but then they laugh. I like to make people laugh. Even at my husband's "expense". Usually he just tells them the story. Like some have said, how can we expect people outside the SCI "community" to care about a cure, if those with SCI/and those who know about SCI, don't open up and talk about it? I didn't have a clue about SCI before I met my husband. It wasn't something I needed to know about.
                          "I just want you to know, it was the best time ever." J.F.F.


                            Murrey, I've never been offended really. The first time I was with my fiancee and someone asked him that question, I was just kind of surprised. I could sum up my reaction as, "Wow....did that just come of their mouth?" I watched him to see his response and he was polite and very kind in his interaction with the curious questioner. So I've responded in a similar way. I'm all about educating people. As nurse I know that you should take any opportunity you get to educate.


                              Originally posted by Broknwing
                              that's an APPARENT AB....

                              how much do you REALLY know about what that person has gone through, endured, conquered, etc...I for one would look at my good friend Sue and initially assume that she's completely AB, but I KNOW better...
                              Excellent point.



                                my favorite in the "I know how you feel" category is when they broke their leg and were in a wheelchair for 1 month. If they only really knew how much more there is to it! I understand that they're just trying to sympathize but i still find it comical I want to say, "Really? you stick your finger up your butt to poop?? ME TOO!"
                                Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.
                                -Dorothy Thompson