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What happened to YOU?

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    What happened to YOU?

    My fiancee has C5-6 injury and about once a month when we're out somewhere, a random person asks him, "So...what happened to YOU?" The last time it happened, it was a janitor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art asking the question. One minute we're looking at the koi pond and exchanging friendly chit-chat in passing about fish and then we get that zinger. It always kind of catches us off guard. Or at least it catches me off guard. Whether it's in the cereal section at Acme or in a museum, it is never an appropriate question unless it's coming from the mouth of someone under the age of 12....and even then it's kind of arguable. He usually is very polite and briefly explains that he had a diving accident and he is a quadriplegic. Which then sometimes triggers an entirely different set of comments like, "Aw man, if that happened to me...". Which is typically when I step in and assure the curious/rude questioner that we're actually very happy (flashing my engagement ring) and he has a job and is rather happy with his life right now. I mean it's not really a big deal to us anymore and when we're done with the conversation and we're out of earshot we both just kind of look at each other, say "WTF?", and move on. Once a little boy asked him that question, which was an entirely different situation. It was kind of touching and cute....but really it's not so cute when it's a grown adult asking that particular question. It kind of makes me wonder what is wrong with people. So how do you handle our favorite question?
    Last edited by greentea07; 21 Jul 2008, 10:59 PM.

    #2
    I tell some people I'm just really lazy and that the chair helps me get the ladies.

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      #3
      Rude questions from strangers require nothing more than raised eyebrows and a question in response such as, "why would you want to know?" It works in so many ways!

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        #4
        Originally posted by Mike Honcho
        I tell some people I'm just really lazy and that the chair helps me get the ladies.
        the latter part of this statement is confirmed every time you grace my Facebook news feed.

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          #5
          I so much agree with you greentea, it is a very inappropriate question for a complete stranger to ask. I never really know what say in such circumstances and I've been asked this like a million times over the past 27 years. I guess one way around it is you both could start giving them sign language and act deaf, that would get rid of them pretty quick when they were scratching their noggins trying to figure out your hand gibberish, lol.
          "Life is about how you
          respond to not only the
          challenges you're dealt but
          the challenges you seek...If
          you have no goals, no
          mountains to climb, your
          soul dies".~Liz Fordred

          Comment


            #6
            Well, my mother usually says "I got this way because I was asking people rude questions all the time", but you may not want to use that one.

            I agree that "And why do you want to know?" or "and what business is it of yours?" is probably one of the better responses.

            So has anyone asked you two out of the blue if he can have sex? Happens to my clients all the time. The ultimate rude question.

            (KLD)
            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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              #7
              I would prefer they ask than to stare and wonder. I don't mind their curiosity.

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                #8
                Over the years I have become pretty desensitized to the question, but you are absolutely right that it is rude of a complete stranger to think they have a right to ask such a prying question. I ususally just say it was a diving accident and try to move on as quickly as possible. Once when I was in Jamaica on vacation everyone asked and then told me about a local guy who had sustained a diving accident and was now "in the ground." From Montego Bay to Negril I head the same story, which actually got to be fairly funny because the friend I was with started to fill in the last line before they had a chance to do it themselves, saying "yes, he is in the ground." They would look at her and ask "did you know him??"

                Comment


                  #9
                  I've perfected the snobbish, squinty-eyed and high-pitched response of, "Nothing, what happened to YOU?"
                  Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                  T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

                  Comment


                    #10
                    geez, some of you are obnoxious.

                    what's the big deal with telling a stranger? most are uneasy about asking anyway.

                    just speak in generalities if need be.

                    the general public is overly uneducated about sci... educate them.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Eileen
                      Over the years I have become pretty desensitized to the question, but you are absolutely right that it is rude of a complete stranger to think they have a right to ask such a prying question. I ususally just say it was a diving accident and try to move on as quickly as possible. Once when I was in Jamaica on vacation everyone asked and then told me about a local guy who had sustained a diving accident and was now "in the ground." From Montego Bay to Negril I head the same story, which actually got to be fairly funny because the friend I was with started to fill in the last line before they had a chance to do it themselves, saying "yes, he is in the ground." They would look at her and ask "did you know him??"
                      What a hoot!!!
                      Being a frequent visitor to the islands, I get kick out of how everyone knows everyone, or, better yet, might be related. LOL!!!

                      Did you find that they were eager to assist you, in such miserable unassible circumstances, too?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This thread has enlightened me in a strange way. I rarely get this sort of question. I wonder why?

                        I started taking a ceramics class several months ago. The instructor holds an art major. I have been a painter, all my life. I made a living painting signs. Applying glaze to ceramics is a totally alien concept to me. I am really enjoying the challenge!

                        That said, not a single classmate has inquired about my disability. The instructor is clearly disabled, too. Her right hand is crippled. (I suppose she is left handed. She uses it so very well.) One of her legs is sort of withered, and she walks with a defined limp.

                        We all chatter as we apply glaze. I know about my classmate's husbands/wives, their children, pets, vacations, and other such stuff. But I do not know the source of our instructor's disability. Nor does any one there know mine. The subject has never come up.

                        Could it be the elephant in the room? Maybe I should expose that great big pachyderm at the next class?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          SoFla,
                          I literally had to bribe my way out of Jamaica! The plane had no jetway and no one was terribly interested in loading my chair or me, although I was more concerned about being separated from my chair and knowing that it could be turned into a fruit cart pretty easily by one of the vendors. Finally, out of total frustration after hearing "ya, mon, we help you in a little while" I reached into my wallet and offered US dollars to the one who got me to my seat and who made sure my chair was in baggage. It worked, but it didn't make me want to run back to visit. Beautiful country, but the deprivation and squalor is hard to take, as was the thinly disguised begging in the form of sales, even after you had said that you were not interested in buying whatever it was.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I guarantee that even if no one is asking, they are curious and speculating!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I guess depending on the tone of the person, and how they ask the question, I don't mind answering it. Maybe somebody wants to genuinely learn something.
                              There was a time, when I never thought I'd end up in a wheelchair. It was one of those things that only happened to other people, people I didn't know, and I didn't know anybody in a wheelchair. Maybe if I would have taken the time to ask some questions, personally know somebody in a wheelchair, maybe I would have been more careful in life, more careful on that black ice that I rolled over on, maybe wouldn't have been a quadriplegic in a wheelchair now. Just maybe.
                              _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
                              Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." -John 14

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