09 April 2011 - by ~ 0 Comments

Nobody’s Business

At a Spring Training game a few weeks ago, my nurse James and I settled into the disabled seating area to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. A non-disabled older man, seated to our immediate right with his scooter dependent wife next to him, initiated some friendly banter with James. After all, you would expect an exchange of pleasantries with the person you’ll be shoulder-to-shoulder with for the next nine innings, right? Well, it started with an introduction, followed by the usual remarks about the weather and a little miscellaneous chitchat. But once he identified James as a nurse, the guy turned into one obnoxiously inquisitive individual, and hit him with a barrage of questions about yours truly.

What is wrong with him? What type of medical care does he require? Does he live with his family or is he in a nursing home? Does he watch television all day or does he work? Is he on Medicare? Does his wheelchair go really fast?

When you have been in the disability game for as long as I have, you expect this to happen and simply nod or answer vaguely and politely. You know that these people really mean no harm, so you often just go with it. But just when I thought that I had heard everything over the years, the next question was posed:

Can he get on the john by himself?

I about aspirated my lemonade on that one! The old dude already got that James was my nurse, that I required total care, that I was reliant upon a ventilator, had an ICD in my chest, and can hardly move a muscle. And now he was inquiring about my personal toileting abilities??? Come on! I’m thinking: Look at me, you numbskull! Do I look like I can get on the freaking toilet by myself or much less wipe my own ass! Duh!

I cannot believe the nerve of some folks! Asking about a complete stranger’s bathroom business? Are you serious? Next time I’m going to forego wearing my Yankees jersey in favor a T-shirt reading, “Got hemorrhoids?”