Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Visible and the Invisible

G and I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Louisiana to visit family, and celebrate a 90th birthday (!!!). All in all, the trip was wonderful. And tiring. But good.

A little background for the rest of the post..   G has been on crutches for about a month due to a 'funny' knee (surgery scheduled tomorrow). I have a brain injury- he can't walk.  We jokingly call our home "The House of the Broken".  It's been said that put together-we make one good person, with G being the brains and me being the brawn (or was it beauty?!).

Neither one of us really expects special treatment.

So, we were standing in line at the check-in counter of the airport, patiently waiting our turn. G had his crutches, so I was in charge of the bags. I carried things, and he figured out where we should go (there are soooo many signs in the airport, it makes me confused).       While we were in line, a lady directing the flow of traffic re-routed us to the head of a special disabled lane.  She took one look at his crutches and made a decision. But, nothing appears to be wrong with me... so there is no special treatment.

When we were heading to the gate, G was offered a ride in an airport cart. G politely declined.
I asked him to reconsider if the little cart was ever offered again, and explained that I might be better off not having all the energy sucked out of me because we had to walk 3,675 miles across the airport. It would have saved both of us some trouble, truthfully.

 Sometimes, I am afraid to ask for help... because I look 'normal'. At first glance, I don't have a "real" disability, and the general public seems to wish death on those that are deemed "faking".  If I am already fatigued or confused, I don't want to add to the stress by trying to convince someone that, yes, I actually am disabled (I have been in this situation before and it's awful). This is especially precarious considering that I have a loss of verbal filter, and can easily picture myself cussing out/throwing things at the individual that is questioning my condition (resulting in me getting kicked out of the premises, and possibly landing in jail).  Fun for everybody!

So, here we are.. a day before G's surgery. He is the visible, I am the invisible.   Thank goodness for people who understand both.

disabled parking permits photo by Chris John Beckett on Flickr.
logan airport by dmhergert on flickr.

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