Epilepsy vs. Pregnancy on the Tube.(50 Posts)
I never ever take a seat on the tube unless there are several free, and I am always happy to stand up if there aren't many free usually.
My epilepsy has been super bad recently - as in two or three seizures overnight - I'm fucked basically (there is no way to say this nicely; I'm a mess). I've had to take the tube a couple of times and on these occasions I have sat down; twice I used the "priority seat".
The second time, I had a pregnant woman (with the badge, but not really a bump yet) ask me to move. I explained I wasn't well and it caused a bit of a shit storm... I was called a few choice words and not wanting to deal with it stood up and gave her the seat, and someone else gave me a normal seat.
However, now wondering whether I should have moved - is there any "rules" on who gets priority of the priority seats on public transport?
Not a London dweller but I'd leave you sitting even at full term pregnancy tbh, but you do have an invisible disability and this might mean tou having to say "I'm epileptic and recovering from an overnight seizure" I can imagine it's not v easy for you to be vocal about it, but it might diffuse situations of these kinds
She shouldn't have made a fuss once you explained imho. Priority seats are there for those who need them and if there are more people who need them then seats then it's first come first served. You shouldn't have to debate your reasons in public and it was very wrong of her to do that to you.
They're priority seats not pregnant seats.
Just to disclaim that I do sympathise with her somewhat. I could have stood for my bus journey quite happily from around sixteen weeks (and would have preferred it up to my due date given how uncomfortable dd's head was in my crotch) but before that I felt like shite but didn't look pregnant yet.
She was a twat.
Please continue to use the priority seats if you need them.
You explained why you were in the priority seat so she was rude and entitled, and should just have approached someone else if she needed a seat.
YANBU and don't worry about her. She's not worth it.
Generally speaking I think illness or disability trumps pregnancy as the latter is a choice.
But then I was lucky to have an easy pregnancy so I might feel differently if pregnancy had made me ill.
I would have explained and if she kicked up a fuss told her to ask someone else to stand if she needed a seat so badly as you also needed the seat.
Do you have one of the "please offer me a seat" badges? You get them from Tfl and they are handy for invisible disabilities.
I have a disability card which I show when people deem it necessary to tell me I am not disabled. Is one available for epilepsy? It saves having to talk to the weirdos!
Unless she happens to find herself catching the tube that goes to an Epilepsy Convention at the Excel Centre then the only correct response is blatantly obvious:
“I’m sorry, i didn’t realise. <<louder, to the surrounding passengers>> Can someone else spare me a seat please?”
Wheelchair trumps pushchair on the buses, wonder if it is the same with a “walking disability” and pregnancy?
She was a twat. Surely other seats were available if she asked someone else to move?
Having said that, some people with bad prior experiences will assume sadly that anyone saying they have an unspecified illness is lying to keep their seat, so it might be better in the future if you really hate conflict to say ‘I have epilepsy and have seizures every day, so I really need to sit, i’m sorry’, not that you should have to.
Agree with PP an illness or disability comes first as it’s out of the person’s control, but this situation must happen so so rarely it’s more like an ethical dilemma on a philosophy AS level paper! There will always be other seats to move someone from!
IIRC, the sign by the priority seats says "pregnant, disabled or those less able to stand", so, imho, you were okay to sit there and she could've taken another seat.
They now have "Please offer me a seat" badges for people with "invisible disabilities". TfL. Maybe you could get one of those?
I have an invisible disability and have been pregnant and have had a pregnancy related disability that meant I couldn’t stand.
At all points I’ve had people being complete twats about “priority” seats (actually worse on trains than on the tube in my experience). If you need to sit down, then it’s better you do that than fall down/fall over. Key is that you need to be safe. That’s what the seat is primarily for.
Now I just ask People politely to move. And smile at them until they do.
Don’t feel bad. You’ve got enough to contend with.
I'm sorry you're having a hard time with your health.
You did the right thing by using the seat and it sound like the Pregnant woman was rude.
But did you say 'I don't feel well' or 'I have epilepsy'. I understand that you may feel you shouldn't have to disclose your condition but 'I don't feel well' could cover something minor like a hangover or a cold.
The badges so one mentions sound like a good idea, you can produce it even if you don't wear it.
Pregnancy itself is not an illness, epilepsy is. She was being a twat
I have a ‘Cancer On Board’ badge, and this thread has reminded me I need to get one of the new TFL ones.
I don’t use the priority seats very often, but when I do I really need to, and have always assumed they work in ‘first come first served’ if the number of people exceeds the number of seats.
I’m so sorry that has happened to you, OP. My husband has epilepsy that has developed over the years and he feels like complete shite, mentally and physically, after a grand mal. Epilepsy is tough enough to deal with without events like these.
This sounds like a classic case of this being the lady’s first child and the inherent belief that the world revolves around you and they’re the only person in the world to have been pregnant.
I have sympathy for heavily pregnant people, I had horrendous SPD and was very unwell throughout my pregnancy but I bery much viewed a seat on public transport as a nice to have rather than an entitlement, even though I couldn’t do more than shuffle.
Deffo get a disability badge for when you need it.
I think she was fair enough to ask, but once you'd said you needed it, then she should have left well alone and asked someone else.
I think I said "I have a medical illness", but didn't specify it was epilepsy. It was the tail end of rush hour so it was busy, and maybe she was having a crap pregnancy.
I will get a badge for times like this (hopefully never ever again) though; I usually just think if i need to prove it ever to station staff I have my Freedom Pass.
I have Rhuematoid Arthritis and some days I’m just fine and other times can barely stand. I use the TfL card and hold my nerve. Only had someone kick off once. And that was because she ‘couldn’t see why I needed to sit and she got there first!’ She ‘enjoyed’ a lengthy and detailed explanation of what my condition involved. And then she moved
Oh and YANBU. She should have asked someone else.
She was a twat. I have epilepsy and when I’m having a bad run of seizures (mine are only at night too) I am not only physically exhausted but my mind is fucked too.
but my mind is fucked too.
This honestly probably stopped me from saying anything to her - I was just in the post-seizure daze.
Thank you everybody!
Of course your get priority, pregnancy isn’t a disability.
I sometimes wonder how pregnant women with that attitude manage to get off the train and leave the station...does chariot come to greet them?
Unfortunately for some people, pregnancy comes with a sense of entitlement on the side. Yanbu OP, you sadly encountered a twat.
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