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to think "whatchya done to yourself?" from complete strangers is a little off?

(13 Posts)
TinkerBellesMum Thu 30-Oct-08 16:33:23

I've suffered with my back for just over three years and been on crutches for about a month now. Obviously when people I know see me they ask what's up and that's kewl because they're expressing concern. But what irritates me is when complete strangers feel the need to ask.

I'm sure people who have been disabled for a long time must get this all the time and I think that's why it annoys me. How do they know it's I've done something to myself and don't have a nasty disease or disability that has left me like that? It could be a really personal question.

I really feel for all those of you who are in this position long term, you must come up against some real idiots.

Cupofteaplease Thu 30-Oct-08 17:07:33

I found the same when I had my face numbed recently for a tooth extraction. It was swollen, and obviously I couldn't move half of my mouth, making my speech slurred and almost incomprehensible for a few hours blush

When I was in the supermarket, I kept catching the check out lady staring at my face whilst I was packing my bags- obviously she looked away quickly when I looked directly at her!

I was probably being extra paranoid though, (and possibly had blodd trickly out of my mouth- eww!!) but I thought at the time how irritating it would be if my face was like that all the time and people kept staring at me- it made me feel really uncomfortable.

TinkerBellesMum Thu 30-Oct-08 17:14:22

I agree, we probably notice it more when we're self conscious anyway. But still I'd hate to have it all the time.

Blu Thu 30-Oct-08 17:19:44

It's driving me a bit potty atm - Ds has his leg in a fixator frame - and we are besieged by blokey blokes asking what he has done to himself / what I have done to him. He had a collision at school the other day and the terrified staff were telling me about it, in utter panic, and this OAF kept interrupting to ask 'what's up with him, then, bet that slow's him down?'.

onager Thu 30-Oct-08 17:32:23

If I was to ask what was wrong it would be small talk/being friendly. I bet if we looked through old threads we'd find someone saying "I've got so and so wrong with me and everyone looks away. I feel like I'm invisible or something"

I think if it were me I'd sooner people didn't ask, but it's not as though they are doing it to wind you up.

TinkerBellesMum Thu 30-Oct-08 17:41:02

It's great when it's someone you know, they're showing concern, but someone who doesn't know you are being nosey and there could be something more to it. I really don't want to have to tell everyone in the queue at Tesco's why I'm on crutches and I wouldn't dream of asking someone I didn't know. Would you ask someone in a wheelchair what they'd done to themselves?

TinkerBellesMum Thu 30-Oct-08 17:42:01

There's a difference between looking away and bringing up the fact that I'm on crutches.

TinkerBellesMum Fri 31-Oct-08 18:20:32

Good examples that have come up today.

I got on the bus, went to get my purse out and the driver told me not to worry about it, go and sit down. Packed bus I did think "um, where?" as soon as I started down the bus someone stood up from the disabled section. Bus home, again driver told me to go and sit down grin

In Tesco an old man rammed his trolley into my crutch and nearly took me over. He looked back at me to see what he'd hit, gave me a filthy look and carried on.

The bus examples show how I'd like people to notice, it's totally different to rude people who ram you and then tut or just come up and start asking nosey questions why I've got crutches.

Mum was telling me after her accident (she broke her neck when a car hit her stationery motorbike at traffic lights) and operation she often had strangers ask what she'd done and she'd just ignore it. One person said "Are you deaf?" she said "No, but you're rude"! I love Mum, she don't mince her words!

asktheparlourmaid Fri 31-Oct-08 18:46:31

I used to be covered with the most hideous eczema all over my face (I was hospitalised with it in the end, it was that bad!) People were really rude and ignorant - usually they had a look of proper disgust on their faces. Nice...

onager Fri 31-Oct-08 19:13:42

Personally, I'd rather no one saw me at all so I can sympathise. I'm awkward with strangers at the best of times (and that's without having any kind of visible problem to make people look twice)

However I see that as a problem I have. Everyone else seems to like to get close to strangers, shake their hands or kiss them and tell them things (at least about the weather) so I think we are both out of step there with mainstream thinking.

I think that you may be taking it the wrong way. The guy who rammed you probably didn't care who he rammed. The people who ask how you are are most likely only mildly interested and just being friendly.

Not quite sure where you're going with "there could be something more to it" I'm sure the moment they turned away they were thinking about someone or something else. It won't have been a major part of their day. It's just something to say like "isn't raining a lot!"

SharpMolarBear Fri 31-Oct-08 19:15:58

I once asked a guy using a wheelchair what had happened blushblushblush In my defence I had met him once and had emailed him loads (so you think you know someone loads better than you actually do iykwim) and I thought I 'knew' that he was able bodied. He wasn't blush
Luckily he found it amusing....
But yes I can see why that would be annoying

TinkerBellesMum Fri 31-Oct-08 19:30:05

By something more to it I mean that they don't know if I've just fallen over and sprained an ankle, been beaten up, been in an accident, got some disease, cancer... I might be happy to say "oh silly me, I fell over in the garden and sprained my ankle" but I might have something that I don't want to discuss with some stranger who feels the need to discuss that rather than the weather.

pointygravedogger Fri 31-Oct-08 19:30:35

people are naturally very curious and sometimes cannot stop themselves stepping into unmannerly territory. That's all

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