I was recently given a disabled parking bay at my work. The normal parking is quite far from the building and I become out of breath very quickly. I also need this parking as I have a PD catheter in my stomach that cannot get wet. So when it rains, I need to be as close to the building as possible. The strange thing is, today I was getting out of my car and a woman walking into the building was staring at me.
While I try to not let small things annoy me, this really did. I watched her say something to her friend who also then turned to look at me. They both took their time, looking at me from head to toe, looking for my disability. I know all of this only happened because I got out of my car, looking “normal”. This image (apparently) does not equal disability
I remember saving the quote below from Instagram a few weeks ago and it resonated with the current situation.
I decided to let it go and walked into the building with my head high. People like to assume things and that annoys me. But I cannot blame them for their ignorance if there is not enough awareness around chronic illnesses.
Moral of the story: it’s easy to make assumptions. I have done it before but I am so much more mindful when it comes to these things now. Think before you do things, as the smallest reaction can have the biggest impact. We’re all human and it’s natural to have a certain image in mind when it comes to disability. This is why it is important to bring awareness to chronic illness and teach others about your particular illness.