Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I haven’t written in a while because I haven’t felt like I’ve had anything particularly interesting to say… that is until today.

I basically just want to have a rant, and this seemed like the best place to do it. If you’re looking for something uplifting, this probably isn’t it. Sorry.

While sitting at a bus stop this afternoon, I (very politely) tore strips off a stranger for the judgements he was making about me and my life. Note: I stress the ‘very politely’ part. I don’t really do conflict very well, and the only reason I said anything at all was because I was already in a rather crappy mood. Actually, I didn’t really tear strips off him either but I did tell him what I thought which goes against all my natural instincts.

Often completely strangers will come up to me and start talking. I’m told it’s because I have an open face and on the most part I don’t mind. What they have to say is usually interesting, if sometimes a little weird. It does bug me a little that even more people talk to me now I walk with a crutch. People use it as an opening to start talking, which is fine I guess, but I don’t like the judgements they make about my life because of it.

This afternoon a guy sat down next to me and, pointing to my stick, asked me if I was struggling today. I didn’t feel like going into an explanation so I just said it was permanent, that being the simplest answer. He shook his head and told me nothing was permanent. I just shrugged which appeared to be the wrong answer.
“No, don’t give up, nothing’s permanent.”
I shrugged again. “It’s not a bad thing.”
“I didn’t say it was a bad thing, I just said nothing’s permanent.” He shook his head. “You shouldn’t give up; you should always strive for something better. Never give up hope.”
At this point I got really annoyed. “Who says a life walking without a crutch is better than one walking with a crutch? I’m still doing everything I want to, so don’t make judgements about my life.” (Or something similar – can’t remember my exact words but this is approximately what I said.)

At that point he laughed and said he didn’t have an answer for that. Then, as I got on the bus he called me a cripple. I wasn’t expecting that and it made me feel rather rubbish so I started crying (fortunately I have really big sunglasses so no-one noticed.)

If I had been in a better mood, I probably wouldn’t have minded what he said. In his own way he was trying to help… well maybe up until the cripple part, but I got frustrated by the assumptions he was making.

In the past I’ve had a butcher tell me only problem was I didn’t have enough hope, an evangelical guy tell me God could heal me if only I had enough faith and a gym instructor berate me for the low calcium levels in my diet. All of those bothered me, mainly because they were all said within minutes of meeting me, before they could possible form a realistic opinion of my life or condition.

When I talk to other people with arthritis, it always comes up that what we want is understanding, not pity or “medical” advice. I’d also rather that people didn’t make assumptions about how I feel, or how I life my life. Yes, I’m in a lot of pain and yes, I would like that to go away, but that in no way means I have a sub-standard life or that I must wait for something better to come along before I can start living. THIS is my life. Please don’t diminish that.

Little Miss Autoimmune


  1. Hey.. I've seen a link to this on your profile before, but (stupidly) didn't actually realise you were the author.

    I just wanted to say that I was actually a little speechless when I first read this. And you have every right to explain to someone that you are not some kind of victim/munchausen syndrome person just because you have a crutch. They may as well walk up to someone on the street who is wearing glasses and tell them if they believed enough - they could see clearly again!

    Thank god my mother hasn't had to catch the bus in years, otherwise she would have spent her entire adult life being lectured to about her weight and that fact that she 'really didn't need' a walking stick.

    Oh, and you have every right to 'rant'. I found it to be an incredibly polite rant, but then again I have swearing issues.

    Thinking of you.

  2. People that say stuff like this? Are a depressing combination of stupid and narrow. Emphasis on the stupid. And narrow. That guy just makes me SO angry.

    You, much more than so many others, live wide. I'm quite in awe of the way you decide to do things and then just do them! You don't get in your own way.

  3. This post is so pretty with the different colours and font sizes.
    Your blog is cool. I've learning a lot from reading it. You should post more often!