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This topic has 10 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 4 months ago by Kevin Schaefer.

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    • #13970
      Kevin Schaefer
      Keymaster

      We’ve all come across people who come up to us and single us out because we’re disabled. They either talk to us like we’re incapable of doing anything ourselves, or they ask if they can heal us right on the spot. One time I was at a movie with friends, and a couple guys came up to pray for me right as the trailers started. It was awkward trying to get them to leave. My favorite though was one time at church, an usher saw me, put his hand on my shoulder and said in a loud voice “LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ANYTHING!” I turned to my brother afterwards and said, “hey, apparently I’m blind and deaf too.”

      Fortunately these encounters are rare for me, but they’re annoying when they do happen. People like this think they’re being nice, when really they’re being ignorant. They assume that just because we have a disability that we’re miserable and constantly suffering. Granted, there are people who do suffer more than others, but a wheelchair isn’t an automatic indication of that. I’ve had SMA my entire life, and my life is great. It’s just irritating when I’m singled out by strangers and they assume I’m some angelic inspiration. I wrote about this exact topic a while ago: https://smanewstoday.com/2017/06/13/sma-i-hate-it-when-people-call-me-an-inspiration/?amp.

      What do you do in these kinds of situations? Do you have any stories you want to share?

    • #14005
      Ryan Berhar
      Keymaster

      I wrote a similar column too. It’s called “Tongue Slips and Shoulder Chips”. Ironically, something like this happened just yesterday. My dad and I were at this party, and there was this one lady who launched into one of those,  “wow! He sure knows how to get around in that!” rants. As if I just started driving my chair yesterday. It’s annoying, but you just have to remember that these people don’t mean any harm.

      • #14006
        Kevin Schaefer
        Keymaster

        I enjoyed that column. And lol yeah. When people tell me I’m a great driver, I’m like “Thanks, you’re a great walker.”

    • #14008
      Mike Huddleston
      Participant

      I had an older friend of the family tell me that people have disabilities as well as general physical ailments because they don’t have enough faith in God’s healing powers.  It was all I could do to not go anywhere from nuclear to post-apocalyptic with her.  Took a couple of deep breaths and calmly explained to her the fallacy of her “logic”.  Yes, sure, only non-believing heathens have physical maladies <insert huge eye roll>.

      I also had an older woman in a department store yell at me to slow down.  I mean, I’m nowhere near anyone and I’m going about 2.5 mph. I stopped, turned around and said, “Would you tell a person walking fast to slow down?”  She just stared at me in disbelief – apparently surprised that I could in fact talk.  Takes all kinds.

      For my last Spinraza injection, I was zipping through the halls at Hopkins – it’s a huge campus.  There was this very tall doctor walking at a real good pace, so I was keeping up with him.  He looked at me, smiled, pointed at my chair and said, “Hey, I’m kinda jealous.”  I pointed at his legs and said, “Yea, me too!”  We both started laughing.

      • #14015
        Kevin Schaefer
        Keymaster

        Lol that’s great. Yeah I once had two guys come up to me and start praying for me at a movie theater, literally right before the trailers started. They seemed flustered when I wasn’t jumping out of my chair right away and eventually left, but man it was awkward. I love your comebacks though.

        • #14031
          Mike Huddleston
          Participant

          There were two women at work who had just attended a religious seminar on healing.  Their post seminar assignment was to perform a healing on someone.  Insert Mike as the perfect subject in need of a healing.  Bear in mind that I was still ambulatory at the time, and using a cane.  They approached me as I was heading to my car after work.  I was in the garage and they came up to me, told me their intentions, and asked if they could pray for me.  I said, “sure”, but having seen Ernest Angley do a healing or two where he smacked people on the forehead while proclaiming, “Be healed”, I was worried they were going to smack me and knock me down.  I backed up against a concrete column.  After they prayed and having not smacked my forehead, they said, “Now the rest is up you.  If you believe, you will be healed.”  A year or two later I was zipping around the halls at work in my wheelchair when I saw them both and said hello.  I suppose that answered their unasked question about my belief in their healing powers.  😉

        • #14047
          Kevin Schaefer
          Keymaster

          Lol that’s great! Yeah wit is a good tool to have in these situations.

    • #14009
      DeAnn R
      Keymaster

      Wish I had Mike’s quick wit, but I usually just smile while the sarcasm is in my head.  When I had a guy basically tell me I could walk if I visualized it, I didn’t know how to respond.  Don’t you think I’d be doing back flips by now if that was the case?

      • #14016
        Kevin Schaefer
        Keymaster

        Wow, if you could visualize it. I haven’t heard that one before. If someone said that to me, I’d be like “sorry I’m blind too.”

      • #14026
        Mike Huddleston
        Participant

        Wow!  I’ve never heard that one “visualize”.  SMH.  Pretty funny reply Kevin.

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