Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Why I didn't stay for the party

First a little background information.....

A little over 2 1/2 years ago I took my health for granted. Then, out of the blue, my immune system decided that my motor axons with the new enemy. I went from marathon ready to"doctor there's something wrong with my hands and feet" to so paralyzed that I couldn't lift a fork to my mouth or stand in front of the toilet in about 48 hours. I have a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome called acute motor axonal neuropathy. (Use The Google, I'm tired of providing hyperlinks)

I was hospitalized for 4 1/2 months and came home in a wheelchair and have just recently become able to start handling most of the day's activities without the help of a nurses aide. But my hands are healing a lot slower than the rest of my body. So many of the things that 99.99% of the human population take for granted are literally still out of my grasp. Things like round doorknobs can stop me from moving forward. But I'm not asking the world to change for me, I have no problem waiting for someone to come by an open the door so I can get into many public places. Dressing myself is also a challenge. Shoelaces, buttons, zippers, and even clips are all long-term goals. So I wear pants with elastic bands and T-shirts or hoodies depending on the weather. I'm quite pleased with myself when I can get a windbreaker on without help from a friend or dislocating my shoulder. I was home from the hospital for about a year before I was able to brush my own teeth, but I'm far from holding a razor blade against my neck. So I use an electric razor which at best leaves me grubby.

A little more background information...

When I left my full-time job as a school administrator in 2008 I wanted to get into tourism. So, I started volunteering in the tourism center in Brooklyn's Borough Hall.  I enjoyed giving out touristy information. But I really mostly enjoyed hanging out with the three other people who I shared Tuesday mornings with. Anyway, about the same time my immune system attacked my nervous system the new Borough President temporarily closed the tourism center for renovations. (It still closed by the way, but that's a different topic.)

So, even though I haven't volunteered in over 2 1/2 years I was still invited to the holiday celebration at Borough Hall. Even though there was only an exactly one person also going that I cared to spend time with I decided that I was going to get myself dressed and make an appearance at this party.

I also received the invitation exactly 26 hours before the event was scheduled to begin. I didn't think that personally, the volunteers were always thought of as an afterthought at these events.

So I put on all the clothes I possibly can and head out into the 24° day. I had no problems getting int and out of the subway. I was even greeted by the Halal food vendor who I used to buy a chicken and rice from every Tuesday from a couple years. So I'm feeling pretty good when I get to Borough Hall. But didnt let that good feeling go to my head. There is a gigantic staircase to get from the lobby of Borough Hall up to where the party is and it was built way before the Americans with disability Act had an effect on internal architecture. But I know there's an elevator. When I volunteered there I never took the elevator but I know it's there.

I press the up button and it arrives. The elevator contains an office worker, she politely says "what floor?" My answer is little vague ," I don't know if it's 2 or the mezzanine, but it's where the party is." She gives me the most dramatic top to bottom once over and says, "I guess they are inviting random people off the street this year." She really said that! She looked at me like Obama looks at Trump and said that to me! I was going to ask her if she knew who I was and where I've been and what it takes for me to get dressed. But I didn't. I held it together and said, "No, I'm one of the people who volunteers in the tourism center and I'll be back when they reopene it."

I'm still looking forward to the reopening so I can volunteer there. But I think I will avoid leaving the ground floor.

1 comment:

  1. The rudeness of some is their own bitterness and failings..you know that right! I also know you're braveheart and some. Go and be with those who appreciate you and encourage you but challenge the occasional troll.
    Ive missed parties due to illness and then been told by message I dont make eniugh of an effort! Volunteer when you can and when you wish too because spme organisations witj paid staff at the top bully people into hours that should only be done if paid.
    Let this be Michaels year x


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