Today has not been a good day. From the customer service rep who exclaimed, “I can’t hear you. Speak up.” And then a relative solding me for not walking more even though they know my knees are arthritic and sometimes just buckle under me. I feel like today, just giving up.
I am so tired of constantly repeating myself to people when my voice trembles from my ET. I am tired of having to apologize every time my hands shake and I have to ask my daughter to sign my name on a document. I hate those credit card machines at the checkout where you have to sign. And if I drop one more supper from my plate, or juggle another drink that ends up more on my carpet than in my glass, I may scream! Actually, today, I did just that. It didn’t help.
I pray for God to help me understand why I have been dealt so much in life. The tremors are like adding insult onto injury. I didn’t ask for them, so why to such insenetive people treat me as if I have? I didn’t ask for scoliosis when I was 11 years old. Back then, (1950’s), there were few hospitals in my state offering surgery for this condition. I was taken miles away from family and schoolmates and wrapped up in a cast from my chin down past my waist. I was reprimanded for crying and now when the tears flow from my shakiness, I feel like I am 11 years old again.
With the internet, information is at our fingertips in seconds, and yet, I encounter more ignorance with every passing day. At 77 years of age, I still have to ask for assistance when having my groceries checked out at my local supermarket. Some cashiers are kind enough to ask if I need assistance, but this is the rare occasion and not the norm.
When did sorry manners and a complete disregard for the elderly and/or handicapped become an excuse for rudeness. You don’t need to know my history to behave in a civil manner. Complaining is a waste of time. Managers spill forth the same excuse as if it were rehearse. “Oh, I’m sorry. This behavior is not what our store is about. We are about customer service.” BAH! My next visit is another bout with a rude clerk and me getting angry with myself for not speaking up again. Or worse, crying because I did. I feel like I have jepordized someone’s job, when I should be the one feeling hurt and put out.
Essential Tremors are not a condition I wanted, nor was my scoliosis. I just try to get through the day with the same dignity I expect of others. Maybe that is our problem. We expect others to treat their fellow humankind with compassion when perhaps they are incapable of this basic mannerism. My daughter often reminds me, “Someday, those people are going to reap what they sow.” And, I admit, it is shameful for me to think that it might be the best thing for them. Maybe if everyone who has ever looked down on someone with a physical handicap, could walk for a day in their shoes, the world would be a better, if not more understanding place.
I hope parents of teenagers will read this and take their child aside when they attempt to enter the workforce. Tell them everyone needs a kind word and a helping hand once in awhile. Understanding never cost anyone anything. It is a very inexpensive lesson to learn and will profit everyone greatly.