I have been using my cane for four days now and the one thing that has struck me is how many random people on public transport feel it necessary to point out that I have a cane. Do they honestly think that I didn’t realise? What is the point of telling someone that they have a cane?
Then when telling me I have a cane isn’t enough, they ask why I have a cane. I hate this. I do not want to share my medical history with a complete stranger. However, I have found that when you mention the phrase ‘autoimmune disease’ it seriously freaks people out. They hear ‘autoimmune’ and ‘disease’ and suddenly they need to be somewhere else, like I am contagious or something. It is really amusing to watch.
The people who are too scared to ask you questions just stare at you as you hobble past. I have had people literally stop and watch me walk past them. I am not seeing the attraction, but obviously for them it is very exciting to see someone with a cane. I am seriously expecting one of them to pull out a camera to capture the moment forever.
Being stared at makes me profoundly uncomfortable. When I don’t use my cane no one knows about my illness. I may walk kinda funny but no one takes any notice. However, as soon as the cane makes an appearance it is like having a flashing neon sign that says ‘person with a disability coming through’. Urgh.
The only upside of having a cane is that it guarantees me a seat on the bus. People can’t get out of their seats fast enough when I get on the bus. This embarrasses me greatly, but I am grateful for the seat, especially when my legs decide that they have had enough of being functional.
BTW, I just love this cane. I wonder if the flames make it go faster.