“How long have you been in the chair?” The sales assistant asks.

I’m shopping at Erina Fair and the distance is too great to crutch so I’m back in my trusty wheelchair.

It seems a rather odd and personal question. While I’m not usually in a chair the question isn’t really offensive but I’m not sure it would be appropriate to ask someone who is normally in a wheelchair.

But people’s reaction to disability and even surgery and my hospital visit have proven to be quite interesting.

When I first told one of my friends about my surgery, she interrupted me as I was midway through explaining the operation to bring up the fact she had met a cute boy on the weekend. She didn’t bring up my surgery again. Even when she asked me to a concert and I said I couldn’t go as I would be in hospital, she still didn’t ask any further questions.

Just last week ago a friend had texted me asking me if I could do him a favour and when I said sorry I was heading down to hospital for my second stage of surgery there was no well wishes or good lucks.

I guess hospitals simply freak people out and make them feel awkward. I think it is the same with death.

I tell the sales assistant I have only been in the chair a few days (a slight lie but it just comes out) and I have just got out of hospital.

“Oh that is too bad,” she says in what I gather is a consoling voice.

This morning I asked Dad if he could please pick me up a few magazines from down the road.

- A discount on mags, why yes please

A discount on mags, why yes please

He returned with a grin.

“You got 10% off,” he informs me.

“The guy took one look at my pile and said it looked like I had a fair bit of holiday reading. I told him my daughter had just got out of hospital and he gave me a discount for bulk buying.”

I much prefer this reaction. I should go to hospital more often if it means cheap magazines.


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