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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 3/24/2011 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I find this ironic on top of Dani's wonderful, moving topic about CP and it's stigma, and how we deal with it.
I went to the store yesterday, I had a bit of a long list; the typical time to stock up for the month/I got paid type day. So I had a fair number of bags but nothing was to heavy, and I'd been smart and wore my big brace. I will never understand why the parking lot slopes down towards the store, given the heavy rains we get during monsoon season, but it means unless I get a front spot or take family with me (my son is excellet for this job!) it's a long push up-hill to the car. But my cart wasn't to heavy so I was able to muscle through, and the brace was definately a big plus.
The bags were easily unloaded into my car, and after I shut the door it was then I realized there wasn't a cart return place to be seen anywhere. But there was a sidewalk with a curb area infront of my car, and as I watched, the couple (close in age I would say) rolled their cart towards that island, and put the two front wheels up on the curb. The basket was out of the way, and wasn't going anywhere. I figured I'd follow suit, but by now I didn't have enough muscle to pop the front end of the cart up. I tried lifting, but again I was just to tired at this point. So I did something I'm not want to do, and I turned to ask a stranger for help.
I must stop for a second. I do not like being reminded of my disabled status, but asking for help with my family is becoming easy as it's almost always an every day thing. Case in point, my Mom didn't ask, she just helped me make my son's bed yesterday. I didn't argue, I was grateful and told her so as she watched me struggle to get a corner of the fitted sheet into place. So you can imagine I am loathe to ask a stranger for help, especially given I was alone this day. Now I always carry my big knife in my glovebox, and frequently because of state laws, I do open carry my pistol, but not today. But after growing put with a neurotic Mom about stranger danger, and being alone, and those roadside kiddnappings, etc, it sticks with you even into your adult life. I felt like I was making myself appear weak, and given I was alone, a victim.  But what am I going to do? I needed some help.
So I turned to the couple and asked. "Excuse me, could I trouble one of you for some help with the cart, please?" Nothing. I cleared my throat and raised the volume of my voice, "Excuse me, sir, could I get a hand, please?" It was then I noticed the distinct lack of eye contact as they hurridly got into their car and practically slammed their doors. Once inside they seemed to take their time again, but continued to refuse to look strait ahead out their windshield at me. We weren't the only ones in the lot, there was one old man pushing his cart up the aisle, and another who'd just parked his truck. He'd gotten out two spaces over from them as I'd asked the second time. So I turned to him. (We have a high senior population in our city) and I posed the same question towards him, kicking the volume up a notch again. He just kept walking down the sidewalk towards the front of the building.
I was hurt. I had asked for help and no one had listened, no one heard me. I was sure the couple in the car had heard me, but just choose to ignore me. I wanted to cry I was so hurt and angery. I finally got around the front of the cart and took my frustration out on it and muscled it up onto the curb. My thumb felt jammed afterwards and my arm was going numb in spots what parts didn't feel blazing hot and smashed with a sledgehammer.
As I drove home I wondered what did people see when they looked at me? Why do more and more people choose not to help? Were they affraid I was some derranged psycotic that was going to try and hurt one of them there in the middle of the parking lot in the middle of the day? I would have loved to have been able to see into their mind, see what they were thinking and why. All it did was reinforce my negative feelings about society and why I now rarely leave the house. I have been described as "athletic" looking, though I don't see how. Yes my legs are in good shape, but my arms don't have the tone they used to. I know I'm carrying about 10 extra pounds, but it's well distributed about my body. I like my jeans and boots. Skinny jeans with calf hugging chunky heeled boots, or my slouchy engineer style flat boots. T-shirts, thermal henleys, sweaters, tank tops.... yesterday I wore a simple grey v-neck t-shirt over my pale blue skinny jeans, and my all time favorite blood-red leather jacket. My hair is a medium reddish-brown, but my bangs are bright white. I wear small rectangular glasses, though at the time I had my sunglasses on. I'm just trying to figure if I looked intimidating, or if like Dani's post commented ... society would rather not acknowledge those of us who suffer from CP.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Percoset.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
No surgeon willing to do my SCSU Implant

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 3/24/2011 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry for what you went through. I really wish somebody would have helped you. If they were seniors, my guess if they did judge you based on your hair & clothes.
Though it could have well been the brace. I remember one time I went into a Target & my brace was really bothering me -- I get pressure sores from wearing it 24/7 sometimes. So once I got my cart, I took off my coat & the brace & put it in there while I completed my shopping. Well, of course the greeter/security guy had to make a comment ... but not the one I expected. He told me (a young skinny white girl dressed like June Cleaver) that he was glad I took it off b/c he was about to call for assistance thinking I had a bomb strapped to myself. I guess I'm glad they're careful but I really wish he would have kept that comment to himself.
My point: Some people are idiots. We're probably better off not knowing their crazy thoughts or we might never want to go outside ever again.

Have you tried asking the checker for assistance getting to your car? I've found that even at discount grocers they will usually get someone to help you out. Also, more & more places are offering grocery delivery these days. The delivery usually runs me $5-10, much less than what it costs me to drive to the store, throw out my back & visit my doctor for shots/med increase. ;)

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 3/24/2011 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I have to agree with Tirzah there are so many idiots out there, no telling what any of them were even thinking. In my mind it would not be worth knowing, lol. I am sorry that no one would help you, but we live in an age now that people no longer really care about their fellow human being. Sad but so true. People stopped getting involved a long time ago.

This is something that happens to me quite frequently in the grocery store that just irks me to no end. I am short and if I need something off of the top shelf I usually take my cane and knock it off the shelf and catch it. I do this with non-breakable items. I cannot tell you how many times people have stood right beside me and never one time offer to hand something down to me, instead they will just stand there and watch and not say one word. If I see someone struggling and its something I can help with, I always offer, but again we live in a totally different society now.

One thing I do suggest too, is always ask for assistance in getting your items put in your vehicle. I do and even if you think they do not have someone there to take out your groceries, like WalMart, they will get someone to help you. But in all seriousness, try not to let things like this knock you down its just not worth it.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 3/24/2011 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear I am sorry that you were treated that way. The sad part of our society is when we ignore the genuine needs of others because of the actions of the few. All those things you had stated about stranger danger and taking care of ourselves sadly extends to situations like this as well.
We have many older members in our church, and I am constantly amazed by their reactions when myself or my sons ask to help them outside of church. Before they knew us well, we were completely ignored or even avoided. Now they know us they are more willing to accept help and give it back if needed. That is a sad reality. It is hard to trust that someone is who they say they are now.

It's upsetting yes, and does feel as though we are nonexistent to society. We are here for you.

I always ask for help in the store from the bagger or cashier if I am alone. Many of the younger or older men who work at our grocery store know me now, and I tip them a little if they are nice and do a good job. Most of the time they are nice about it. We have had many cases in our area lately of people suing because of an injury in a parking lot. It may be in the store's best interest to help us rather than ignore ones who need help.

I hope that you are feeling better. Try not to let the arrogant and selfish get you down. They are not worth it!

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, arthritis, kidney stones, depression, 7 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions. Fentanyl patch, Vicodin, remeron, trazodone, dicyclomine, Miralax, Colace, Multivitamin

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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 3/24/2011 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Rhaevin, I'm so sorry you were treated like this, my friend. There are wonderful, helpful people in this world but sadly there are others who are either indifferent or just downright selfish. I'm sorry that you had to encounter the latter type when you were in need.
CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 3/24/2011 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   

It is indeed sad that no one would help you, even when asked.  A sad commentary on the way  our society is becoming!  I know that I have had that happen more than once to me.  I would like to think that it is just a small number of folks that don't want to help others in need, but I am afraid that it is becoming more the norm now days. I know even just smiling and saying hello to strangers as you walk by them, they often look surprised and don't know how to respond. I often greet people as I walk by them, and it is amazing how people look at you, some, usually the older folks, smile back and often reply in a very kind manner! Allot of them will say "Hi Santa!"  I have even had some older women come up and  ask to touch my beard as they say it looks so soft and white! Even the older men comment!  I laugh, and sometimes times say Ho! Ho! Ho!.  But often younger and some middle age people just ignore me and my greeting, and keep  looking straight ahead and hurry away!

Rhaevin I don't think there is any answer, I would like to think, and hope that people are not intentionally  rude or cruel, but I will admit it gets harder and harder to continue to believe that. As for the pain you feel and all of us here suffer from, that is such a private, and personal experience, and it is uncomfortable for people  who do not have it, to understand, let alone deal with it, so they  usually don't! It is easier just  for them to avoid it,.... and that includes the situations,  and that might bring them in contact with the people suffering from the affects of CP. Also with that said, you and I and everyone else here with CP knows how difficult it sometimes can be,  to  pin point and accurately describe  exactly what our pain is,  and what and how it  hurts us!  Trying to talk to and describe that, to other people. even ones that are close to us, is at best very very difficult.. With that in mind,  how then can we even beging to  expect strangers in a parking lot to even know that we have pain, let alone how it affects us? I don't think we can????   I know when I see people as I walk by them, I look at the expression on there face, and there body language, and you can tell allot from doing that! Some,... I am sure are suffering, and I feel for them,  I honestly do, ...and when I say hello, and smile to them, I often would like to say allot more...., but of course I don't!  You can't!! Not  in todays society anyway! It is such a shame!  Isn't it!!!  But how many people actually do that anyway?  I bet not many! I hope that I am not the only one that still does that, and  thinks and cares about others that way.

Oh well!  I guess I am rambling! Just some thoughts that I have about your post

White Beard  .

Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Post Edited (White Beard) : 3/24/2011 3:37:05 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 3/25/2011 2:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, everyone... all my loving, caring family. *hugs* I am always grateful for all of you.
I tried to take some time and think this over from every aspect, and I guess the reason it hurts, emotionally, so much is because ... that's not me.
I am the person that when I see someone having difficulty pulling something off the shelf, will try to scale it and get it down for them. I am the person that will reach the bottom shelf for the person who can not bend down there. I am the person that will try to grab the fly-away documents before other's drive over them.
I am also the person that will stop at the scene of an accident, surrender my plans for the day, all so I can help another. I did that once. Years ago I was on my way to go horseback riding when we came across the scene of a horrid accident. One driver was trapped in their up-side down vehicle, unconcious, the other had been ejected out her window and was face down in the dirt. I remember I sat with her, trying to keep her concious and calm till the EMT's arrived, while the person I was supposed to go riding with kept trying to get to the gentleman.
I have a letter in my file cabinent from the little town of Alamo, Utah... or is it Nevada, I forget. There were four of us on our way up to Utah to get hay for the ranch; my boss, our busines partner, myself, and my partner. There was a horrible accident in the middle of the road involving a minivan. To see it yu'd think all their posessions were strewn across both lanes until you realized they were children! I guess the mother lost control and rolled her vehicle, and everyone was ejected; posessions and children alike. Our business partner got onto the shoulder and was just going to squeeze past so we could be on our way, and our boss was going to follow suit. Having both been trained in emergency responce, CPR, and first aid responders, as soon as the bosses truck slowed enough both my partner and I bailed. We did all we could till the EMT's arrived. Alamo is such a small town their Ambulance crew is all volunteer. They took me with them in the ambulance as I was some how manaing to keep two of the kids quiet, and spent the day at the gas station diner waiting for my co-workers to come back. Their crew was so grateful anything I wanted was comp'd, and they even paid for all four of us to have dinner at the local restaurant. Later I would get a letter in the mail, thanking and commending us for our aid that day. We didn't do it for money or glory, we did it because that was just the kind of peole we were.
In a day and age when society has gotten sue-happy over the stupidest thing not even the Good Samaritan is free to avoid people's greed, and of course then there's all their scary people that will fake accidents jsut to lure victims to rape or kill.
But I was raised to believe in doing the right thing, because if for no other reason then you'll sleep better at night knowing you did all you could to help someone else. No one seems to remember that anymore. What happened to all those commercials about helping others, pass it on? I guess that must be when people get up to use the restroom or get a snack. 
I hadn't even thought to have someone help me load up my car. Almost everything I had was light. If I get alot of heavy things, or even one or two heavy things, I try to ask for help. I know I'm gonna get the stare for a moment or two. If you watch their facial expressions you can see the momentary look of incredulous. When you don't look disabled people always think the worst of you. That's part of the reason I always wear my neoprene arm brace (it covers from my knuckles down to two thirds of my forearm) when I go to the store... so that at least when they give me the once over they see /something/.
What ever happened to that Golden Rule. I remember it clearly in bold itallic lettering over the door to my classroom in 3rd Grade, and teach my son the same thing:
"Treat others as you would wish them to treat you."
Or as we used to say in Sunday School:
"Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you."
I will never stop helping others. Though I may not get treated the same, it does not excuse how I would feel if I knew I intentionally closed my ears and turned a deaf ear on someone in need.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Percoset.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
No surgeon willing to do my SCSU Implant

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 3/25/2011 7:23 AM (GMT -6)   

The golden rule has its roots in the Bible if I am not mistaken.

"Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:30-31 in the TNIV version of the bible.

I point this out to my sons many times when they ask why people don't help, or come to me when they are feeling less than generous and more deserving. While I am all for the safety of people in society, there is such a thing as common human decency. Rhaevin, you are more than generous with your time and skills. I luckily have never been in the type of situations that you have been. All we do is help when we see someone who needs it, but within reason. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor where he could, but even he couldn't care for everyone. God doesn't want us to injure ourselves or ruin our families financially in order to provide for others.

Still, there is a lack of human decency in many societies today, not just ours. It irks me many times to see people who claim to be good or religious people ignoring those who need help. I told my fiance once that it is always the lower who help those who have the least. The higher and richer don't usually get there by being generous with their time or money. There are many exceptions to that such as Oprah and Bill and Melinda Gates.

Sadly, living in a mobile home in a park that was lovely when I moved in 12 years ago and ugly now, we are very acquainted with not being seen. The boys get picked on at school, called names, and many people flinch when they hear we live in a mobile home. Its not as bad as being directly ignored during a need, but based on the same principle. We are the type of person that successful people don't want to see. We don't exist to them. Anyone with CP who is on a limited budget or any type of disability, whether SSD or a private insurance, I am sure has heard about the lazy masses who are leaching from the system. There are many people who are frauding the system and government, but for each person committing fraud there must be several people with valid reasons for their need.

Its frustrating from any perspective. Much more so as a mother and wife. Teaching our children the Golden Rule has to come with a disclaimer, just like everything else. Dangerous situations will always be there.

Still I am happy to hear there are others out there just like me. Whitebeard is one of them also. I too smile at people and greet them as I pass. One happy word and kind response may brighten someone's day. You never know if that annoys them or makes things better, so I just enjoy both responses.

It is all in how we choose to look at the world. I still choose to live with kindness and attempting to be wise. If more people didn't always focus on the self, we would be a happier and more peaceful world. smilewinkgrin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2265
   Posted 3/25/2011 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Rhaevin I'm so sorry that you were treated as if you weren't even there. *hugs* I know it hurt. It does hurt to be treated less than thou. I'm fortunate that I haven't had that sort of thing happen to me. People do love to stare at me when I'm in my wheelchair though. It hurts but i try to ignore them the best i can. A lot of people these days just don't care about no one but themselves. I agree totally about the saying from the bible:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you]

I try my very best at doing that every day. I strive with it sometimes, like when someone yelled at my husband "why are you kissin' that fat b****?" It's really hard at those times.

I would take others advice that advised to ask one of the workers in the store to help you to your car. I have to say that there have been ones at WalMart that asked me and my husband if we needed help to our car, and we don't have a car. We would tell them we don't have a car, but thanks for asking. There are some people out there that are kind. Usually you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

love and hugs
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 3/25/2011 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry that happened but I think it is great you reached out for help. I agree about asking a store employee or a strong looking man. This reminds me awhile back I used to park in handycap. I had a sticker. Anyhow a lady started yelling at me why was I in that space etc. I think cause I look young and that day I was borrowing my grandfathers corvette. I felt so bad for parking there and I did show her my sticker but still felt bad about myself. I just try to remember that there are clueless people in the world but also wonderful people so to focus on that. Also that I was taking care of myself like you were of yourself.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 3/26/2011 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry that happened to you Rhaevin...

As a society we are constantly taught to fear... everything and everyone.

I am a 135lbs woman who purchased 7 bags of mulch the other day... because I think I can do everything myself.... I was muscling to get them lifted into my truck.... I was visibly struggling... three men walked right by me and not one of them offered to help.... I would have most likely say "thank you so much but I think I can do it"

I was really surprised.

Sorry again and don't let few crappy people give you a negative outlook...

Post Edited (Draka) : 3/25/2011 11:49:41 PM (GMT-6)

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