26 August 2011

Apparently my illness is very invisible today

I called the landlord about a leak. He can't get anyone out till next week, so he describes a workaround that he wants me to do, which would require me being able to reach a small pipe just below the gutter.

Me: "I have no way of reaching that."

Him: "You can climb on a chair or something, right?"

Me: *after a moment of stunned disbelief* "No, I can't. I use a walking stick because of my poor balance. There's no possible way I can safely climb onto a chair."

A woman. On some chairs. On some vases. On a table.
Perhaps like this? Is this what you had in mind, Mr Landlord?

For nearly two years, every time my landlord has come over, he's seen me using the stick. Just outside my front door, on the way to the gate, the footing is treacherous and there's a place where there would be a one meter fall onto concrete if I were to have a bad fall. I'm very conscious of that, so I always use my walking stick when I go to the gate. Even if I'm having one of my best days and don't feel at all unsteady on my feet, I'm not willing to risk it. I think of it as a seatbelt - wear it every time, and you'll have it when you need it.

Not only that, but I told him I was disabled when I first left work. Of course, when he asked why, and I said "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" he said, "Yeah, I probably have that too." So I guess expecting him to make the leap from 'regularly uses walking stick' to 'probably shouldn't try standing on a chair to do gutter repairs' was too much to ask.

I'm just glad I didn't have brainfog today, or I might have been too fuzzy to argue and ended up in the hospital.

*Photo by quinn.anya used with a Creative Commons license

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