A Not-So-Vicious Cycle

, , , , | Hopeless | July 30, 2017

Today I had my bike serviced. The shop adjusted the brakes and gears, etc. and made it run well. Really good job. They also inflated the tyres to full and hard.

I leave the shop, headed home, and the bike rides really well so I go a bit faster, feeling really pleased. It is raining but it feels fine.

I get to the first roundabout and I realise that the combination of wet roads and rain, plus tyres that are blown up much higher than they had been before and thus have much less grip than I am used to, is a bad thing.

I slide sideways and roll over on the road, cutting my arms and legs, and initially being a bit shocked and shaken.

Immediately, the lady driving the car behind me parks her car, blocking the road to prevent anyone crashing into me, and then gets out and helps me up. Another lady in a different car drives straight over and parks up, introducing herself as a trained first-aider. She also helps me get to the side of the road and asks me medical questions whilst inspecting my injuries. A third lady appears from somewhere, introduces herself as a nurse, and also checks that things are ok, whilst also holding a huge umbrella over us to keep us dry.

The first lady then leaves as she is blocking the road and can see I am in safe hands, and traffic gets moving again.

The lovely first-aider stays with me on the wet side of the road, puts plasters on me and cleans me up, before then asking how far away I live (just under a mile) to see how I can get home.

At that point yet another person pulls over to check I am ok and to ask if we need any help, although we are fine by then.

The lovely first-aider then loads me and my bike into her car, insisting she drive me home.

We get to my house, and she passes me over to my wife and son, who then start fussing over me, too, in the wonderful way that they do, and she makes sure that they will look after me and keep an eye one me.

She then leaves, completely refusing to accept any kind of reward for her wonderful help, despite me trying to give her a bottle of wine or something.

To everyone, but especially the first-aider: thank you so much for the wonderful help and concern for a complete stranger.

Faith in humanity definitely restored. :)

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Literally Sugar-Coating That Pill

, , , | Friendly | July 29, 2017

(I’m having a chocolate bar while our lecture has a break. My friend notices it.)

Friend: “Oh, can I have a piece? I’m ravenous!”

(I snap off two squares.)

Friend: “No, a bit more.”

(I snap of another square.)

Friend: “More!”

Me: “Any more and you’ll have more of it than I do!”

Friend: “I’m diabetic. I have low blood sugar!”

Me: “Then use your tablets. You didn’t buy four packs for them just to sit in your bag!”

(She glares at me as she opens her bag, takes out a pack, and starts chewing them down like Tic-Tacs. When she’s done she sticks her tongue out before staring at me panicked and using her insulin pen, realising she probably just shot her blood glucose up to astronomical levels.)

Friend: “That was YOUR FAULT!”

Me: “I didn’t tell you to eat a whole pack!”

Friend: “F*** you!”

(The offer for the chocolate was still open, but after that she didn’t want to risk it.)

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Like A Moth To A Chemical Flame

, , , , , | Friendly | July 23, 2017

(A couple, Friend #1 and Friend #2, are hosting a barbeque in their back garden. One of them spots a moth flying towards the garden, before it makes a turn and flies away instead.)

Friend #1: “Yes! It’s flying away!”

Me: “What is?”

Friend #1: “The moth!”

Me: “Why is that important?”

Friend #2: “When we moved in, the house had a moth infestation. [Friend #1] found a company that exterminates them and then treats your house to keep them away.”

Me: “Well, it seems to be working!”

Friend #2: “Yes, but he managed to find the one company in London that had a no-moth guarantee, or they come back for free. Every time [Friend #1] saw even a single moth in the house, he would call them and they’d come back and spray it all over again. Our house was just full of chemicals.”

Me: “How many times?”

Friend #1: “Five times!”

Me: “Wow! And so now you don’t have moths?”

Friend #2: “No, but now we have cancer.”

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A Neurologically Atypical Display Of Understanding

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 22, 2017

My boys are three and eight and both have autism. My eight-year-old has ADHD and my three-year-old has ADD and severe speech delays.

After checking out at the meat counter of a small meat shop near our house I try to move to the main check out section. My eight-year-old is trying to run around the shop with our groceries and is struggling to stay next to me. My three-year-old launches himself out of the stroller and tries to race around the shop while screaming. I manage to get them both under control for a few minutes but our stroller gets stuck and the groceries spill all over.

A kind worker comes around from the meat counter and starts to chat with the boys while helping me pick up everything. Once the stroller is unstuck he asks if we want help to our car or the door. He manages to help keep my boys occupied and doesn’t bat an eye when they are acting out from what is deemed normal. He made us feel normal and welcomed. We always go there once a week for our meat and many small things we need because we are welcomed, and it’s a shop that my boys are careful in without me needing to hold them tightly against me.

It’s a wonderful feeling when people treat non-neurotypical kids the way they would treat neurotypical kids.

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Not A Healthy Childhood

, , , , | Related | July 15, 2017

(My father, a nurse, has always been of the opinion that unless you’re running a fever or near death, you don’t need to go to the doctor. Despite my pleading, he never took me in for yearly checkups or anything of the sort.)

Me: *age 12* “Dad, I really need to go to the doctor.”

Dad: “Are you sick?”

Me: “I don’t have a fever but—”

Dad: “Then you’re not going. You’re fine.”

Me: “It’s… a woman… thing… Can I please just go?”

Dad: “No.”

(Time passes.)

Me: *age 17* “Dad, I need to make a doctor’s appointment.”

Dad: “You’re not sick.”

Me: “I still need to go! I haven’t been to the doctor since I was eight and I have this lump—”

Dad: “No. End of story. You’re fine.”

(I move out and get my own health insurance.)

Me: *age 19, on the phone* “Gotta go. My doctor’s appointment is soon.”

Dad: “Are you sick?”

Me: “Honestly? Most likely. It’s not like I ever went to the doctor as a kid.”

Dad: “You never needed to. You were always healthy.”

(As it turned out, not so much. I had a slow growing cancer that had already spread, and I’d probably had it for at least a few years. And I also had a bad hormone imbalance that messed up my reproductive system so badly I eventually needed a hysterectomy — which I wouldn’t have needed if I’d been put on medication years back. There was a whole slew of other problems, all of which could have been caught and mostly prevented if I’d gone to the doctor regularly. Take your kids to the doctor, people!)

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