These Past Two Weeks…

Yelling? Who was yelling? Certainly not I. Nope. When I said “Lady, you’d better be handicapped” in the bathroom of Walmart a couple of weeks ago, it was in a normal, “indoor” voice.


For those of you who missed it and don’t want to read the blog entry now, the short version is that I was in a bathroom at Walmart, empty except for a little girl running around unsupervised and somebody — presumably her mother — in the handicapped stall. After waiting for some time, and after the woman indicated she’d be a while longer, I said, “Lady, you’d better be handicapped” and added that I really needed to use the facilities.

She came scurrying out of the handicapped stall and into another to do her thing, and I was able to go into the vacated stall to do mine.

I don’t believe I’m that militant about who may and may not use the handicapped stalls. Had the child been in with her mother, or had all of the regular stalls been filled, no issue. But the child wasn’t, and the regular stalls weren’t, and the only one I could use was occupied by somebody who didn’t need it.

What constitutes need? I can’t tell you that. There are plenty of hidden disabilities. For example, I have arthritis and, on some days (like when it was about to rain), I needed the higher toilet and the grab bars. Others may have situations we don’t realize causes them to need the higher toilet/grab bar/extra space/sink in the stall. Educate me. I can assure you I’m running into all kinds of things now I didn’t have a clue about until it affected me.

Now on to other things.

Sorry about not posting last week. There’s this really nasty virus going around and it came to visit. In fact, it stayed w-a-y beyond its welcome. Actually, it’s still hanging around; its presence just isn’t as onerous.

It brought with it gifts of high fever, chills, aches, and just enough of a touch of gastrointestinal distress to make life interesting.

The fever was frustrating. It wouldn’t go down. Oh, very temporarily after taking acetaminophen, but it would then pop right back up to 102-point-something.

I didn’t want to eat but, if I didn’t, my stomach hurt. On the other hand, when I did eat…my stomach hurt. I might have fed it an entire half a baked potato. Such gratitude!

Even worse (oh, yes, there was — and is), my blood glucose leapt into the 300s and 400s. To illustrate how uncommon that is for me I present Exhibit 1: My last HbA1c, taken in December, was 5.9%.

My blood glucose levels are lower now. Like, in the 200s and 300s. That’s after increasing my insulin dose considerably. Guess I need to increase it some more.

And to think that, just two weeks ago, I was working at trying to get my blood glucose levels up!

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  • Lorian Rivers

    I know what you mean, on BOTH counts! I don’t LOOK handicapped, but it’s much easier for me to get up from the higher seat, so I use the handicapped stall whenever possible. I have a bunch of “hidden” health issues…sometimes I feel like I should wear a sign…

    As to the glucose level….mine makes me crazy! one day I’m downing glucose tabs because I have the shakes and 70 sugar level…severa days later my sugar is up to 270. Say what? It’s a bit hard to control something I seem to have no control over!

    Hang in there!

  • TerryAnn Bender

    As to your mouth demanding the woman in the handicap stall BETTER be handicapped:

    How dare you! What if that woman needed the bars to stand? Or was too wide to comfortably close the tiny regular door shut?

    Among other things, I’ve had a triple bi-pass surgery that was followed by a stroke that left me without the use of my right side.

    I worked very hard to get back the use of the right side of my body but I still need at least one bar to sit and stand in the handicapp stall.

    On days where my multiple scars are hidden under clothing, I’ve come out of those stalls to snide remarks and or threatening looks. I hold my tongue but I want to say: Give me a few minutes and we can count my dibilatating scars together.

    I’ve never said anything back to these rude people but let me tell you this: I miss the days when I could go into a stall and squat rather than having to put toliet paper on the seat so I could urinate.

    As for you – can you say Karma? I try to protect my karma by not mouthing off to anyone. I also try to keep my stress low so I don’t have a 3rd stroke over something so small.

  • jim snell

    Holy Hannah: Jan must be really having fun.

    As responses indicate; until you have disabilities the rest or some of the rest of the world have no clue.

    My stroke fixed me and showed a whole new world.

    Best wishes and get well.

  • Jeff Dailey

    TerryAnn, in your case you could have simply said ” I AM handicapped” and Jan would have backed off. It is not Jan’s fault that you choose to not confront people who need to be confronted. I use the handicapped stall sometimes when I shouldn’t, but you know what, I would have done the same thing the woman Jan confronted did. I would have said I was sorry and moved. It’s not that big of a deal when people remind us of our wrongdoings.

    Jan, you did the right thing and if anyone says otherwise smack them upside the head and tell em it’s from me ;-P You are the only reason I haven’t stopped getting the DSM newsletter. I currently have control of my diabetes and it was caught early enough that it is an inconvenience more than an illness as of now. Reading your blog and seeing how you handle all of this gives me an example to follow if/when I get to that point. Keep it up and don’t hesitate to call us able-bodied folks out when we do something stupid.

  • Linda M.

    Jan, you never cease to amaze me. You have “true grit” and a very good kind of confidence. I think what you said to the lady in the stall was just what you should have said. I am like Jeff in one way—I always read the DSM newsletter but I always read your part first because you just cheer me up no matter how bad my day is. You give the rest of us a good laugh and also show us how to live with the situations that come with complications of diabetes. Keep up the good work and hope that nasty virus has moved on by now and you feel much better.