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Geek on Wheels ponders a curse of good manners


So I have a dilemma. Something that is pissing me off in that I don’t know if I’m happy with how I reacted to a frustratingly weird event today.

Regulars to my rants will recall about a year ago, I went on a royal rampage about how I didn’t need to be cured. That there was nothing wrong with me that could be prayed out. I got a lot of good and interesting responses to that post. Let’s see what people think about this one.

Cut to the scene!

Parking lot outside the Metro grocery store on St. Clair. It’s a hot day, sun blazing down, but the weather is due to change, getting quite cooler for the week. By now, I know that means my legs will misbehave quite regularly, which makes loading and unloading the chair an interesting challenge. Regular readers will also know that I no longer turn down offers to help, pride being useless versus the chance of injury.  I was quite grateful when  two women walked up, one a tiny hispanic lady, the other of some caribbean descent with an accent that was harder for me to understand than small town Irish dialects. Her pink paste in her hair that looked like someone had dripped paint down the front made for an interesting view. Calling it streaks would have been an understatement…but I digress. She offered to help load it, so I stepped out and leaned on my walker (both hands firmly on it mind you…bear with me) and she loaded it quite well, on its side as I asked and I thanked her profusely…but then…it got weird.

Her little friend tried to hand me a pamphlet…even though she had just seen me using a walker with BOTH HANDS. I groaned inwardly the moment I saw it and tried to put a nice smile on my face. The loading lady turn to me to ask what happened. It’s my most common question after all, so I thanked them both and told them it was a spinal cord injury. She clucked her tongue, threw her head back and I swear she cursed at my spine. Really. That’s what it sounded like anyway. Then it got REALLY awkward.

The little woman pushed the pamphlet back at me, and I grabbed it with two fingers as the loading lady asked me, “Have you heard of the Healing School my friend…the lord has worked miracles for us there…you should come!”

All I could think was…how do they keep finding me??!?!

I took a deep breath. Thanked them very much for the help, but firmly stated I wasn’t interested and that no faith healing would cure nerve damage…have a good day. She continued to go on about the lord’s work as I slowly walked around to the driver’s side and then walked away.

So my dilemma?

Well first, I’m pissed off that I didn’t use my line I promised I’d use the next time: this ever happened…”why is there something wrong with me?”

Second, I wonder if I should have stopped being so bloody gracious and confronted this foolishness head on. I know in the short-term, it would have done nothing to change the opinion of these ladies…but this is something that gets under my skin. There is a lot of really good, REAL science being done right now to help people with much worse spinal cord injuries than my own. From laser scalpels that can detect scar tissue and only cut it away while avoiding healthy tissue, to stem cell regeneration of nerve damage, to even the exo-skeletons that I have mixed feelings about, but that I recognize the value of. This is science. This costs money. This needs resources that could be put to real world use.

There are far too many, though, who would rather donate money to some faith healing church on the basis of a belief with no reality to it. In fact, their beliefs often hinder the science that COULD help so many.

Now look, I am not painting every one of faith with the same brush. I have many family and friends who believe differently from me who give me fantastic support. I appreciate there prayers and good will, even if I don’t believe as they do. I truly thank them all because their support is based in reality and helps in many ways.

It is just certain types of people of faith, for example many of those who go to mega churches with  TV shows that feature some charismatic guy  in a perfect white suit and the best smile money can buy…sorry am I being too specific there? You see after Shannon read up on this pamphlet (and really its more a mini-magazine, Matt Kean will love this thing) it turns out this Healing School has a TV show on Vision TV, a faith-based station in the Toronto area. They claim to have cured a woman with some “rare” disease of both her blindness and her paralysis of 12 years. Apparently, she jumped from her chair and danced on stage as she was healed.

Uh huh.

Because muscles atrophied from 12 years of paralysis regain strength in an instant, eh?

Of course if you want to be healed, you have to apply and go through a screening process. Wonder what gets screened eh?

So tonight I am kicking myself. Perhaps I handled it “properly” making my point while still thanking them for their help and being polite…but another side of me wishes I had done more. My manners be damned.

Maybe one day I should take them up on the offer…but then I’d probably just be told it didn’t work because I didn’t believe.

Uh huh.

 

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