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‘The bouncer’ hit home

I really enjoyed the article by Jessie Ace in the Fired Up section of the Summer 2020 issue titled, “The bouncer.” What a horrible experience for her. Unfortunately, people don’t understand invisible illnesses, are quick to judge and so rude at times. I have multiple sclerosis and colitis and have had 13 surgeries on both ankles. I was diagnosed with MS in 2003. I use a cane on bad days. Even on good days, I will take it with me if I get a scooter in a store just so people see I am disabled and not just faking it. It’s not fair to be judged, feel guilty or feel the need to apologize/explain because of invisible illnesses.

Becky Myers, Ohio

Not so accessible
I have a problem with accessibility to concert theaters. I’ve had multiple sclerosis since 1978, and now that I’m in my 70s, and living in Florida, I’m using my motorized wheelchair more and more and finding wheelchair accessibility is lacking in the Tampa Bay area. For instance, my favorite musical group was playing in Tampa, and I had tickets. I hired someone to drive me, because I knew the handicapped parking was on a first-come, first-served basis, and I didn’t want to arrive two hours before the concert started. The wheelchair- “accessible” restroom was a joke. Don’t people realize that just because we are handicapped, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to attend concerts? We aren’t dead. We just cannot walk. I called the theater to complain, but according to Florida laws, they qualify as handicapped accessible. Why, oh why, don’t they hire handicapped designers? Or listen to their customers?

Lois Underwood, Florida

Those good Samaritan sharks
Tell it like it is” (Spring 2020): What a fantastic article. I had no idea I wasn’t the only who had a problem with “good samaritan sharks.” Admittedly, I usually think of them more as vultures than sharks. What’s worse is that I’m married to one. How can it be that being disabled lessens my rights as a fellow human being? I can and do accept help graciously, but I don’t want it when I’m forced to accept it. You know, don’t grab me underneath my armpits and hoist me upwards when I’m still grappling with the pain of having smacked onto the ground. The article — actually the whole magazine — was perfectly timed. Thank you.

Lori Murphy, Washington

Using the same tricks
I sit here and cry as I reread “Still unshakable” (Spring 2020). I reread because I forgot that I had read it. It touches me so closely. I imagine that this is me and my daughter in a few years. I am a lot like the mom in this article. I will not get a handicap placard or use a cane yet either. I don’t need it. I will wait. I don’t use the words handicapped or disabled because I don’t need them yet. I do often have to ask people to repeat things so that I can process what they say. Like the mom in this article, I choose only to tell my husband and daughter when I want to, so they don’t worry. This article hit home. I am glad to know that there is someone else who uses the same “tricks” as I do. Thanks for the smile.

Michele Frank, Pennsylvania

Tags: August 2020