Let's Have a "Cane-In" !

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by zerped, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. zerped

    zerped New Member

    The following is a reply to a post on another ME/CFIDS message board (http://www.foggyfriends.org). What do you guys think?

    Many years ago, when I was young and cared deeply about humanity, but wasn't terribly sympathetic to anyone, I would see a person with a cane just sashay down the street with no problem. I would condemn that person for carrying a cane when there was "obviously nothing wrong with them." I guess this is my payback!

    I encourage everyone to just make an experiment of it. Try going about your business using a cane for a week. You will notice people looking at you differently, treating you differently, and the way you look at yourself will change dramatically. When I flew to Mexico several years back, I didn't board the plane right away, when they announce "special needs" people may board first. Why? Because "I'm not disabled, just not my usual agile self."

    There is a paradox for many of us in that we want the medical profession to recognise us and the disease we have, but we refuse to acknowledge that we are different, or that anything's wrong with us. Maybe we could use this as a sign of unity and solidarity! What if every person with fibro/ME/Gulf War Illness used a cane for a week (need it or not)? What would people think as they notice, "There's a whole lot of people using canes popping out of the woodwork!" We would be a lot less "invisible," and it would change the way some of us think about themselves. What do you think?

  2. zerped

    zerped New Member

    It's true that the people who need most to be represented wouldn't be able to get out of the house, much less use a cane for a week. For being a witness to these people, I propose that a caregiver or family member take up the challenge. Imagine all week long, Bob or Mary walking around with a cane for apparently no reason. People would ask her all day long, "But what is wrong with you? You seem so healthy?" "I am, thank God, so I can help take care of my sister who has... (appropriate disease here).

    If they had a strip of adhesive tape lengthwise on the cane with the name of their loved one, and/or a small photo of the person attached to the cane, it would be a strong statement, it would certainly raise awareness, and it would give a feeling of "empowerment" to those unable to get out on their own. For one week, they wouldn't feel like no one knows they exist and that they are in pain.

    I know it sounds "out there," but one of the columnists for our paper did a story about a year ago, of a woman who knew that she was being held back in life by her anger. Her therapist said, "Well, if you're going to carry around all that anger with you, let's make sure people know about it. They took a folding chair and painted "Anger" on it and she had to carry this chair to work, church, to see a movie! She works for a big ad agency, and when she had important meetings with clients, she was lugging this folding chair everywhere. She said that 100% of the people she talked to about it were supportive and impressed.

    International ME/CFIDS Awareness Day is the second week in May. If we start now, we could actually do this thing! One of the jobs I used to do was publicity and writing for a newspaper. I can do a whole lot of pitching of stories to media, and something like this would get a TON of media!

    It's not "my" idea, and it would only work if most of you were behind it. Don't think about who's going to do the footwork, and how it's going to happen; those aren't important right now. What IS important is; do you want this to happen?

  3. kgangel

    kgangel New Member

    1st I want to say, I don't think that getting ME/CFIDS is a payback to you at all. I think that we all have our weaknesses and we all have doubt in our minds about people wen we see them. We are not perfect , so we judge in our minds what we think of actions of others at times when maybe we should not, but the thing is we all do it from time to time and then are sorry about it later when we think about it.

    Some people are not sorry about how they think about a person with a disability, they are usually the ones that seem to get through life with out problems like ours, I don't know why that happens, but it does.

    Maybe because we are caring and forgiving people that is why we are dealing with this, so we can help others that are like us in many ways.

    I think that your idea about a cane is not a bad idea. I have actually have been asking the doctor to give me a perscription to purchase a cane from the pharmacy I have some spinal problems and I walk very funny anyway and you are right people do look at me funny, they get annoyed with me being in there way and they do not usually even hold a door open for me and I am not even using a cane yet. I wanted the cane to give me support while out in the snow going to appts etc.

    So I may be able to use one, but so far doctor wants me to try with out. If you get a good response and want to set a date for us to use a cane, count me in though!


    PS: Nice Post

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