“I have a circle, a circle of best friends, a circle of bredrens Yeah!… (I) have the best circle, the best circle around, (I) have the best circle in town” Kerwin Dubois – Circles
MS doesn’t only affect me…it affects everyone around me as well. I always make decisions with my inner circle in mind because a lot of what I do could impact them as well. I’m not a burden to anyone (or at least I don’t think I am ;-)) and anything that I can manage on my own, best believe I do it. Those times though when I do need help for anything, I know that I can count on any one of my friends at any given time. I’ve observed over time that that also extends to other people around me. I don’t party or go out as much as I used to and that is not only because of the MS – at times I just feel that I’ve been there, done that so I have no desire to put effort into going here, there and everywhere- these days, it’s all about quality not quantity for me.
One of the few times I make the effort every year, is to go a rooftop breakfast fete. The issue with that rooftop though is that there is no elevator. I have a few friends who will pick me up and carry me whenever necessary without batting an eye but on the rare occasion that none of them is around, we’ve actually asked other folk and they have always been happy to help. Asal’s response to my “but Suite Lounge has no elevator” is always, “doh worry. We go find somebody to take u up”. All of the inner circle knows that the legs need to be manhandled when I am struggling because if not we would take 10x as long as necessary to go wherever/do whatever. If a stranger is helping me I tell them, “just do what u need to do to get them where they need to go. They are not going to break and u’re not going to hurt me.” If I notice that they’re still handling me with kid gloves, I tell them again and add “trust me! cuz if u take ur time, we’ll be here all day” and that usually does the trick. On the rare occasion that I have to hold on to someone to walk for whatever reason, I always try to make that person feel as comfortable as possible. I’m sure it must be a lil unnerving feeling as if you’re responsible for a handicapped person so I always try to be cognisant of what the person is going thru and do my best to make them feel at ease.
I swear I actually saw terror on an old friend’s face before. She’d never helped me and the bad thing was I just kept yapping and yapping – completely forgot about trying to make her comfortable.
I’m very open about having MS so I always assume everyone knows. I guess knowing about it and actually seeing me walk or in the scooter are 2 different things and I ran into an another old friend who hadn’t seen me in forever. Although we were in a carnival fete, his tears flowed freely because he just couldn’t handle seeing me that way. I assured him that things were okay and I insisted that he stop crying cuz there was food to be eaten and drinks to be drunk ?
G always says that we need to make the MS work for us whenever we can. She’s right…I mean the shit is here and it’s here to stay, might as well take advantage of it whenever we can. Last Saturday 4 of us went to a football match. We all had separate seats but they came to my seat first to make sure I was squared away before going to theirs. Because of where the handicapped seating is (I have some of the best seats in the house) there were many officials around manning the area ensuring that no one was congregating and there was a constant flow of people. They were moving ANYONE who stood still even for 2 secs, in fact I saw someone call a cop for a patron who ignored his 3 requests to move. The match started and I realised that my 3 friends remained standing behind me…hmmmm, that’s strange but hey I wasn’t complaining. At half time, the 2 guys went for drinks and I said to Sdee, “what allyuh do the officials that they leave u alone for the whole time?” She said “girl. meehknow but I just happy they eh say anything.” P and K came back with the drinks and we kept limin and then it came up again. That’s when I heard that P told the official who bothered them the first time that “they were my medical staff and had to stay with me“. I think I almost fell out my chair laughing with that one. It was a perfect example of G’s philosophy. P saw an opportunity for them to take advantage of the MS situation and he took it and made it work in our favour. If you ask me, this was nothing short of Pure Genius! the fact that the official actually believed him? not our problem!
Said by G telling someone a story:
“yeah, that boy was winin on Stacey and he almost mashup her foot. She almost lost her foot and he almost lost his life”…the reason she said that was that we had to talk SD down from a ledge because he was ready to blowout the boy in question because he really made a kind of jackass move
Those are the kind of friends and family (near and far) I have – I’m lucky, I do have the best circle in town. I know that anywhere we go/anything we do (even if I’m by myself), they always have my back and will provide me with support at the drop of a hat. They truly are amazing!