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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I can move. Six weeks to heal

Let me tell you that moving around the GO Transit system with a cane has been a very eye-opening experience as to what it's like to be a person with a permanent disability.

My disability is temporary. Eventually I'll be able to do handle stairs again. In the meantime, the long painful walk to the accessibility coach each morning, to the equally long painful walk to the elevators at Union, demonstrated to me that there is not a single thought given to passengers using canes and crutches.

I said as much to the CSA when it became apparent that walking to the accessibility coach to board at Oshawa meant an even longer walk at Union to reach an elevator. Why is there no announcement to this?

You can clearly see me with a fucking cane, right? Why not tell me that heading down to the farthest, most western part of the train will line me up with an elevator to the York Concourse? This way, I can avoid a painful walk after sitting for 45 minutes. (Rant far from over, trust me).

When you finally get to the elevator, you're swarmed by people with wheeling suitcases (I see the handle - piss off you can't carry that notebook-sized case down the stairs) and when the elevator arrives, it's every man for himself as these people will eat your babies to GET. ON. FIRST. I'm not going to judge anyone because some disabilities aren't visible, but I will say one thing - as one oversized person to another - your girth does not make you immune to stairs. It doesn't hurt to try. Going down isn't as bad as going up. Just sayin'.

Now, as for blogging ... it's annual report time at work (yay!) and also another annual publication is due and well, with the mindset I've been in, blogging is furthest from my mind these days. I haven't been happy. I haven't been sleeping well. I really have not been myself.

But this shall pass and when it does, I'll be back in fighting form.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awww, get better CJ. We need more of yoru bus tales on Twitter.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

When you're not only the owner of a ship, but also its captain, its navigator, its helmsman, its engineer, as well as all the other hands on the deck, everything rests on you to keep that ship running.

When you get shut down the whole ship winds up anchored or in the shipyards for repairs. It doesn't go anywhere for a while.

Or ...all eggs go into one basket.
But how can it be your blog site unless you're THE one in charge of it?

C.J. Smith said...

I could just give it up.

Big Ed said...

Oh man, CJ, don't give up the blog. It reminds me of the best and the worst of my years in Ontario and makes me so happy I work from home and my commuting days are over.

Lori Maszkowski said...

They make announcements about letting people with wheelchairs etc use the elevators first as the train approaches Union but people don't listen. Some people clearly think their wheeled bags give them a reason to use the elevators, I say they chose to have those bags but people with disabilities/injuries didn't choose to be disabled/injured so be kind.

G said...

I once rode the elevator with a permanently-disabled colleague, and was shocked that everyone else riding the elevator was (apparently) doing it out of pure laziness. Pretty disheartening.

Anyway, good luck at work, CJ, and I hope you're able to get back to blogging when things calm down again.

Ed said...

I worked with a quadriplegic cow-orker and she rode the train every day. One day at Union I went with her up the elevator and before she could get her chair in, it filled up with healthy people. So of course I stood at the door and refused to move to let the doors close until they got off so she could get on. I had lots of ladies cursing some really obnoxious obscenities my way that afternoon and one got off and went to tell a constable. Apparently they had a right to use the elevator and several "knew their rights". As a rule, anyone who says that usually don't.

To her eternal credit, the constable gave the ones who were still on or around the elevator a good sound and stern lecture and then ordered them off until the wheelchair got on. She has told me many times that people in the handicap car refuse to move so she can get her chair tied down too. The CSA had to intervene.

CJ, it's too bad that you have to walk all that way but I am at a loss as to how to remedy that situation.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that, on top of feeling lousy, you have to deal with the inconsiderate masses. And thank you for the reminder in politeness. I don't often take the elevator, being of the 'use it or lose it' mentally that prods me into overcoming my laziness gene, but I do use elevators when transporting suitcases or my bike on public transit. I will make a point of being more aware of who is around me after reading your entry. Hang in there. And keep writing - it does help make the world a better place.

~veronica

Bicky said...

Bummer, CJ. Hope it heals quickly and you're back to your ole self soon.

gmcnewlook said...

the way the concourse is, its a far walk to the elevator, its faster to take the stairs....... go figure im lazy to walk to the elevator but not lazy enough to use the stairs lol.....plus i dont need it.....i only take an elevator if its needed (like an office building or hotel with bags etc...)

Jules said...

It seems nothing is ever planned with convenience in mind for anyone with disabilities and what makes it worse are the ignorant lazy people who make it even harder.

Bob Loblaw said...

We have constables in Ontario?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're ailing CJ. I hope you are back on your feet soon. Just a reminder to keep your cane tightly gripped as you approach that elevator...it could very easily get tangled in the legs of someone trying to mow you down as you get on. It'd be a real shame to trip someone...especially someone pushy.

C.J. Smith said...
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C.J. Smith said...
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C.J. Smith said...

I have no desire to trip anyone and cause anyone else the kind of pain I am dealing with. I may be angry and a raging commuter, but I'm not a monster.

C.J. Smith said...

Thank you all for your support and kind words. This will improve. I hope.