Tuesday, 12 April 2011

If it's Tuesday it must be...

There have been many times in my working life when I have been in a different town each day. I used to remember things and know where I was going to be every day. If asked, I could usually reel off the forthcoming destinations without looking at a list or my filofax. I am still essentially a pen/pencil and paper girl. I write appointments down. I put them on the calendar on my iPhone. I keep lists. Nowadays, I have to look at these otherwise I often have no idea where I’m going to be tomorrow, where I was yesterday, sometimes even where I am today.

This week I know where I am and I’m not at home. It’s easy. I’m in one city, although over the weekend I travelled to three different places. The third of those was where I am now. I’m in the same hotel for four nights, working in the same location each day. The job is for people who’ve used me many times over the last few years. They are lovely, well organised, professional and friendly. Today for the first time I told one of them that I have multiple sclerosis.

She had made the totally excusable and common assumption that I had a walking stick because I have something wrong with my leg. She wanted me to know there was a different (shorter) route in the building I could use. I don’t always let people see me with a stick when I am working. I am not ‘out’ as a MSer professionally. Indeed, on this job, I was quite discreet about my stick, not using it around the building, but I had to use it to get there as my balance has been a bit off recently and it was quite a long walk. Delightfully, when I explained to her that I have MS but don’t usually tell people, she took the very positive stance that it made no difference and was nobody’s business but mine.

This is how it should be and today this is how it was. I wish I could be sure everyone would have the same non-prejudicial mindset.

One thing I do know is that I don't know where I am next Tuesday.  I'll have to look it up in my filofax.

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