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Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Bow / Wellcome Images

Bow / Wellcome Images

Outside the rehab hospital, if I bump into another stroke patient I know, I say hello. Naturally. Trickier etiquette is how to comport yourself when you see a stroke stranger. I have an urge to run up to them: “I’m with you!” “I know your pain!” “Keep fighting!” which I squelch.

I once sat across from a stroke stranger on the Boston T (subway). He was older, had a cane as well as the hand that didn’t work. I could tell that he had noticed me. Suddenly, at the top of his lungs he yelled, “She has the same problem that I have!”

Passengers in the car turned to look at him, and then at me, curiously. Oh dear. I made a beatific smiled, but remained silent.

More unlucky than I.

Similar stories?


Sunday, February 26th, 2017
Manners / Wellcome Images

Manners / Wellcome Images

An amusing etiquette story from the gym. I was walking down the gym stairs while a guy was going up next to me.

He said, “Do you need help?” I guess my gait was not perfection.

I said, “No.”

Totally fine so far. Then he said,

“Do you need help?” again.

Why again? There was no way he didn’t hear me the first time.

I said, “No!!!!!” He kind of jumped and left.

You can ask disabled people if they need help once.  Asking them more than that implies that they are completely incapable of running their own lives. In fact, I go up and down stairs dozens of times a day, since I live in a 2-story house.

Any other silly disability etiquette stories?

Other manners entries….


Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
Sweets / Library of Congress

Sweets / Library of Congress

After my stroke, my manners were slightly off. I was told to ask my friends what was different about me.

At an ice cream store with a friend, they were about to close and were giving away pastries. I went up to the counter and took one. When the clerk tried to engage me in small talk, I just walked away.

“See?” said my friend afterward. “You should have thanked him. And chatted a little. He was giving you a free pastry.”

Oh. Right.

Do you have etiquette stories?

Rude to Waiters

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Waiters / Wellcome Images

Waiters / Wellcome Images

I was told by a speech therapist to ask my friends who knew me before and after my stroke what had changed about me. My friend Helen said that since my stroke, I was sometimes rude to waiters. Before my stroke I was a princess of etiquette.