Monday, July 31, 2006

Busy Busy Busy!

Well, the last month has been a hectic one for me. Mostly good though, although not all. The bad news is I must go for surgery. During routine tests, my urologist has found a lump on one of my ovaries. I have to go see a gyne oncology specialist and will probably have to have it removed. I am not worried so much about the big C as I am about the fact that I need to have surgery. Ovarian masses are very common, and the bigger they are, the better the chance of them being benign. But surgery scares the hell out of me. I haven't had one since I was 14, but I had had about a dozen or so by that age.

Well, the first bit of good news is that I got a letter from the mayor in response to the letter I had sent out. He said he will get his staff to gather info for him, which he will review, and then he will get back to me.

And the last best bit of good news is that I found a condo! An already built condo! No waiting 2 1/2 years to move in. It's just a small 1 bedroom, but it's about 100 sq. ft. bigger than the one that is not yet built that would not let me have a ramp to the balcony. This one does have a balcony too, but the threshold is only 3 inches. And no developer involved this time! There is so much to do before I move in!! But it's all so very exciting!

So, those things have been taking up my time, keeping me busy. Along with my full-time job, of course. One day at a time!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sensitivity training for your friends?

I have this friend. She's an incredibly good friend. One of those rare kinds of friends you find who are just so easy going and you connect in so many ways. She's the kind of person who I think anyone at all would like and get along with. Every time we see each other, before we say goodbye, she always leaves with "we'll have to get together again soon". And she's not one of those who just say it, she follows through. I feel very priviledged to have her as a friend.

However, there is one thing she does that really, really, really gets on my nerves. And we've talked about it. She is always wanting to help. On one hand that's a very nice quality to have. But, on the other, it touches on my achilles heel. As a person in a wheelchair, I get people wanting to help me every day. "Can I do this for you?", "Let me get this for you?", "Why don't I open that for you?". Also, thanks (a little bit genuine, a little bit sarcastic) to my mother, I am fiercely independent. Fiercely. Combine that with all the times I've been patted on the head, told I'm such a nice girl (by strangers who have no freaking idea how nice I am), been given help when I didn't want it and wasn't asked, and yes, I have a big chip on my shoulder. I know it. I admit it. I embrace it. That's me, I'm not going to change. Deal.

Yet, I'm torn in this situation. She knows it bothers me, but she cannot help it. She says she does it to all her friends. I can't help it either. I cannot accept it. It will always be a sore spot for me. I'm a big believer in picking your battles and know that friendships are all about compromise. But this brings up the question of acceptance. People rarely change drastically, but I do believe they can learn to change small things. I can't expect her to change who she is, and I also don't want her to have to be wary around me and afraid to open a door from time to time. But I can't be expected to change either. I don't mind someone opening a door if they're ahead of me. That's common courtesy and I have absolutely no problem with that. But it's more than that. She's always saying "let me". Yesterday we went out to dinner and she came over to my place on the way. I asked her if she would change a light bulb for me. She was glad to. I went in the closet and pulled out the small step ladder. She started in on the "oh, let me". I told her I was fine. Then she changed it and I thanked her and went to put the ladder back in the closet and she did it again. Then on the way out it was "let me get the door". She has also said things like "ok, now this time I am GOING to get the door for you." I ended up telling her we had to talk about this coz it was driving me crazy. I don't want to offend her, but I wasn't going to change.

Yet, I can't shake this feeling of feeling bad about it. I don't want to make a bigger deal of it than it needs to be, but I do want the behaviour to change. I want her to be able to understand that it can't always be her giving. If I'm ahead of her, I should hold the door open for her. If she's ahead, she can get it. And sometimes it's okay to go out of the way to help, but sometimes she has to be the receiver. Otherwise the balance of our friendship is unequal.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hallelujah, the media!

Well, I looked in the building contract and it says that any changes to the outside of the building need to be approved and that management reserves the right to UNREASONABLY withhold consent. So, I am powerless as there is no recourse to make them put a ramp to my balcony.

So, I did the only thing I could think of left to do... I wrote a letter. I sent this letter to the PM, ministers, city councillor and mayor, along with the media. I got a call back from one of the tv shows I contacted saying they're interested in my story and would like to look into it further.

Interesting times ahead, folks. Interesting times ahead.