Wednesday, May 6, 2009

assumptions

I confess...that I am mad people can't read my mind.

I'm recovering from a minor surgical procedure. I've finally gotten past the worst of the swelling from it (they pump gas into your abdomen resulting in a darn puffy tummy) but I still have soreness at the incisions and suspect that issue will hang around for a bit.

I get nervous every time I have to ride the train that I'll get bumped in the tummy and it feels a bit jarring on the cuts when I've had to stand. When I've stood, I try to look pathetic and make someone want to offer their seat. It hasn't worked (though I've been fairly lucky and gotten not-too-crowded rides). When I had a running injury a couple summers back, I wore a full leg brace for a week. I wasn't offered a seat every time, but was more often than not. But no one can see that I'm hurting now. Similarly, no one can see why I wasn't on my feet right away when an older lady got on the train this AM....they didn't know I needed a seat too.. I felt guilty b/c I knew they couldn't read my mind. I want a sign to hold explaining myself (I also want this for my reduced-capacity workout...really I normally go faster!).

I'm trying to use this to remind myself about assumptions. I have patience with the elderly lady on the staircase who takes her time but not so much with the "healthy young person." But what do I know? I mentally shake my head at the lady using a 3lb dumbbell for bicep curls but maybe she just got a cast off a bad break. Assumptions are dangerous.

But, then again, could we really function without them? We rarely have ALL the information we need. We have to fill in gaps with our best guess or we'd be a bit paralyzed.

Coming back to the T. I debated yesterday asking someone for his seat. Should I have? Should I give him the info that his assumption may be inaccurate? Or would doing so be assuming he doesn't have even more of a need for the seat (and would take a HUGE pride hit if he admitted it to a woman asking for chivalry)?

I think too much.

3 comments:

Freckles said...

I have to admit I was not prepared for the shoulder pain nor the tenderness of the cuts for a week or so after.

Hugs- keep healing!

Amy McCarthy said...

I can totally relate. I had a melanoma removed from my scalp back in 1999 and had to wear a hat to work for my first 2 weeks back to cover the giant bandage that was sewn to my head (and later to cover what was under the giant bandage...yikes! No one wanted to see that.) But other than the hat, there was no outward sign anything was wrong with me. I will never forget having someone at the office tell me he liked my hat one day and then doing a visible double-take as he passed me in the hallway the next day in a similar hat of a different color. I SOOOO wanted to carry a sign: "This is not a fashion statement. I had melanoma and I am covering a giant bandage under here!!"

Oh yes, and there was the pain - in the scalp, in my neck where they cut through muscle to get the lymph nodes out, and worst of all, on my hip, where they took the skin to put on my head. The hip was the worst pain of all and I had to protect that thing like crazy when we visited New York City. I've never been so scared of being bumped into!

clg1213 said...

lesley -- the shoulder pain was expected but the cuts are more difficult than in the past.

amy -- thanks for the share. while i hate that you went through such horrid health issues, there's always such comfort in being understood.