I have to be careful with what I put in my bag. I used to carry tons of stuff with me for the day: My iPad, my eReader, my Blackberry, my iPod. Then there’s all the other stuff like band-aids, bottles of moisturizer, Kleenex, the food you’re going to eat that day, the stuff everyone carries with them.
Now I only carry what I’ll need that day, usually my Kindle and phone. I can’t wait until I get to work in the morning so I can put the lunch away in my desk and take everything out of my bag. It’s just so damned heavy. It really depends on the day. Some days, even with nothing in the bag but the cell phone and the Kindle, it weighs a ton.
Shoes are difficult for me, too. My feet just go all over the place and most days, I can’t pick up my feet. I have to be cautious of how my feet and legs are (Tense? Shaky? Spasming?) and choose my footwear for the day carefully.
Balance had been a problem before when I just had Cerebral Palsy. With the Multiple Sclerosis as well, it’s a challenge. And riding the bus? Damned near impossible. I’ve been impressed with the buses and the people though.
The doctors and nurses at the Civic and General Hospitals were and have been a godsend to me but lately? It’s been the drivers and people on buses I’m most impressed by. I mean, no one is happy on a bus, right? You’re going from point A to point B. I’ve seen some pretty grumpy bus drivers and some really rude people.
I’ve been on buses where people who have had to move for wheel chairs of strollers or people with canes have had to move and complained. Buses are usually not a pleasant experience.
If the doctors and nurses were and have been a godsend, the drivers and passengers on OC Transpo have been a daily gift. Getting around from point A to point B has morphed into a daily obstacle course. Stairs and slanted surfaces are the worst for me and a moving bus? Forget it. No balance, nothing. My body becomes unsure of itself. I don’t know it anymore.
I can’t stand on a moving bus. I had to once and the bus went into a fast turn to avoid construction. I ended up hitting some poor woman in her foot with my cane. She got very angry and started yelling at me when she got off in front of me. I really did feel really bad about that.
Lately, taking the bus has been a wonderful experience. Most drivers lower the front of the bus for me and someone always gives me a seat if there isn’t one. I always say thank you and always experience a joyful moment. I know what it’s like to give up your seat on a packed bus as it’s something I always used to do.
People have been courteous, even kind. People old enough to be my grandparents let me on the bus before them. Teenagers give up their seats. It’s all a little strange to me, actually. The drivers in particular have really impressed me. Every time they lower the bus for me and make sure I have a seat, I am thankful.
It’s more than just lowering the front of the bus, however. It’s about the fact that the drivers have been incredible. I had one driver in the afternoons during the summer. He would look out for me every day when I got on the bus and when I got off. One day I had left work early and didn’t take the bus home. He asked I had gotten home all right the day before. It was more than just saying hello, or idle chit chat. What surprised me most was the kindness-it was genuine.
OC Transpo is a daily reminder that people are awesome and that human kindness is alive and well.