Awkward Situations

SterlionSterlion Posts: 44Moderator Moderator
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I'm sure I am not the only one who has been put in awkward situations because of things pertaining to my injury. So this thread is about what works for you when something comes up.

 Examples are but not limited to:
- Release of gas in quiet places (sound and/or smell). Do you acknowledge and apologize or hope no one notices?
- Sounds of catheter draining
- Urine leaks
- Spilling drinks/ dropping food on clothes
- Talking to the person who thinks they understand what its like with paralysis because of knee, hip etc surgery. 
- Time to struggle with something in public before asking for help.

I usually handle most of these situations by saying little and not bring too much attention to myself, but I would like to know how others in the community handle these and/or other situations. Also what tips do you have (if any) to prevent these situations from happening? I know some things are just not avoidable but it would be nice to stop what we can! 😉

Comments

  • DeeJayDeeJay Posts: 7Member
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    I have had MANY awkward situations since being injured almost 16 years ago. I am a C5-C6 quad and I mostly try to deal with those moments with a sense of humor. I understand not wanting to draw any attention to those moments, but sometimes you just have to say something.

    One such incident occurred during a plane flight from Florida to Philadelphia. I started to have blood pressure issues and after doing the basic stuff like making sure nothing was causing me pain, adjusting my clothes and whatnot I had to do the next step to stop my issues. Now, I had to get catheterized mid-flight. Unable to get to the bathroom I had no choice but to do it in my seat. I had notified the flight attendant that I was having issues and what I was going to have to do. Everyone around me started looking and kind of wondering what was going on and then a guy across from me asked if I was okay. I was sweating profusely and was visibly in distress. I told the guy not really and then I just decided that I would announce to everyone around me that I was having a serious medical issue and what I needed to do. I was incredibly nervous to do so but I really had no choice.

    The man that asked me if I was okay got out of his seat and said, "Alright people, nothing to see here let's give the guy some privacy just like you want want when you have to take a leak!!". I was embarrassed but I just had to laugh and do what I had to. The guy who got up first took his jacket off and made a little makeshift curtain out of it and a few other guys got up and did the same thing. They all made a makeshift private area for me and when I got catheterized I let out a little noise due to the pain. When I did this the guy started to sing (for the life of me I can't remember what he was singing) and then half of the plane started sing along with him. All I could do was laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation that was happening. When I was done being catheterized all of the people holding up the jackets and blankets sat down and I thought it was over, then the guy who first got up said, "See everyone, he just needed to take a leak!!". He sat down and looked at me and whispered to me, ''I got your back, bro". I looked at him and just told him half sarcastically, "Yeah, thanks for everything". All while some guy in the back of the plane was laughing really hard. He kinda laughed to himself and the whole ordeal was done with. 

    That situation was terribly embarrassing from start to finish but all I could do was take it in stride. I have loads of other situations that I have gone through and each one has to be dealt with individually. Some situations can be dealt with by staying quite and others, like the one I just told, need to have some attention brought to it. You really have to judge each situation for yourself and what you feel you need to do to handle it properly.

    Great topic by the way!!
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 137Moderator Moderator
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    @Sterlion
    Brother we have all been there.  As far as passing gas, fortunately, that hasn't been an issue for me except when I transfer.  There have been numerous times when in the midst of a transfer, I will let out a loud one.  My therapist just said, "hey, good job using that jet propulsion."  I also can let out some stinky ones but so far, like I say nothing that obvious.
    The catheter draining thing doesn't bother me at all now.  That was not the case early on when everything I had to do due to my disability, I was embarrassed about.
    The bladder incontinence was really hard for me and still is.  I have a schedule of cathing every five to six hours and plan my outings and travel time accordingly.  I will cath in the car after pulling over and just give myself permission to take care of my needs without embarrassment.  At first I hated having to do things differently from when I was able bodied but gradually I adapted.  I do Botox injections for my bladder incontinence and it has made all the difference.
    The spilling and dropping food and drink has not been a big issue for me but what has kind of freaked me out is when I just transferred from my chair into a chair or couch and then realized that even though I thought I had everything I needed, forgot something.  I used to hate to have to ask someone to get something for me.
    The whole empathizing this because they had hip or knee surgery would tick me off.  Sorry friend, your experience is nothing like mine so please don't compare or think you know what it is like to spend every day all day in a chair.
    Lastly, I don't know how long you have been injured but after a while, hardly anything that happens makes a big difference to me or embarrasses me anymore.  I have lost any sense of modesty I used to have and go with the flow.  You know, don't sweat the small stuff... and it is ALL small stuff.

    Joe
  • SterlionSterlion Posts: 44Moderator Moderator
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    @DeeJay Thanks for your input! I actually had a time where I needed to go on a plane. I was with my mom and she told the flight attendant. She then held up a blanket while standing in the isle for my privacy. Not sure how many noticed but if so I let their imagination guess what I could’ve been doing. That’s awesome you had a flight with some pretty cool sounding people though. 

    @iamdadman Thanks for your feedback! You make a great point, I should work on not letting these things get to me. It’s just hard around people my age, older people usually understand better. The cath drainage doesn’t effect me anymore because I do Botox as well now. Although after a few months when it wears off leaks become an issue. 
  • DeeJayDeeJay Posts: 7Member
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    @sterlion Yes, I did have some pretty cool people around me and I found out if I am the one who draws attention to the situation most of the time people try to lessen the awkwardness of things. Usually in a person will say, "Don't worry about it" or "Eh, it's okay". Even I had a incident early on after my initial injury of audible gas in a store and I was visibly embarrassed. An older gentleman came over to me and said, "Better out than in I say!! Trust me, I already blew up aisle 5 a few minutes ago so you might want to stay away from there for a while hahaha!!!" 

    I think that experiences like that show that these type of "embarrassing" moments really are not as bad as we make them out to be. 
  • SterlionSterlion Posts: 44Moderator Moderator
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    @DeeJay Its funny you said that last part. I've asked myself why is it that they are so embarrassing when it can happen to anyone and we all know we do it in private anyway. I saw  a video go viral of a sports commentator letting one go on air a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was funny and then I could understand how he might have felt. I bet if he wouldve belched no one wouldve thought twice about it.
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 137Moderator Moderator
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    @Sterlion
    My urologist just pretty much schedules me for a Botox injection every six months.  This way I rarely have to worry about leakage...

    Joe
  • SterlionSterlion Posts: 44Moderator Moderator
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    @iamdadman I know it’s different for everyone but out of curiosity what’s the dosage you get?
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 137Moderator Moderator
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    @Sterlion
    You know, I don't know but I will ask my doctor and get back to you...
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