I had a little run-in at work around their policy for evacuations.
I tried (and failed) to explain to them that while in a REAL emergency I would get myself down the stairs (five floors) and out to the assembly area without assistance, I didn’t see the point of risking permanent injury to my knee for a drill.
Drill vs. real. Is that so complicated?
Oh. My. Gosh.
The gnashing of teeth, the finger-pointing, the invasive orders. Sheesh.
I was told that not only must I now carry an evacuation sheet folded up in my badge holder AT ALL TIMES, but I must also persuade TWO of my co-workers to agree to be my emergency assistants and that they must come find me – even during a drill – and one of them must STAY WITH ME while the other takes my magic evacuation sheet down to the emergency coordinator who will send fire-men to evacuate me.
However, they won’t send the firemen to evacuate me during a drill because – hello? – it’s a drill. And I won’t cooperate with any of this nonsense during a REAL evacuation; I’ll wait until the fit people are down the stairs (we’re the top floor) and I’ll hobble my own self down the stairs. I will NOT risk anyone else’s life during a real emergency just because I have a tricky knee.
What? They can play-act during a drill, but I have to act like it’s all real during the same drill? WTW?
I was so humiliated. I felt like they were painting a scarlet D (for disabled) on my forehead and yanking away 100% of my medical privacy and autonomy as a free adult. Don’t I get to decide whether or not I want to blow out my knee? Must I be punished for wanting to live a reality-based life, one that differentiates between a real emergency and a drill?
All this kerfluffle happened within view and hearing of my co-workers. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that humiliated.
Now I have a better understanding of why my mother gets so frustrated when one of her many offspring tries to do something “for” her. She’ll snap, “If I want your help I will ASK for it.” Of course every adult wants to be independent, self-sufficient and able to care for themselves for as long as possible – no one wants to be told, “You can’t take care of yourself anymore.”
I felt like my boss was saying, “You have a damaged knee, so you don’t get to think for yourself anymore – we get to take away all your autonomy and humiliate you at will.”
I swear I almost quit today. I wanted to just look her in the eye and say, “No. This is MY BODY.” and walk the heck out.
This isn’t directly about diabetes, but it spoke to me (!!!) about how people try to tell us what to diet to follow, when to eat, how to use insulin, when to exercise, not to eat sugar when we’re hypo, etc. etc. etc. Why is it so hard for people to respect our autonomy and privacy when we have an illness or condition?