I have just has another little holiday in Spain ( I know, I know, I am a lucky bugger) and I need to air a couple of things about hidden disability.
Firstly the good things, I went through the body scanner and discreetly told the person that I have a stoma ( I don’t know how you other ostomates feel, but if I mention stoma a lot of people don’t know what I mean, and ileostomy just might as well be” fuzzy wuzzy was a woman” – sorry for the reference, so I often have to say colostomy bag and then they get it. I am not happy with this as there are quite a few differences, and I DON’T have a colostomy.)
The woman asked me to stay with her until another woman joined us and they explained that they would take me to a private space just to check on the bag. They didn’t ask to look inside, just a quick look overall. I don not have a problem with this and I understand why they need to do this. They were lovely and we chatted a bit, they said I was very confident and some other women had been very tearful when told they need to move to a private room. I suppose it would be better if they mentioned what they intended to do, but as I had had this before I was ok, they actually were very impressed with the black colour and texture of the modern stoma bags too. So all in all a very pleasant experience.
I have never used the hidden disability lanyard until recently at the airport, I thought it might help me by alerting staff that I may need to be checked on now and again, or they might just ask me if all was well and if I needed assistance with anything ( I have other health issues too ) Well I might just have well not bothered, no one acknowledged me at all so I won’t be bothering again.
Why you may ask, did I feel I might need someone? let me tell you why. On the way back from Spain we were last in the long queue through customs going up and down those cordons. I hadn’t really fancied emptying my bag on the flight but realised that my bag was close to exploding. No one was around at all until I got nearer the end and I told this man my predicament and instead of perhaps ushering me through a bit quicker ( which he could have done, as parents with young children and other non hidden disabled folk were going through easily) he said that at the beginning of the barriers and around the corner there was a new loo, great thanks. I eventually got through customs and ran off to find the toilets.
This could definitely have been handled better, either by having a decent sign regarding the new loo, or letter me fast track, it isn’t a big deal to them yet it would have meant a lot to me.
Why do we have to look disabled before we are seen as needing help? Too many people have the lanyard now so it is being ignored and I didn’t get any help from it so it might as well go in then bin. Anyone else have a story about hidden disability issues? I would love to hear them and maybe write a post including good and bad experiences.