Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Pet hates: Assumptions

Especially ones to do with my ethnicity or something about either me or my family. Latest assumptions have run something like this:

Health Visitor: So, if you don't mind me asking, what nationality are you?

Me (instantly irked): British. You?

HV: Right, OK. And your husband?

Me: British.

HV: *Waiting for me to say 'He's Black - a wog - not really British of course - and MuZlim to boot - a foreigner - an interloper' Doesn't happen...* And I see here little M - is he developing well?

Me: Yes, no problems as far as I can see.

HV: That's good. Potty training?

Me: Yup.

HV: Eating alright? No health concerns?

Me: No, everything's fine.

HV: And he speaks OK?

Me: Pretty much non-stop until you turned up, yeah.

HV: That's lovely *TO BOSS AS THOUGH HE WAS STUPID AND/OR DEAF* And how are you little man - do you clean your *POINTS* teeth?? *looking to me* Does he speak English as well as Punjabi?

Me (Grinding teeth in audible manner): Why would he speak Punjabi?

HV: Right... *confused*... but ... I take it from your *points to her head and daren't utter the word 'headscarf'* that you are MuZlim??

Me: Yeah.

HV: (clearly out of her depth and visibly confused): Right. And M speaks OK? *at which point Boss begins a monologue on the virtues of articulated supermarket lorries and single-decker buses running past our house over rigid trucks and curtain-sided lorries*. No language problems then?

Me: (really thinking 'get out of my house before I drop-kick you out') No he talks fine. ('Are you deaf as well as thick?')

HV: (Moving swiftly on to another irk of mine) Has he started school yet? (so she thinks a non-talking pant-wetting retard would be starting school??)

Me: No

HV: Nursery?

Me: No

HV: Pre-school?

Me: No

HV: Right. He'll be starting school soon then?

Me: No

HV: He'll be getting his free place soon?

Me: (putting her out of her misery) No, I'm just not going to send him to school.

HV: (dawning on her 'I've got one of THEM on my books') Oh, so you're going to do it yourself are you?

Me: Yup

HV: Well.... that's your right I suppose.... are you a teacher?

Me: (grinding teeth again): I am actually, but secondary, mostly A-level standard

HV: (instantly all smiles) Oh well that's alright then. Anyway, Debbie - is there anything you'd like to ask me?

Me: (Thinking, 'yeah - how did someone who quite obviously has had a labotomy get to be a health visitor?') Just a general question about immunisations, really.

HV: *Runs through the list of shots unborn will be expected to undertake*

Me: No, I'm more concerned about the preservatives and things in them rather than what's on offer - I mean are there any alternatives to thermiserol yet?

HV: erm... ('yes, definitely one of THEM')...

Me: I mean, it is well known that the human immune sytem is not fully developed until 2 years of age, yet the bulk of the vaccinations (a series of 22 different shots) are administered from 0 to 2 years of age. What are the shots stimulating if there isn't a fully developed immune system? And what about the medium that the weakened viruses are grown, for instance formaldahyde and thermiserol (it's a mercury derivative). Are there thermiserol-free vaccines available? And I'm not crash-hot about the idea of formaldahyde being imbibed by my son/daughter either.

HV: (trying to reassure me) But the dosage is sooooooooooooo low - there really isn't a problem with it.

Me: Really? They've agreed on a safe dosage of mercury absorption now then? Because last time I did any research mercury was actually considered highly toxic which should not be imbibed in any quantity at any stage in life whatsoever. The Amercians have banned it from their vaccines haven't they? Do these have an effect on the developing neural system of the individual?

HV: Well... I can certainly find out for you.... *Runs screaming from the house after telling me I'm obviously a Mum with my head screwed on and she has no reason to worry about anything - like I needed the permission or validation that only a health visitor can bring...*



Another lot of assumptions that has me literally coming out taking swipes at the perpetrator thereof are ones related to health. My husband is registered disabled. He has rheumatoid arthritis, as well as asthma and gout. He is under several consultants; he has so many prescribed pills that we have an entire kitchen unit devoted to housing them all and when they are all neat and tidily stacked, it looks like a pharmacy ready to dispense. He has a wheelchair on his prescription but alhamdulillah he hasn't needed to call that in and even when he is at his worse he refuses to be still and inactive since he knows that by doing so he will effectively lose what muscle usage he has.

Now the thing about arthritis is that some people have it in one or two joints, and it flares up when the weather is bad or they are ill or something like that. It is controllable with pain killers although not curable. Rheumatoid arthritis affects all the joints all the time, cannot be cured, is badly controlled by a horrible toxic mix of stomach-eroding drugs and steroid injections, most of which trigger off my husband's asthma, and flare-up is pretty much constant. When asked to describe the pain many sufferers would liken it to having severe toothache in every joint of their body, which is why many people do actually end up crippled by it. Anybody who has had even mild toothache will understand the perpetual misery of having a constant throbbing pain unaffected by pain-killers with no apparent relief in sight. Treble that and imagine it in every joint all the time, every day with no cure or help available knowing that you will have everyday of your life. It's enough to drive you insane and depressed.

Right. Well, my dear Husband has had this all of his life. You never get used to pain. You never learn to deal with it. You just have it and get on with it. My DH doesn't fuss (well OK sometimes), and he tries his hardest not to let it affect the quality of his life for Boss' sake - he makes the effort to do all the things a boy would expect a good Daddy to do - he takes him out, he plays football/cricket, runs, etc etc. and yet he is in agony. I know this because I know him and I know the look of pain in his face. Actually, masha'allah my DH is a better Dad to Boss than some healthy, fit men I know who actually make no effort at all with their kids and couldn't care less what quality of play they have.

So imagine my utter rage at the comments we get when we have the bare-faced audacity to park in disabled parking bays at supermarkets and places when Hubby can quite clearly *walk*. How dare he! Doesn't everybody know that disabled people are pathetic and whining, and pitiful creatures who beg for sympathy and help? Disabled people have wheelchairs and crutches and a look of folorn hopelessness impaled across their ravaged faces. How *dare* this black man look so cheerful! How *dare* he try to make his son happy! How *dare* he even *have* children for crying out loud! Why is he smiling? Where is his disabled badge?? Is it blue? Did he forge it? Is it home-made with crayon? Let's go and inspect it to make sure this malingerer gets his come-uppance!

Every single time we go shopping I hear this from people who are neither doctors nor parking attendants and it is the only time I actually see a red mist descending over my eyes and I fly into absolute rages - so much so that I caused a scene at Tesco the other month when some old fart made the comment that "he has no badge", and I stalked them into Tescos yelling at them as they speeded up their walking noticably clenching from the attention I was generating ... "Yes I mean YOU". One bitter old Catholic hag had the absolute nerve to knock on my husband's window and demand to see his badge (I only mention her Catholicism-ness due to the fact that she had rosaries wrapped round both wrists, her neck and car, and was quite clearly disgusted at the sight of a Muslim man and his wife) - demanded to see it!! ... I had to be held down!!

Just yesterday a man at Notcutts stood akimbo demanding to know why people who were not disabled were using the disabled parking bays - Hubby had to drag me away again. All he would say to the man was a polite, "Are you a traffic warden then?".

I'm seething writing this. It irks me beyond words. Who do these people think they are??? How dare they make assumptions about my husband based on nothing more than their own ignorance and faulty beliefs?? The government has seen fit to issue him with a Blue Badge - chew on it. So the next time you are about to make an assumption about the so-called disabled-ness of someone you don't deem to be worthy of such honour then just watch out - there may be a mad Muslim lady about to charge at you with her handbag. And to that man in Nottcuts - get a clue. And a life. And a dress sense. And some hair wouldn't hurt either, you bald git. And to that Catholic lady: I said it then, but I'll say it again - a facelift, a skull restructure, liposuction - anything, anything that will make you stop looking like a pitbull licking pee off a nettle - anything that will make you stop looking like you just fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Then when you've done that - I hope you get a really bad toothache....

I feel better.

10 Comments:

At 8:08 pm, Blogger khadijah said...

um, all set up for a really tranquil labour then?

 
At 8:11 pm, Blogger Qalballah said...

Yes I can't think of anything more likely to induce tranquility in me than labour...

 
At 8:50 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the disabled parking bays at Notcuts are also parent and child bays (they don't have seperate ones) so you were doubley entitled to be in one. So two fingers up to that man.
I have to confess to harrassing someone for parking in a parent and child bay at Tescos. A man in a jag with no car seats parked in the only free parent bay left and as I huffed my way past him with my double 'lorry' and dragging a reluctant 4 year old who was trying to also climb into the pushchair, I couldn't resist a 'what are you doing in that parking space...where are the children???' He legged it muttering something about meeting his children inside tescos....they were probably 20.

 
At 8:50 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was Hannah...my mouse has packed up so I am tabbing around the screen!!

 
At 1:33 pm, Blogger Maryam said...

awww my gawwwwwd. What is it about home health visitors (I say this having a sister-in-law who used to be one, in the UK too!!)

Man you gotta come up with some witty one liners, or print up some pamphlets about rudeness that you can give them with a look of severe sympathy because of their lack of brain cells... or... or...

 
At 9:20 pm, Blogger Qalballah said...

Slap them til they relent??

 
At 11:53 pm, Anonymous Zainab said...

I hate health visitors too - waste of space if you ask me. Like you said debbie, they're just out to see what a bad mother you are.

 
At 1:32 pm, Blogger Maryam said...

haha yes, I like that slapping option.

 
At 7:13 pm, Anonymous hannah said...

had a H.V experience today. S had his 6 wk check.

H.V: 'how often do you think you'll be able to get in to get him weighed?'
me: 'ummmm....never?!'
H.V looks slightly alarmed.

he's 12lb 13oz (born at 8lb9oz) I don't think we have a weight gain problem here.

 
At 9:02 pm, Blogger Qalballah said...

Crumbs Hannah - what kinda milk are you producing?! Steroid gold-top?!

Yet another good reason to slap HV's though....

 

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