nosy strangers

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nosy strangers

Postby BioDocFL » Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:50 pm

As an MSer, especially if you use a cane, crutches, or wheelchair, how do you or would you react to someone (stranger or friend) who comes up and asks if you have MS, (or muscular dystrophy, or cerebral palsy or some other disabling disorder)? Are you offended, angry, embarassed, nonchalant, thankful for their interest or what? I've never been nosy towards anyone or asked but nowadays I seem to notice the people in wheelchairs or using a cane and am curious. I assume they would be offended but I don't know and would never ask. Clues to the clueless, insights to the etiquettely challenged please.
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Re: nosy strangers

Postby Daunted » Tue Nov 30, 2004 7:25 pm

I would be interested in this as well. I'm in limbo and I work with a woman who is in a wheelchair, and I am pretty sure she is SPMS. But I have no idea whether it would be appropraite to ask, inquire, or discuss.
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Re: nosy strangers

Postby HarryZ » Tue Nov 30, 2004 7:37 pm


I guess the answer would depend on what kind of circumstance the question would be asked. My wife, who has MS, has been asked by a few people in the past few years what has caused her to be in the wheel-chair. The question has been asked after a conversation has been started so it wasn't like someone just walked up to her and popped the question.

I think if someone approached you out of the blue and you didn't know this person at all, I might respond politely with " Why on earth would you ever ask such a question to a total stranger?" Regardless of what they may say to you, I would simply tell them that it is a personal matter and you don't care to discuss it. That should be enough of a hint to prevent any further conversation.

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Postby Dawnsmspage » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:51 pm

If someone asked me it wouldnt bother me...after 7 years Im finally to a point where Im ok talking to others about the impact MS has on Im a pretty open person.

On the other hand, before my dx, I would never have thought of asking someone that though the thought has crossed my mind from time to time. I wouldnt just walk up to someone and ask them, however if the circumstance was appropriate and I was curious, I would ask. We share a common bond, and I enjoy talking with people in general, so thats one more thing to talk about for me!

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