Open Dialog

By John Riggins March 20, 2012

Open Dialog

By: John Riggins

To quote Monty Python, “And now, for something completely different.” Instead of posing a thought, I’d like to describe a situation and get some direction.

I’ve recently been asked to join a task force looking at ways to improve rehabilitation care for people with severe disabilities. Everyone in the group is a professional in this field. Two of the members use wheelchairs.

During the meetings people have asked about my recent marathon race. How did I do? Were you sore the following week? Normal questions you would ask a runner. And, yes I did ok (I finished), and yes, my legs were painfully stiff for a couple of days after the race.

So here’s my quandary: I want to be responsive to their questions but I don’t want to offend those in the room who no longer have use of their legs. I don’t for a minute take for granted the gift of running or even walking and am grateful for sore legs after exercise. Bottom line, though, I want to be sensitive to others who cannot walk.

I’d like to hear from folks who use a chair. Do I tactfully change the subject? Or do I continue with the conversation but watch for cues from those in chairs to see if they are getting uncomfortable?

Thanks for your feedback!