Earlier this week I was called at home by someone doing some research on behalf of the MS Society. They wanted to get some feedback about various services that I'd accessed.
Now obviously I'm DOWN WITH THE CAUSE. But they called at
half-past six. I'd not long come back from work, my parents had just brought Evie
home after looking after her all day, and we were in wind-down before wine-time
So I asked if they could call back. They said fine.
At half-past six the following night they called
again, right in the middle of the wind-down once more.
I explained that I'd been through this the night before and
that I'm more than happy to do any survey for the MS Society, but could they
email the questions to me?
No, it had to be done over the phone.
I explained to the (perfectly lovely) caller that this
wasn't ever going to be a good time of the day to speak. Work, child, etc.
(mostly) a finely-tuned machine (sometimes).
So she said (again, she was
perfectly lovely about it), "Ok, I'll call you in the morning".
To which I replied, "But I'll
be AT WORK".
I'm probably being insanely
over-sensitive. And I know the society published findings which said
that “It is estimated that between 23 and 32 per cent of people with MS are in
employment”- so basically only a quarter of us are still in any kind of work.
But still it saddened me that
the person calling - on behalf of the MS Society (not from them) - would make the
assumption that, if a person has MS and they're talking about work, there's
NO WAY that work will be full-time.
I've been a bad mood about this
ever since - if this is the attitude of people working in the name of one of the
biggest MS charities in the UK, will the fact that people with MS don't feel
able to remain in employment become a self-perpetuating prophecy?
People who are newly diagnosed
could read these figures and go, "OK then, I might as well give up
now". And I do appreciate that some people have a considerably
greater level of disability than I do currently.
But still, it's not
THEIR FAULT that they're disabled.
is society going to do to make them feel that they have a RIGHT to contribute
and be fulfilled, doing whatever it is they want to do? *
In my head I keep going back to
the different models of disability - it's not the individual's fault, it's the
(* the irony is that I HATE work, have never a had a completely
fulfilling job, and would happily jack it all in tomorrow if my numbers came up.
But still... Raah!!)
I'll stop working when they stop issuing plush anniversary box-sets of key musical-texts of my young adult life - it's not going to buy itself now, is it?