Spas are meant to be luxurious: relaxation sublime.   My daughter planned on it when she booked us into a top-rated facility for a morning of pampering.

My daughter doesn’t have mobility issues.  It wasn’t her inner bitch that threatened to spoil the day.

Should have known there’d be a problem by the absence of handicapped parking, but we did manage to grab a spot next to the entrance.  Ten concrete steps led into the building.

“Do you have an elevator?” I asked at the front desk as they told me my first appointment was on the second floor.

“No, but we can help you up the stairs.”

I stared at the receptionist blankly.  I had just maneuvered ten steps more than my physiotherapist wants me to tackle in a day.

“We could cancel your services,”  she offered, sensing the coming storm.

“Is there not a law about accessibility?” I retorted, ignoring her statement.

She didn’t respond and another woman appeared offering to guide me to a chair.

“We’ll help you up the stairs,” she echoed her co-worker.  “Would you like a tea or water while you’re waiting?”

“Is there a washroom I can use?”

“It’s upstairs, too?”

“Seriously?”  What are they going to do?  Carry me up?

My daughter was beckoned to her appointment, and I made the slow climb up the stairs, anger mounting faster than I was.

“And how are we today?” A cheery, petite woman greeted me.

Wrong question.  I unleashed my frustration that a spa – a place for healing – would not be accessible to those who can benefit most from their services.  By the time my treatment began, I was distraught.

The trouble with ME/CFS is that once an emotion is triggered, it is not easy to just let it go.  I think it has something to do with the nervous system, or the adrenals, which gets stuck in the fight or flight stance.

I was physically and emotionally drained at the end of our session, although I tried not to show it to my daughter.

It’s now three days later and I’m still trying to recover from a day of ‘pampering’.

Am I wrong about the accessibility thing?

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

2 thoughts on “Inaccessible

    1. Thanks, Keith. Just ranting. I can usually manage (at a cost) but my awareness of barriers has certainly been heightened. In truth, I don’t go out much, and only to select places where I know I can maneuver.


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