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?