I flew back to Boston on Monday, and the airport-bouncing made me realize how much having a disability ups the necessity of interacting with and relying on other human beings.
A typical person can go to an airport without really having to interact with anyone except gate agents and TSA. But when you require a Skycap to push you around the airport in a chair that ups the people by at least two. In my case on Monday it was five. I got a chair going through security at home, there were three involved in Atlanta, because I left the airport to have lunch with a friend, then one in Boston.
It's really easy to dehumanize helpers like this in our world. They often have little English, and you can only say "Boston. I go to school there. Yes, it snows" so many times before you want to scream. But then I got into my cab in Boston, and the guy was so nice that it reminded me that everyone involved in my day has their own lives.
But there IS a lot more small talk involved than there would be usually. And by the time I got back to the dorm I didn't want to talk to another human being for like a week. Unfortunately I had a doctor's appointment the next morning, which is even more banal small talk, no matter how nice the people are.
And, not to get into detail, but I also started thinking about how having a ton of doctors messing with your body all the time can desensitize you to having people do things to you. I got my first pat-down yesterday (at the Pensacola airport, because they don't have anything better to do), and I wondered why it didn't bother me much. Because I checked out. I'm so used to having people do things to me. For me. It's easy to check out on both ends.
So I'm going to work on staying mindful about not doing that, with people or occurrences.
But it does make pat-downs more bearable.