Today was another of my adventurous travel days! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this or not, but I have to wear compression bandages from toe to hip 24/7. I cover these with stockinette (like for casts) and it kind of looks like tights. Since I’m swaddled in bandages, fleece and two layers of stockinette I always wear shorts, even in the winter. It does occasionally draw a comment or two but that’s all right. Usually when people ask I just say “I have acute lymphedema” and that either satisfies them or draws a story about how they knew somebody with that one time and they died/ lost their legs/went crazy. :O I’m kinda used to that, too. I walk with a cane but in the grocery I just trundle around with the cart to keep me from tipping over at random as I am also wont to do. I also must preface this story with the knowledge that over the past three years I’ve lost 115 pounds, but still have a few pounds left to lose.
Today I was shopping and I began to feel I was being followed. I noticed an elderly lady behind me in one of those motorized chairs the grocery provides for people who can’t walk very well. I usually eschew those because I have visions of losing control and taking out a big rack of peanut butter or something. Anyway, the lady on the scooter was shadowing me. I could feel it. Presently she says “hey!! You have bandages on your legs! I thought it was tights.” I nodded politely and said, “you’re right,” before trying to decide on the perfect bag of spuds.
A few minutes later the lady is back in the aisle with me again. I avoid eye contact. She rolls up and reaches out and GRABS MY LEG!! I jump back as well as I can, not sure exactly how to react to this. Running isn’t an option. She says “your problem is you need to go get some water pills!! I got some water pills and I lost FIVE POUNDS. You wouldn’t need those bandages if you lost some weight.”
Well now I’m annoyed. I don’t like to be rude to people, especially little old ladies who have clearly lost their minds. I tell her that I have a condition that requires the bandages and I’ve already lost 115 pounds so I think things are going very well for me. I move on as quickly as I can. I get my groceries and get in line. Presently I hear the whirr of the scooter. I tense. Yes. It’s her. She starts talking loudly to me, apparently taking my effort to ignore her as deafness. “I’m going to pray for you. You’ll see. You lose some weight and you’ll not need those bandages and you won’t die!”
At this point one of the checkers who knows me is staring wide-eyed at the lady. He whispers for me to go to aisle 8 (the farthest one away) and he’ll check me out. At this point she must’ve decided her work was done here and she whirred out of the grocery store–not a single grocery in her cart!
“Did you know her?” asks the checker.
“Nah,” I say. “I’m just a loon magnet.”