I am a first time mum and a first time poster here - I had a perplexing experience today while on public transport and I’m looking for thoughts on whether my experience is typical, and how others might have handled it.
For context, I am currently receiving treatment for a pretty crippling and serious illness that has resulted in an extreme case of muscle atrophy in my hands and arms. I have a 5 month old baby, and as a consequence of this illness, I have a good deal of difficulty with ordinary chores and childcare, one of which is the safe manoeuvring of the buggy.
I boarded the bus today with the buggy - fortunately, I was the first person to get on the bus, and so there was space for me to park the buggy without disturbing anyone. I sat down in the seat next to the buggy, and proceeded on my journey, which would have been about 6 stops. At the stop before the one where I was due to alight, the bus filled up with people of all ages. Fortunately for me, there was no one getting on with wheelchairs or shopping bags, and so I left the buggy where it was (ie to one side, and out of everyone’s way). An elderly gentleman boarded the bus and a lady stood up to offer him her seat, which he took. As the bus moved off, I stood up to ready myself for getting off, and to give myself time to manoeuvre the buggy - this is something that I am a little slow about because of the state of my hands and arms. As I was getting off the bus, the woman who had given her seat to the older gentleman leant in to me and said “you should get up and give your seat to the disabled. Just because you are a mum, you’re not special”. I have to say I was quite taken aback - obviously she was not aware of the state of my hands and arms (which, incidentally means that I can’t stand up and hang onto a pole, and manage to stay upright!) but she had clearly made assumptions about my health (how on earth would she know what kind of health challenges a person is dealing with?), and also my attitude as an “entitled mum”. I am also perplexed that in a bus full of seated people, the only person she felt should have got up was me.
My question is whether anyone else has ever encountered similar? I know that this experience has rattled me more than it should, but it made an already extremely difficult undertaking (ie moving the buggy about with my stupid wasted hands and arms) all the more upsetting.
Thoughts and suggestions from the more experienced are most welcome! Thank you all!