Guess what? You can sue an airline for failing to provide you with a wheelchair, according to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:
I’m horrified by the way United Airlines handled this situation from beginning to end. To yell at a passenger, deny her a wheelchair, and then cancel her ticket…really, United? That’s how you train your employees to deal with disabled passengers?
Just because you can’t see pain doesn’t mean it’s not very VERY real.
I wonder…back when I was healthy and participated in a full-contact martial art/sport, I used to carry a photo with me every time I went to the doctor. It showed me in my armor fighting a guy three times my size, and I showed it to any medical professional who examined me to head off questions about the bruises on my arms and legs.
Maybe I should start carrying one of the photos of my innards from one of my surgeries…perhaps the one that shows my left ovary attached to both my abdominal wall and my uterus by endometriosis and scar tissue. I bet that flashing that picture would not only upset and disturb the average airline employee, it would get me what I need really *bleep*ing fast. If Ms. Gilstrap had carried copies of her x-rays, would the United Airlines jerks have believed in her disability?
Which brings me to one of the Big Questions about having a hidden disability…how do I make it visible to others so I can get the assistance I need? I’m not going to wear a sign around my neck or tattoo Moderate to Severe Chronic Pelvic and Back Pain across my forehead. So…carry visual aids for people who question me?