Being called a ‘Spaz’

The word 'spaz' is an informal way of calling someone 'spastic.' Spastic means the loss of physical or emotional control. It origins are from the English language during the 1960s. So there you go people, a brief lesson on the meaning and history of Spaz. Next time you get called a Spaz, or you call someone a spaz you can remember that little interesting fact. Personally the word 'spaz' is so over used now I find it laughable. You can be called a Spaz for anything.
You see I was called a spaz at school, oh the kindness of fellow students, but at the same time I couldn’t help but laugh at them. Then at the age of 17 I go to France, and I see a consultant who calls me a SPAZ.
Yes people a CONSULTANT called me a spaz! For the purpose of this post we shall call the consultant Mr G.
The day my parents told me I was going to France I thought “Yay Disneyland Paris!” No instead my Mum broke the news “You are going into hospital in France to see a consultant who specialises in Neurology, and they are going to run some tests.”
WELL THANKS MUM FOR RUINING MY DREAMS OF DISNEYLAND PARIS! (Had to wait 9 years for my acrophobia boyfriend to take me instead. That will be in a future post.)
So my Mum and I went off to France. We thought we were staying in a nice hotel, because my Dad said he would treat me to a posh hotel like a Hilton, instead, I ended up in a BLOODY YOUTH HOSTEL! I did notice a slight difference between the youth hostel and the Hilton. First of all I had to share a bed and duvet with my mother who has a snoring issues. 1. I hate sharing duvets. 2. My mums snores like a foghorn!
Then there was also the fact that the window didn’t shut properly, and there was no tea and coffee. So my mother had to wheel me across to the 24 hour garage to attempt to order coffee in French! We failed! Luckily, a very nice young man translated we wanted a coffee. We got there in the end....

So let’s skip to the day we went to the hospital. My Mum (who for now on will be known as Matron) wheeled me down to the hospital in scorching hot weather. I got sun burn! Matron had a menopausal hot flush.
We went to the reception, where we were sent to a waiting area. There was some very poorly young people there. I have to say though, you could see your wheelchair wheels in the floor, because the floor was very sparkling, plus Matron’s shoes squeaked!
We waited with the other patients to be seen. I did notice that patients were going in, and not coming out the age of 17 my vivid imagination made me think they were being sent to a dungeon!

Finally, it came to my turn. The consultant, Mr G spoke perfecto English. We went through the formalities of names, and dates of birth, and brief medical history, which was not brief, it turned into 30 minutes of Matron and I explaining how I had been disabled all my life and had various neurological difficulties.... blah blah blah. Positive is we got given a cuppa each!
Mr G went on to ask about the various tests and consultants I saw back in the UK. I explained how tests had shown I had epilepsy, but the heart was causing problems, and there was a link and consultants were not sure how etc.
After this explanation he went on to ask about my education in the UK, and what I hoped my future held. I explained I got 11 GCSEs and I was studying for my A levels. I wanted to go to university and train to be a teacher, or even look at writing books or for newspapers.
This is where it gets interesting. After the long questioning by Mr G, and my long drawn out answers, Mr G paused. When consultants pause it always makes me jittery. The pause seemed to go on for ages.Mr G explained that the patients he usually sees have problems reading and writing, and functioning in the “real world.” He went on to say “ you may be a Spaz...” Mr G didn’t  get to finish his sentence, because my Mum spat her cuppa all over his neatly written notes. I, on the other hand, sat there a bit shocked. Never in my life had a professional called me a spaz. Mr G wiped his notes down; I was looking forward to his explanation. I did the typical pose of a teenage arms crossed, just staring at Mr G. Mr G explained that in France medical professionals, like himself, still used the word  spaz or spastic to talk about not being able to walk unaided, or not being able to walk at all. Still you could cut the silence with a knife. Thinking I was a know it all, I came back with a quick quip of "maybe you should change the medical language you use, and bring it into the 21st century." Poor matron glared at me, and tried to nudge my leg, but I was too quick to twitch out of the way! Boy I felt bad for what I sad because he offered to do some more tests, and just for good measure, blood tests...I hate blood tests, and he still gave me them. I think he did that because I was being a know it all!
I found out why patients never came out again, there was no dungeons, instead, there was a door leaving his room into the rest of the hospital (and more tea, it was almost like being back in England).
So the moral of this story is don’t be a know it all, because you will be sent for blood tests, and oh made to eat soggy, limp cabbage!


Unknown said…
The humour in the post is amazing. Is nice reading something about disabilities that isnt isn't lodge rubbish pitty me, I have dyslexic and I used to be called a retard 90% of the time this was including teachers. Thank you Ruthie for an amazing read..
Hey Sarah.
Thank you for such a wonderful comment. Yeah exactly, disabilities are not the end of the world. You can still live with one, and have funny and fun times, and that is what I want the blog to reflect. I am really sorry that you went through that at school. I always find when you keep smiling, when someone calls you a “retard” that it makes them uncomfortable. Thank you so much for the kind comment. 😊

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