Friday, February 3, 2012

Costco Sure Seems to Know How to Keep Customers (/sarcasm) [edit: well apparently they do! :) ]

Note: This post was imported from the original blog this site is based on. It is a personal account of my experience and is not very relevant to the current website. I have kept it out of respect to the journey that led me here. 
[EDIT] So today I just got a call from the manager of that specific Costco. He apologized to me for what happened and assured me that he would be going over with his employees what happened. He said that the problem in question was definitely unacceptable and assured me that he did not condone the behavior of judging who or who not needs assistance when shopping. He asked me to identify the employee in question and I told him that I wasn't trying to get anyone in trouble, it was an issue of the employee not having training for how to handle the situation. I said I didn't blame him for not knowing what to do, and felt it could be to everyone's benefit to include training on disability variances. The manager was very nice and pleasant. I accepted his apology and thanked him for taking time to call me. A great reminder of what a fantastic company Costco is. 
Surgery Again 
As I wrote last week, I had a pretty 'awesome' abdominal surgery. I got four incisions and my surgeon scraped off layers of tissue from my abdominal cavity. My lung diaphragm, my intestines, my bladder, my uterus and ovaries, all needed diseased tissue scraped away. Oh, and BONUS, I had another tumor cut out! I was supposed to stay in the hospital overnight, because the pain was not under control, but I knew I couldn't afford that. I was hooked up to some mobile tubes, went home the night after my surgery, and returned to have them removed the next afternoon. Real fun couple of days. Thankfully, Dr. Arrington is a fantastic surgeon, and even with all that work, my incisions came out neat and tidy (see picture below).  

Luckily my mother flew out to help me manage everything. I am so grateful to have been helped out so much. My boyfriend wanted to come, but could not get off enough work, though he was there in spirit and by phone. Friends were also supportive and helpful, as they knew this was a rough surgery. It was my fifth one and ranked high for pain and disruption.

Story of this Post
After a couple days of rest, we tried to go on my first store outing. I was pretty dizzy and weak, and on morphine, so I had to lean on my mother from the and wobble into the store. We moved slowly. She had me hold onto the cart for support. Unfortunately, it was a little too much, and I fainted and fell on my face... and my sutures started bleeding. It hurt horribly, and my mother had to basically carry me out to the car. That was our last outing for the day.

Several days later, we try again. Moving is important for healing, so we try another store outing. Still weak and sore, we decided to try costco, which has an ample supply of motorized carts.
My mother pulled up to the front, as the handicap spots were not close enough, and left to park the car while I limped into an available cart. While trying to start it, a visibly angry woman in a walking cast walked over with an employee. The employee looked uncomfortable, and he told me that I needed to get out of the cart. The woman seems agitated and mutters about how she 'actually needs it'. I would have asked why that cart, but an elderly fellow then dropped off another cart, so I just hobbled into the one he vacated. My mother and I do my shopping, and no fainting occurred. Success!

My mother loaded the groceries into the car (I could not even lift a grape), and I tell her I'll drive the cart back; she can pick me up at the store front. She argued that she should do it, to just sit down in the car, but I felt it was the least I could do. I felt rather useless. So I putt-putted back to the store, parked the scooter, and hobbled over to the 'exit employee'. I tell him it's parked, but not plugged in, because I could not bend over after internal surgery. I asked him if he minded plugging it in for me.

Lo and behold, cue the 'walking-cast-lady'. Where did she come from? She spotted me, sprouted a furious look, and began to shout at me. She barked that I should stop taking motorized carts from 'people who actually need them'. I looked at the store employee, who looked at both of us, and then pretended not to hear. (I am sure it was awkward for them, but I could not help but feel abandoned after he helped her earlier). I was too confused/woozy to know what to do. I briefly considered lifting up my shirt and showing her my bloody sutures, but I ultimately decided it was not worth it. I let her bluster and rage and moved on. 

My mother pulled up in the car and I wobbled in, a dazed look on my face. I told my mother what happened. Anyone who knows Jackie, she is a crazy woman when angry. She stopped the car, threw on the break, and started unbuckling her seat belt. I'm begging her to stop, it's not worth it, etc., when finally I said this, "Mom, yes, she's a crazy dramatic person, who seems to think she's the only one who's ever had a foot injury. She's probably cranky and her foot hurts. But you know what? I am going to recover from this surgery. I will be able to walk again and not need a motorized cart for my shopping. But her? She will always be a mean, crotchety, bitch!" And that's pretty much all that needed to be said. No murders took place and we quickly left.

As for now, I'm not really concerned about the rude lady. I'm glad I kept my cool, though I wish I had pointed out how awful she was being. Such a striking reminder that people do not realize that not all maladies are visible. What really disturbs me, is that employees helped her harass me, and did not respond when she escalated.

Overall, I would much rather have broken my foot than be dealing with this crap, I can tell you that!


  1. I'm sorry you had that experience. I hope your recovery is swift. Kudos to you for being a good person.

  2. People suck...thank god for your patience! I had endo & a hysterectomy at age 18 (I'm 40 now) & wish you a speedy recovery...xxxooo, Marnie

    1. That really sucks I'm sorry :(. I was going to get a hysterectomy, but first I did that chemo lupron stuff that shuts down your ovaries, and I was still producing a ton of endometrium. Apparently my estrogen comes from elsewhere... On the upside, that means a hysterectomy wouldn't help me so I won't need one... on the down side... that means a hysterectomy won't help me...

  3. Exactly right- you'll recover and be fine so why bother with a war of words with someone so bitter. As proof that there is hope for humanity, I had the opposite experience a few weeks ago after getting my full leg cast removed following a patella fracture (bike accident in an industrial part of Brooklyn). I'm 28 and in good shape, but I could barely hobble with crutches on my way home from the hospital. The first time I got on the subway some teenager offered me his seat as though I were an 80 year old man- I wanted to say both "thank you" and "give me a break I'm not crippled."

  4. I am more interested in your surgery, sounds like it was a good one, where did you have it done and what was the doctors name?

    But don't be shy about saying not all disabilitie are visible. You don't have to tell her anything else, or anyone for that matter

    1. It was a great surgery, it was my third laparoscopy for endometriosis, and it was the best yet. It was done by Dr. Jeff Arrington. I found him in Ogden, Utah, and from what I've heard (from multiple sources), he's nationally recognized. We stayed at the hospital guesthouse and it was all around a great experience. This entry talks about it with links to his site. Hope this helps. And that's good advice!


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About The BedRiddenHead

I want to be happy. And this site is about that chance. How to strive to thrive in the body I've got and maybe turn my experiences into something worthwhile.

This site aims to help educate and reach out to people all over that struggle with pain or illness. To try and make something helpful. I work as a medical research writer, my background is in neuropsychology and biology, and I want to share what I learn in a way that is easy to understand. I am not a doctor. I'm definitely not your doctor. I am just some lady who wants to make someone's (anyone's) life a little bit better. Whether you have endometriosis, a chronic injury, a struggling friend, or just want to learn something new, I hope to make a place that has what you are looking for.

Thank you for stopping by, I wish you strength in your health and happiness.