Dealing with MS and Jury Duty
I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I was diagnosed with MS about 5 years ago. Sadly, it did put a crimp in my activities. Having not much energy to do just about anything has severely curtailed my ability to get stuff done. Sigh. I am currently having to use a walker for most places I go.
I received a letter that I might be chosen for Jury Duty. I had to wait until the day before I was summoned to see if I would have to show up. In the meantime, I was having to make plans as to how I might get to the courthouse I needed to arrive at. The County courthouses are downtown, with lots of one-way streets, and weird junctions that make driving difficult and annoying.
The summons gave an email to ask if I needed accomodations for my disability. I asked if I could have someone to assist me when I got to the courthouse, and if there was close-in handicapped parking if i was able to drive that day. The reply was that I could bring anyone I liked to help me (meaning they would not supply anyone to assist me), and that there was handicapped parking about 2 blocks away. Not helpful at all.
Yes, my number was on the list of people who needed to come in, and wait around to see if they would be called for a jury. I had made arrangements with my mother, that she would drive me there and drop me off, and then come and pick me up when we got dismissed.
So Mom and I had fun driving, making our way to the courthouse early enough so that I could make it through the security checkpoint, in time to be "on time" for the roll call at 8.30am. The courthouse has lots of stairs, but luckily there was elevators for us disabled people. The staff at the security checkpoint were very nice. They had one of those doorways like at the airport, so I did tell them if they wanted me to walk through without the metal walker, I would need support walking through. The one guy waved me through a door to the side, and did not even bother to 'wand' me. He did have to sort through the bag I had brought, because the can of V-8 looked weird on the x-ray (I brought the V-8 for my lunch, because I was not going to be able to make it anywhere for food).
Lining up for the check-in, I was happy that the line was short, because I was needing to sit down soon. But just as I got to the front of the line, the person checking us in left the desk, to run some errand elsewhere. When she finally arrived back, geting my legs to work again was fun (not).
I have a friend, we try to have a dinner together at a different restaurant once a month.
This month was a Cuban Bakery and Cafe. The restaurant did not have a website of their own, but they did have lots of reveiws on Yelp.
There were both good and bad reviews, the good ones outnumbered the bad, so I really did want to go. A number of the reviews talked about how the food reminded them of places in Florida, and how good the spices were.
The Chorizo empanada was good, and the fried Plantains were marvelous (I had to fight with myself to save one to take home to hubby). Then I also had what most reviewers recommended on Yelp, the Cuban Sandwich.
I agree, it is a large sandwich. It was ham, turkey, cheese, and pickles, with Cuban bread.
Sorry, it was nothing special. No interesting spice in or on either the meat or the bread. It tased like a sandwich I would get from Subway.
If we go there again, I will try something else, but ask the staff about stuff with spices.
I got to the holding area, and found some of the chairs with semi-padded seats. Then relocated myself to one nearer the bathrooms. Then I pulled out my Kindle, and started reading my current book.
They did show a 10-minute video of how the selection process should work. It was interesting. Then back to the book.
At bout 11am, the clerk came in and called a bunch of people for a jury. I was not included. Back to reading. The second time calling people for a jury, I was one of them.
So then lots of standing in the hallway, waiting for them to herd us elsewhere. Luckily I did fine a chair to rest. Then up the elevator to another floor, and another hallway to wait until they decided where we were supposed to go. Since the bathrooms were close, it was suggested that we use them. But by the time I got out, everyone had gone. Finally someone came looking for stragglers, and I found we were being held in a different courtroom, until 'our' courtroom became available. Thankfully some of the people were willing and able to hold doors open for me, because there was not even one door that had a button for handicapped people to open it, not even for the bathrooms.
After more waiting, and reading, I did decide to break out lunch. I drank my can of V-8, and then went back to reading.
We finally got ushered into 'our' courtroom. Sat around waiting some more. Then the judge came in. She introduced herself, the person from the District Attorney's office, the Defense Counsel, the Clerk of Court. Then told us that in the case we were supposed to hear, someone had made a motion that would delay things. So the case would not be heard that day, and we had fulfilled our service, and were now free to go.
So I made my way back to the main entrance, called my mom to come pick me up, and went home.
I will say, the judicial system for Jury Duty in my county is not that handicapped friendly. But at least they had elevators. And I read almost an entire book while waiting for stuff to happen.