I woke up at about 5:00 this morning, thanks to Bill’s alarm. He forgot to turn it off last night, which is understandable, since we went to the wine fest in Wiesbaden yesterday afternoon. Since I was awake at that hour, I decided to see if I could make some progress in my current book. It’s about a woman who had cystic fibrosis. I write “had”, because unfortunately, like most people with cystic fibrosis, her life was cut short by the disease. She kept a diary, which has now been turned into a book.
I don’t want to write too much about the book yet, or reveal the title or author’s name, because I will soon be reviewing it. However, I do want to address an excerpt I read in the wee hours of this morning. The story the author shared really gave me pause, especially since I’ve been watching a lot of cop/arrest videos on YouTube. Those videos illustrate how completely crazy the United States is right now, and how easy it is to get arrested. Granted, police officers have to deal with some pretty awful situations, and because there are a lot of guns and drugs in the U.S., they really never know what they’re going to face at any one time. Still… this situation that I read about this morning really drove home how insane it’s gotten.
In 2015, the author had gone to Las Vegas with friends. They were staying in an extremely expensive villa at the Mirage. They had a great day. It was a lot of fun hanging out with friends, drinking and dancing. One of the things cystic fibrosis does is cause a lot of coughing. Drinking and laughing, which the author had been doing a lot of during her trip, also made her cough a lot. When her coughing got too disruptive, she excused herself and went to the restroom.
Because they were in such an expensive property, the restroom had an attendant. While the author was in her stall, she started coughing so violently that it sounded like she was vomiting. Also, due to the coughing, having cystic fibrosis, and being in the dry desert air, her nose started bleeding. Unaware of what the situation might look like to a casual observer, she emerged from the stall and went to the mirror to wipe her nose.
Apparently, unbeknownst to the author, there was also evidence on the sink that someone had recently done a fuck ton of cocaine in the restroom. Since the author had been coughing so violently that it sounded like she was vomiting, and she also had a bloody nose, the restroom attendant wrongly assumed that she’d been doing cocaine. Consequently, the attendant “whisked” her away to security, where she was confronted by a beefy man named Stefan who accused her of snorting cocaine in their “high class” establishment. He told her he was going to call the police and have her arrested, based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Unfortunately, this happened to be one of the rare times the author wasn’t wearing her medical bracelet. She also wasn’t carrying her I.D., probably because she’d never expected to be accused of snorting cocaine!
Imagine this… you’re a young woman with a fatal disease who is enjoying a fun time with your friends. You go to the restroom to take care of some troublesome symptoms entirely caused by your illness, and someone whose job it is to sit in a bathroom all day assumes that you’re a coke fiend! As I read this in 2023, it occurs to me how fortunate the author was to miss the COVID-19 pandemic. Things would have been much worse for her!
Naturally, the author was extremely upset and she eventually became hysterical. Her friend tried to explain to Stefan that this wasn’t a case of someone using an illegal drug. He didn’t want to listen to her. She screamed that she would never do cocaine, because she had cystic fibrosis and it would probably kill her by her twenty-fifth birthday. She reminded him that this was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The friend went to see if she could find the author’s I.D. She came back with another friend, who also tried to explain. Stefan completely ignored him and repeated that he was going to call the police. Finally, the friend found the author’s prescription medication, which was in a biohazard bag and looked pretty serious. She told Stefan that they were guests of a bigwig at the Mirage, who would not be happy about the way he was treating the author. She also told him about the author’s father, who was an attorney and would happily sue them for this treatment. Stefan then relented and apologized.
I was amazed when the author wrote that not only did Stefan apologize, but his demeanor did a complete 180 and he started complimenting her, telling her she looked like a model! The security guy’s groveling only made things worse, as the author realized that she must look like a drug fiend, but it was completely due to a genetic disease that she had no control over whatsoever. And, unlike most people, she needed to wear her medical bracelet, if only to prove to people like Stefan that she was very sick, not a drug fiend. This was a rare day of fun and pure enjoyment for her, a chance for her to forget her illness. And there she was, being accused of snorting cocaine and threatened with arrest! I would imagine being arrested would have had a very serious effect on her fragile health status.
If she hadn’t had her completely sober friend with her to explain things, Stefan would have had the author arrested. She would have been hauled to the police station. She would have had to call her parents for help. It would have been completely horrible on all levels.
As I read about that ridiculous incident, I realized that things have gotten completely chaotic in the United States. When someone who is suffering from a very real physical illness can end up being threatened with arrest, and the security guard won’t listen to reason, it’s just gotten totally crazy. So much for the land of the free and the home of the brave, right?
Anyway… I hope to be finished reading this book very soon. I look forward to reviewing it. Suffice to say, reading about that incident made me feel grateful to be basically healthy… as far as I know, anyway. I can’t imagine that I would have been very forgiving over such a misunderstanding. But, as I’ve noticed in a lot of the bodycam videos, sometimes cops have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. What an awful ordeal to have to go through, in addition to being so very sick. I hope Stefan learned from that experience, as anyone should.