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Disability

A Day in the Life of a Squirrel-Brained TBI Survivor


Here we go again—another week of meaty topics derailed by reality. I think sharing this with you may do more good for us all than trying to finish my researched topics this week. Maybe you’ll relate to my day.

Like my body, my brain (which is, after all, part of my body) has good and bad days. The poor thing has had a hard decade. After being slammed into by a hunk of metal hurtling along at 45 mph, with only an inch and a half of Styrofoam and a hard plastic shell to cushion the blow, most of the bloodflow was cut off when my carotid artery collapsed from the impact. My body’s effort to shunt blood to my brain by every other possible pathway while losing blood pressure from a severed radial artery resulted in a stroke. After hours of surgery to deal with other injuries in the ER, I was placed in a chilled coma to give my brain a chance to recover from this massive insult.



Disability

30 Years of the ADA—What Does it Mean for Us?


If you’re older than 40, you probably remember the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act on June 26, 1990. George H.W. Bush signed it into law.

It seems like it’s been around a lot longer than that; maybe because the push for handicap parking started in the late 1960s and hit its stride in the late 1970s. I was 26 in 1990. There is a movie that came out in 2007, Music Within, about Richard Pimentel, the Vietnam veteran credited with starting the movement to pass the ADA. I saw the movie in 2009, and don’t remember the story very well, so I looked it up again. Pimentel lost his hearing in Vietnam, and when he tried to go out for pancakes with his veteran friend who used a wheelchair, they were discouraged by the steps up to the restaurant entrance. That’s what started it all.



General

Stupid Things Ruin the Best of Plans


This is an unapologetic fluff piece. I’ve been working on two meaty pieces, I’m not going to conclude either one today, and I'm a day late already. I’m losing my grip on the reins here, and it’s time to talk about why that is.

Number one, I have a day job. You didn’t think I made my living blogging, did you? If only that were true. While everyone else is losing jobs, I’m busier than ever. A few weeks ago I was complaining about missing out on the national summer vacation. My first adequate paycheck in months hit the bank yesterday, and with all the job carnage around me, I’m not complaining anymore. That said, I have 2 Environmental Assessments due tomorrow and can’t put them off any longer. Plus, the Canadian border is closed for another month, so it’s not like I was going to be able to run off on a bike tour any time soon anyway.



General

When You Can’t March, Show Up Your Own Way

Source: Seattle Times

Many of us want to show up and be effective allies for our friends of color, but we can’t get out there and protest. Perhaps you are a person of color and this is your own fight. If you’re on the fence about attending a protest, read through my reality check before making a decision. We don’t look like there’s anything wrong with us, so we feel we have to...


General

Systemic Racism in Mental Health Care: Charleena Lyles



Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

This has been a terrible week for the USA on so many levels. There are so many topics I could cover related to this audience, that arise from current events, but I need (and maybe you do too) for this week’s post to address the intersectionality between invisible disability and the racial justice riots that are rocking our cities after the killing of George Floyd by an on-duty police officer.

Three...


Disability

What Does Soft Reopening Mean For Us?


Clearly the world has had enough of pandemic lockdown. This country is more nutso than it’s ever been, and that’s saying something. At first we came together over the existential threat, demonstrating the unity we so desperately needed, pandemic or not. That lasted about 3 weeks. I call it the “Family Lockdown Boogie” era, to commemorate that wonderful video and all the other art that arose from those early days.

Then the shine wore off and...


Disability

COVID 19 Complications: A New Hidden Disability?


It’s only been what, 4 months since COVID 19 hit the US, and a disturbing trend is beginning to show. Some people are reporting that they don’t just recover and move on. Aftereffects of the virus are hanging on, and some of those effects may be long-term or permanent—it’s too soon to know.

For people in this audience, the stories coming out are all too familiar. People who aren’t recovering fully are not believed by their friends, families and sometimes even their doctors, who are learning about this right along with us. There are plenty of articles out there about the medical ramifications; I’m looking at the social ones.



Disability

Musings on Pandemic Privilege

Quote from author Ellen Urbani

I’ve been thinking a lot about privilege lately.  I have this platform through PsychCentral that allows me to air my views to others fortunate enough to have internet access and devices to read on. I can try to use my privilege to help others with less of it.

On a blog like this one, it’s easy to fall back on confirmation bias and not challenge anyone. After all, this is...


Disability

Protesters and the Vulnerable Community

AP Photo Elaine Thompson

In 2010, I woke up in the ICU on a ventilator. With both arms badly broken and a tube down my throat, I had no way to communicate. In order to cope with the horror of complete immobility, I resolved to survive the time on the ventilator and then everything was going to be all right. After the ventilator came off and I was still 100% immobilized, I obsessed on...


Disability

The Secondary Health Care Crisis


It's all over the news, how a second health care crisis is coming. News stories mention people with cancer and chronic illnesses. I’ve mentioned over the last few weeks how people in our audience are going without regular health care that they need while the system is overwhelmed with the pandemic. In many cases, their providers are available, but it’s too risky to go to a clinic where they may be exposed.

I have 5 friends with...