Ignorant medical personnel. Say what?May 23 03:37
You wouldn’t think nurses, nurse’s aids, even doctors, would say the things they do about people with disabilities, but there’s a big giant annoying handful of them out there, and there’s much more than there should be.
When I go to my doctor’s office I want to feel peace of mind that I’m around people who can help me; a big sigh of relief kind of thing. Having to worry if one of the people in said office might say something stupid to me? Yeah…that shouldn’t have to be on my radar, but it does.
I’m always vigilant about stupid people saying stupid things to me - like a paintballer who always thinks she’s about to get hit. And I’m only this way because of going through these annoying interactions a few dozen times, and I finally began to see it was going to be a thing I should always expect to happen. But not at my doctor’s office! No, no!
One time it was the receptionist at my doctor’s office, who asked very loudly and sharply/demeaning one day as I was checking in, “What happened to you?” Really…really? Was I really having to deal with this right now; you, being rude to me, here in my supposed medical haven, that is supposed to be free of such idiots? I guess not.
Another time it was a nurse’s aid in a post-op recovery area (after a bladder procedure). My boyfriend was coming to pick me up and she then asked, as she helped me get dressed, “Oh…is he in a wheelchair too?” I looked at her fuming, dumbfounded those ignorant words just dribbled out of her mouth. "Um no. Why would you think that?” I said point-blank.
See what I did there? I turned the uncomfortableness back on her. Ha...see if she likes it (she had no idea what to say, btw)! Whenever you're put in an uncomfortable situation you didn't start, remember to always, always give it back to them. Or am I being too mean?
What do you think? Should we expect medical facilities to be ignorant-free, or is it too much to ask?
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1. Ole | Oct 03 03:46
You mean the RN in the ER who was educating my husband (C4-5-6) about his condition? "Oh, you're not a quadriplegic, you're only (only!) a paraplegic, because you can move your arms. The doctor's assistant who stared at me for a moment after she prepared the ekg test for my husband: "Well, do you want me to help you get him on the table?" (You couldn't swing a cat in that tiny room, and his chair took up all available space. Did they have a lift? No.) I got a million of 'em!
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.