I wrote my Blogging Against Disableism entry in my other blog about how hard it's been to fight for recognition as someone with some sort of unknown chronic illness. I talked about the years of not having doctors believe me that there was something physically wrong. I talked about the feeling of validation when my psychiatrist said that I didn't have a conversion disorder. How good it was to find someone who believed me.
Well, today I was reminded of how much it sucks sometimes when someone takes you seriously. I'm living in NYC this summer and have been having phone appointments with my psychiatrist every week or two. Today she told me that she had things she wanted me to research or think about before our next session. There were various non-disability related things. But then there was that she wants me researching mobility scooters and what it would take for insurance to cover one. For me, that's like another step up on the assistive device pole or something. First time a doctor has suggested some sort of mobility device without my bringing it up first myself. That wasn't the real kicker, though. The real kicker was that she also brought up the idea of my looking into applying for disability. It was like a kick to the gut.
What really got me was that a doctor was suggesting these things. Really for the first time it was a doctor of any type telling me that my physical health isn't going to get better. And that was rough. I've been venting to just about anyone who would listen because I'm not used to this. She also wants me to think about whether I'm discounting my disability by separating disability and impairment. (Yes, I'm an American who likes the British “impairment” vs. “disability” over people first language) Really now I'm just kinda scared. I'm used to fighting for people to listen to me about what life feels like. And while I wouldn't take back a single thing I've told her, I'm scared to know that she's reached the conclusion that things are this serious. I've spent part of the evening almost in tears and I know that when I talk to some of my friends about this, I probably will cry. There are other concerns I have, but I won't get into them here. But I just feel like it's rough.