Thursday, January 27, 2011

My New Calling

I believe there are no accidents in life. A great example came my way this morning. A thread I started on the honesty/dishonesty of President Obama upon listening to his SOTU the other night morphed into something quite different on Facebook. At first I was kinda frustrated about it.

Next thing I know, I got a link from a friend regarding healthcare. It took me to her personal website where I watched her getting shouted down at a town hall in New Jersey where she lives. She is a major voice in the healthcare reform effort in the U.S. As I watched this video I found myself getting that old sense of passion that has been absent in my life for the past few months. Maybe because I don't know as much about what's going on, as I do around disability issues, I've stayed out of the fray on this.

As I was responding to her message that contained the link, I realized that there is a direct relationship between disability and healthcare. I wrote about the many times I've attended Dr. appointments, hospital visits, and low income clinic fiascos. I wrote about what happened to my friend who died prematurely as a result of being denied treatment for colon cancer. It all began to make sense to me.

Now I have something to jump into with both feet! I have a lot to learn about how the healthcare reform effort is working (or not), but I'm a willing student. EVERYONE HAS A HUMAN RIGHT to affordable healthcare, that won't cause them to make choices around seeing a Dr., purcahsing the medications they need, buying food, or paying their bills. It's really a no brainer, but sometimes it takes a while for my brain to work properly.


Michael Bullis said...

I'm a former Oregonian and the Executive Direcgtor of the IMAGE Center for people with Disabilities in Baltimore Maryland. We're collecting information from people with disabilities, like ourselves, who have techniques they use to help people become comfortable with their disabilities.

I'm hoping that you might help us by telling us your techniques and by spreading the word about this project.
It's possible that some ice-breaker you use will be of value to someone else, or, it's possible that what they do could be of use to you.
Just let us know. Some people raise questions about whether some technique or other is "apropriate." That is, something like using self depricating humor. We understand there is controversy about some of these things but would prefer that everyone forget about that for a moment and just send along their methods of helping people become comfortable with disability.
We'll collect everything and send it back out to the disability community. Our final goal is to develop this body of knowledge and use it with our students to help them master a series of techniques they are comfortable with when dealing with family members, friends or associates, and employers.
People can respond in one of two ways. Either send the information to me, Michael Bullis, or comment on our wall on our facebook page at
The Image Center for People with Disabilities.
If you'd like to send videos, that's fine as well.
Thanks to everyone for your help.
Michael Bullis
The IMAGE Center,
Towson Maryland

abs said...

We need to hear from people like you. The public doesn't know. They avoid delving into areas that cause them discomfort, and disabilities are very uncomfortable topics for most people.
I have a disabled granddaughter, a young adult now. Although her needs are basically covered here in California, I can't begin to recount the frustration in getting equipment, and dealing with the WRONG equipment. She has a "condition" rather than an illness that her family deals with; she had brain damage before birth. My daughter and her husband are wonderful parents, but every day is a challenge.
Your story touched me, knowing how you have endured the economic crises in addition to all your health issues.
It's terrifying that people who misunderstand the need for health care, use it as a political club.
So please keep us posted on what you learn. We all need the straight scoop sans political viewpoints.

David McDonald said...

Actually I don't have a disability beyond the dead weight of other disability advocates I consistently drag around with me. I do appreciate your concern and desire for the truth!