Doctors' Ignorance Stands in the Way of Care for the Disabled (an article written by Leana Wen) wasn't shocking for me. Especially having gone to the doctor myself recently (and having to make appointments for wheelchair evaluations.) At my appointment last week, I pointed out that though my symptoms could have been caused by my disability, they usually presented when people with CP were older, I suspected another cause. His response was, "Okay," like he was taking in new information.
Though they're preliminary tests showed nothing, I was lucky that further tests revealed that my hunch was correct. Today I'm on day four of a seven-day course of antibiotics.
It's why it irked me a bit extra when I read Here Is an Able-Bodied Man Who Identifies as a Man With a Disability (written by Rick Juzwiak.) Because while I am making appointments, spending hours on the phone trying to find places that are in the network of coverage for my insurance, in order to get a new wheelchair, this guy can just get one. He makes enough money that he can drop $2,000 on something he doesn't actually NEED. In order for my insurance to cover a new one (because there's no way I can afford one on my own), I need a doctor to refer me to a physical therapy evaluation. I need to make sure I find a doctor at that clinic who is covered, coordinate transportation, go in, then call the clinic which will do the PT evaluation. (The second one, because after I scheduled with the first, they called and informed me that though I was referred to them, my insurance didn't cover it.) And on and on from there.
Ironically, though, men like that, and women like this never get confronted. They can go on their merry ways, taking advantage of the things that make our lives possible, and they don't deal with people telling them they're not disabled enough to qualify for what they don't need, when we are often made to do a ton of preliminary things just to get what we need to make our lives possible. We have to go to the doctor, to have them refer us to get what we need, but when we do, the reality is, they probably won't know the first thing about our disability or how it affects us.