Today, I went to a doctor’s surgery I’ve not been to before as I’ve recently moved. During my appointment with the doctor, several comments were made which left me feeling rather uncomfortable. I left the appointment feeling rather disappointed and must say that I will not be returning.
1. The white cane that I carry was referred to as a stick. This one doesn’t bother me as much because many people do not know the proper name for my mobility device. People who are blind or have low vision use canes or dog guides, those who are deaf or hard of hearing use hearing aids or other devices sometimes in conjunction with lip reading and those with many other types of disabilities have tools which they use in every day life to help them complete tasks like everyone else. While these aids and devices are not our defining feature, they play a major role in our lives. Refering to them with a basic name or shape shows a lack of respect, as does touching or handling them without permission.
2. The cause of my blindness was questioned, with a possible link to cerebral palsy. Not all disabilities are caused by other disabilities and it should not be assumed that one issue is the cause of another.
3. The topic of sexual activity caused her discomfort. When it came time for my potentially new doctor to ask the standard questions every new patient is asked about sex, she became rather uncomfortable. She chose not to look at me directly and stayed focused on her computer screen. People who are blind or have any other kind of disability do engage in the act of sex, just like everyone else.
4. Another hard topic, menstruation. When discussing periods and options relating to my above point, the doctor was still uncomfortable. Her words were chosen carefully and her attention was still focused on her computer screen. Having a disability does not mean that we are automatically exempt from things like periods and the like. We still face issues with regularity and do potentially face medical conditions surrounding our reproductive systems. I believe it is important that parents educate their children with disabilities in the same ways children without disabilities are educated. There are many resources out there for discussions such as these and I will be happy to source them for anyone who may be interested.
I’m posting this today partially out of frustration, but mostly in sadness. It’s 2019 and still there is a negative stigma attached to the health of people with disabilities. I’ve said it above and will restate it here. I am a blind person. I have sex, and I get a period like every other lady. It’s 2019 and my aim for this year is to reduce the awkwardnesss. Will you stand with me?
Just A little note.
Some of the topics I have covered in this post may be sensative to some. It is not my intention to offend anyone by posting what I post. If i have offended anyone who reads this post I do apologise. If you would like to chat with me about issues such as these and others, join my facebook group, Chat With Jaidie