When I go to see the doctor, my IQ drops 50 points.
I don't know why, it was always thus. My doctor in Quebec was a friendly chatty woman who created an atmosphere where I could freely chat and comfortably discuss health. But even there I had difficulty in talking to the doctor easily and would often fumble around for words. It's gotten worse with my new doctor here in Toronto. He gives me really good health care but is icy cold, never smiles and never, ever, ever chats. Going to see him, which I must because with all the medications I'm on now, it seems like I'm kept alive by chemistry, is not an easy thing.
I've taken to writing a list of concerns down on a paper and going in and going over the list item by item. He responds professionally and appropriately. Then we're done. But the whole time I'm in there I feel like I'm a bumbling oaf.
Luckily, really luckily, Cicely wasn't like that.
The story of Cicely and her surgeon as told by her mom continues to upset me. Sure I'm glad the surgeon was 'educated' and 'challenged' about her bigotry by Cicely's trusting nature. Sure I'm glad that it all ended well.
But WHAT IF?
What if Cicely was like me and during the surgeons visit she shrunk into herself rather than reached out of herself? What if she was so ill or so frightened or so tired - that she wasn't herself? What if she hadn't been up to teaching a class on disability rights, disability pride and disability value? What if she had been cranky? What if she had been whiny? What if she had just lay there and not engaged the doctor? How would the surgeon then have seen her? What kind of care would she have gotten? Thankfully, Cicely was up to the task ... but ...
Isn't it a lot to ask of a sick child?
Isn't it wrong for a doctor to give a child of one colour better treatment than a child of another? How is this different? Why is a doctor even allowed to graduate when they carry a belief system that would give life to one and deny it to another.
What part of 'all' don't they understand?
I shake my head at all of this and don't know what the answer is ... how do we, collectively, challenge the prevailing orthodoxy that sees disability as tragedy and death as relief?
We all owe Cicely one. She managed to get through to one doctor.
But what do we do about the rest?