Saturday, October 10, 2015

Counting with George (Non-Fiction Fantasy)

Not the hospital I visited. VAH at Salem, MA.
This happened. It happened to me, and happens to others too often.

“You’re going to need a pre-op x-ray/MRI,” Dr. Man said, releasing my knee. For an old guy who specialized in joints, he handled mine brutally. I instinctively clutched the knee, which throbbed more from his two-minute examination than in the three weeks since it my fall.

“Pre-op?” I asked. I did not like the sound of that. It sounded like an ‘op’ was inevitable. I couldn’t afford any ops right now.

“Yeah,” he said. He took up a pad and scrawled something out, not looking at me. Apparently there was nothing more to tell me.

It’s difficult for me to ask people questions when they clearly don’t want to talk– I feel guilty for desiring the information. Only as he looked at the door did I squeeze out,

   1. “Do you know how much this is going to cost?”

He asked, “The MRI or the surgery?”

“Either. Both. I’m uninsured.”

“Oh.” He looked at me like I’d farted. “No, I don’t know. It’ll be bad. You can talk to billing.”

Monday, October 5, 2015

Carrie Bailey on Struggling with Disability in Life and Fiction

Today I'm happy to present a guest post by author Carrie Bailey. She's seldom discussed her ocillopsia, and bringing up health issues in public always takes bravery. The more we've discussed it, the prouder I was to be able to give her a platform to discuss it. The essay itself is beautiful. I'll get out of her way now, and let her talk. -John

I admire people who speak openly about disability, but I’m afraid of being thrown in with the inspiration porn if I discuss mine. You would think that someone who publishes novels and has traveled around the globe for the past five years could at least tell a therapist about a condition that impacts every part of my life. He is required by law to keep my secrets.

I have to face it. I’m a coward.

I spent eight months talking dark family secrets and analyzing the symbolism in my writing before I mentioned to the man that I had a condition that affected my equilibrium. Ever since it developed in my twenties, I have insulated myself from talking about it by allowing people come up with their own explanations for what is wrong with me.

And I repeat the same tired lies about how I first started writing, because it’s much sexier than saying I didn’t want to go out in public with my cane and let people watch me drool.

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