Recommended Reading for February 18th

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language and ideas of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

Salon: How childbirth caused my PTSD [WARNING: story of obstetric assault and PTSD symptoms. More accurately labelled “obstetric trauma”, not “birth trauma”.]

He confirmed that I didn’t have PPD or any of its cousins. Yes, I had depression. Yes, I had anxiety. Yes, I was postpartum (four months at this point). But what I had was something else, something those specialists, so married to their own territory, couldn’t see. I had post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dis/Embody: Lost and masculine mobility [SPOILERS for Lost]

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about men and mobility impairments, particularly in dramatic television, is how often they are seen struggling against disability and attempting to overcome it to regain a properly dominant masculine identity. Disability as narrative obstacle, as it were. How much more novel and relevant would it be to watch a character adapt, craft alternative forms of masculinity, and resist cultural narratives of cure and exceptionalism?

Phoenix New Times: Shocking Pink: Arpaio’s Detention Officers Unnecessarily Terrorized a Psychotic Inmate Because He Resisted Wearing Pink Underwear [WARNING: assault, violence]

Esquire: Roger Ebert: The Essential Man

Now his hands do the talking. They are delicate, long-fingered, wrapped in skin as thin and translucent as silk. He wears his wedding ring on the middle finger of his left hand; he’s lost so much weight since he and Chaz were married in 1992 that it won’t stay where it belongs, especially now that his hands are so busy. There is almost always a pen in one and a spiral notebook or a pad of Post-it notes in the other — unless he’s at home, in which case his fingers are feverishly banging the keys of his MacBook Pro. […]

He calls up a journal entry to elaborate, because it’s more efficient and time is precious:

When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.

He is a wonderful writer, and today he is producing the best work of his life.

New York Times: Fighting Denied Claims Requires Perseverance

Ms. Carr’s form of shock is all too common. The Department of Labor estimates that each year about 1.4 billion claims are filed with the employer-based health plans the department oversees. Of those, according to data collected from health insurance industry sources, 100 million are initially denied. In simpler numbers, that is one of every 14 claims. […]

“About 53 percent of appeals work in our state,” said the Kansas insurance commissioner, Sandy Praeger. “That demonstrates that the process works.”

Chris Walters at The Consumerist: Protect Yourself From Unexpected Fees At Medical Clinics

An anonymous reader wrote to us to ask what he should do about unexpected bills from a medical clinic. He chose the clinic precisely because he can’t afford hospital bills in the hundreds of dollars, and was led to believe that there’d be no out-of-pocket cost. It turns out there was.

Jody McIntyre at Electronic Intifada: Interview: Disabled activist continues struggle in Bilin

Everyday, people were just waiting for the moment I would die. At first, on the news they said I was a martyr; my father heard on the radio that his son had died. Later, they changed the report, and said that I was a “living martyr.”

5 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for February 18th

  1. Incidentally, on the insurance note… it surprises me just how many insurance companies and doctors’ offices provide no means of contact other than telephone.

    if you’ve never had to call an insurance company or big doctor’s office via relay? Be glad. After dealing with the voice-mail menu timing out after the relay operator has finally transcribed it, you’ll then end up getting the receptionist utterly frustrated in having to deal with the CB-radio-style relay protocol.

    It’s slightly better with the new CapTel system, but still full of awkward pauses as one waits for the transcription to catch up– and the menus still frequently time out by the time the option one needs has finally been transcribed.

    Seriously, there are turnkey secure web/email messaging systems out there for the taking for confidential communications like this… but nobody bothers to use them.

  2. Getting insurance to cover mental health treatments is especially hard. My parents fought tooth and nail to get my father’s relatively good insurance to cover my treatments when I was in high school. Mental health parity laws or not, most insurance companies don’t want to cover mental health treatment.

    And the article about Sheriff Joe? I wish I could say it surprised me, but I’d be lying. I live in Arizona and everyone knows that he is a mean son of a gun and you really don’t want to have any encounters with him or his men. They are even worse to you if you are Hispanic.

  3. I’ve been watching Lost since reading PWD and every time John Locke’s off-island disability comes up, I think about depictions of PWD. I feel like the depiction of him is ableist. I’m hoping that there is some commentary about how he is a complete human being, even tho he doesn’t think so. The fact that he was so emotionally wounded before his paralysis is not highlighted enough … and even though I’ve watched it from the beginning, that emotional pain still seems to be conflated with his physical injury. They don’t have many episodes left to get this right ….

  4. I’ve seen someone with PTSD post-partum, which had a profound influence on my practice. Fortunately, I was able to spend a lot of time with her discussing what her anxieties were surrounding birth and labour. Essentially, her problems stemmed from needing an emergency intervention (and we are talking about one of the few “true emergencies” in obstetrics where minutes can mean the difference between a live baby or not) and inadequate debriefing afterwards.

    Debriefing is often forgotten, but it has a profound impact on the long term mental health of both the patients and the staff. There’s no excuse for not consenting properly for any procedure that’s not an emergency (and poor communication is a common cause for litigation) and no excuse for not debriefing in an emergency situation.

    I rarely hear anything positive heard about maternity care in the US. I appreciate that this compounded by the healthcare system there, and by the interference of the extreme religious right.

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