Link Roundup

Some NPR Links About Stuff

Hey look, other people call it “passing”, too!

People with ‘Invisible Disabilities’ Fight For Understanding

This has always been confusing to me. How to identify my disability, or whether I should even identify myself as disabled. I mean, technically I survive and function with medication, so I’d say that sticks me squarely in the disabled camp. But my ulcerative colitis isn’t visible to passersby, or my coworkers, or whoever. It’s invisible the same way anything else personal about it invisible: like my politics or sexuality, say, or my thoughts on yaoi. The UC is only “visible” when I’m flaring. At that point, anyone who felt like checking out my toilet would see some extreme evidence.

But let’s look deeper past the basic existence of my disease and the visibility/invisibility of it, and into some ethical quandaries I consider regularly when thinking about UC. I’m able to manage my health well enough with medication and some vigilance of diet. How can I in good conscience apply for disability assistance, when I’m able to comfortably work a full-time position? I suppose the point would be that if I needed to apply, I should be able to without judgment from people who can’t see my ulcerated colon and decree I be disabled enough for a parking sticker or assistance. If:

  • my meds stopped working or suddenly induced awful side effects, or
  • I lost my job and/or health insurance, couldn’t get replacements for either, and therefore could no longer afford meds

But until that happens, I’m loathe to apply for any assistance. I have this really irritating feeling of I CAN DO IT I’M FINE bullshit that I’d love to not have — among other things it seems to minimize the effort of people who can’t pass with the help of meds or whatever. What it really drives home to me is how individual our disabilities are, and how that gets in the way of people understanding them. Like the article says, it’s easy to say, WHEELCHAIR! THEREFORE DISABLED! BING! And then you can go about your business. Anything else gets uncomfortable, like we’re ranking disabilities or trying to one-up each other, or even convince skeptics that we’re really unable to do certain things without the assistance of therapy, support, or meds.

In other news, sometimes I suspect the FDA doesn’t have any real power.

FDA Tests Turn Up Dairy Farmers Breaking the Law on Antibiotics

Because the survey was carried out for research purposes, the samples were collected anonymously, and the FDA cannot send investigators to the farms to find out what happened.

Here’s a question: why not? I don’t think anyone wants freakin’ Cipro in their milk. Here’s one of the possible side effects noted on Do not take ciprofloxacin with dairy products such as milk or yogurt, or with calcium-fortified juice. Heh.


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