stay sick; don't get well



My Mobility Aids









I think my lover's cane is sexy. The way they walk like a rainstorm stumbles slow across the landscape. How, with fingers laced together, our boots & canes click in time-unsteady rhythm of a metronome's limp wrist. All sway & swish, first person I ever saw walk with a lisp. Call this our love language of unspokens: We share so many symptoms, the first time we thought to hyphenate our names was, playfully, to christen ourselves a new disorder. We trade tips on medication, on how to weather what prescriptions make you sick to [maybe] make you well. We make toasts with acetaminophen bought in bulk. Kiss in the airport terminal through surgical masks. Rub the knots from each others' backs. We dangle FALL RISK bracelets from our walls & call it decoration. We visit another ER & call it a date. When we are sick, again, for months -with a common illness that will not leave-it is not the doctors who care for us. We make do ourselves. At night, long after the sky has darkened-in-something like a three-day-bruise, littered with satellites I keep mistaking for stars-our bodies are fever-sweat stitched. A chimera. Shadow-puppet of our lust. Bones bowed into a new beast [with two backs, six legs of metal & flesh & carbon fiber]. Beside my love, I find I can't remember any prayers so I whisper the names of our medications like the names of saints. Orange bottles scattered around the mattress like unlit candles in the dark.

--torrin a. greathouse



Manifesto of the Committee for the Sick and Useless

by @aturinfortheworse

Those of us with disabilities form an interest group with an immense number of seemingly abled people. Everyone whose culture, beliefs, age, personality, sexuality, language, immigration status or other inclination makes them less useful to society belongs with disabled people in the fight to exist without justification.

The Committee for the Sick and Useless believe it is the innate and inalienable right of all people to:
1. Do Nothing
2. Help No One
3. Feel Awful

And above all else
1. Be Useless






bitter patient's union

chronic illness is just. you call your physical therapist's office and their next available appointment is in six months. you ask to be put on a cancellation list. you call again in six months. their next available appointment is in six months. you call your doctor's office and make an appointment. they put you on a new medication and tell you to come back in three months. three months pass. you make another appointment. your doctor tells you to stay on the medication another three months. you get a referral for a bone scan. you ring the office to see if an appointment was made. they put you through to another number. you hold. they never received your referral. wait time for a scan is at least six months. you call your pain specialist's office to see if they can put the referral through again. you hold. no one answers.

-- @opalsiren




“Many people's experience of the medical community would bear out the opposite conclusion, the conclusion that physicians do not trust (hence, hear) the human voice, that they in effect perceive the voice of the patient as an 'unreliable narrator' of bodily events, a voice which must be bypassed as quickly as possible so that they can get around and behind it to the physical events themselves. But if the only external sign of the felt- experience of pain (for which there is no alteration in the blood count, no shadow on the X ray, no pattern on the CAT scan) is the patient's verbal report (however itself inadequate), then to bypass the voice is to bypass the bodily event, to bypass the patient, to bypass the person in pain. Thus the reality of a patient's X-rayable cancer may be believed-in but the accompanying pain disbelieved and the pain medication underprescribed. Medical contexts, like all other contexts of human experience, provide in stances oft the alarming phenomenon noted earlier: to have great pain is to have certainty; to hear that another person has pain is to have doubt. The doubt of other persons, here as elsewhere, amplifies the suffering of those already in pain.”

-Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain

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