Observations From Below: I'm no Blowhard

I’ve always found it interesting how my life works out sometimes. Almost like the universe is going to send me a message. In an interesting coincidence, I have been sick every time I needed to advocate health care reform. The first time I went to Washington in March, I came down with a cold. The second time I went up, I had an asthma flare. The latest attempt at reform was no different, as I found myself checking into the hospital due to a slight bout with pneumonia.

Regarding my health, I’ve had a pretty difficult month. My experience showed me a couple of things, with one of them being that I must have established myself as a workaholic. Every advocate around me suggested that I should rest more. The fascinating thing about their advice is that I chose the most cautious approach I could have. I’m the one that recommended that I should be admitted to the hospital. My mom is a nurse, so she thought that she could handle me as long as I had the right medication. My case was iffy, so the doctor left the decision in my treatment up to me. I wound up spending two nights there, and I ended up having a great experience.

I think medical professionals can learn a few good things based on my most recent stay. One lesson that sticks out is the way my doctor took time to learn about me and what do in my life. He found out that I’m one of NC’s leading disability rights advocates. He made sure to mention that during both of his morning rounds with me so that his entire staff was aware. Along with the doctors, the nurses did a good job. Sometimes when I’m sick, the nurses will treat me more delicately than my age suggests. For example, they can’t get an IV in me because they are afraid of hurting me, so multiple times in the past my mother had to step in and do it correctly. Just like the bumper sticker states, she has no fear. In contrast to most of my previous care providers, my nurse on the first night was a veteran, and she hit my vein on the first try. I much prefer, just like everybody else would, that the needle hits on the first try. Another good thing that the nurses picked up on, is my sense of humor. I don’t know how they figured it out, but they knew that I was a total smartass (or smart aleck, as my grandmother prefers).

I had a thought-provoking conversation on Facebook recently. The main point I was making is that people with disabilities are people first. We are capable of having all the same moods that a human has and that includes being a smartass when the occasion arises. For whatever reason (maybe my medication), I was uninhibited during my stay in the hospital, and I unleashed a barrage of one-liners. One of them was that my pneumonia case proves that I’m not a blowhard. The nursing staff enjoyed that one. Once I started feeling better, I did some online based advocacy. I couldn’t just leave the health care reformation issue alone. Although I didn’t do much, my social media posts were shared by a number of people. Seeing the most recent outcome makes me feel like I made some sort of impact, and it didn’t bother me having people yell at me not to advocate so much while I was sick.

Since I’ve talked about my whole last week, I should mention one last thing. I had to block my first troll on my Facebook page. Previously, I’ve let my other fans correct the trolls, so I’ve never blocked anyone before. But there’s a first for everything. The older gentleman said that I spread only lies, and I don’t understand why someone would take the time out of their day to sling spurious, unfounded accusations. Especially when referring to a video of me talking about my life and the necessity of me needing a personal assistant. After reviewing his personal page, I came to the realization that we have differing political views, and I’m fine with that. I have many friends who I disagree with politically. If you know anything about my history, you know I work hard to build and maintain my reputation as an even-keeled/fact-based/non-partisan individual. So I didn’t lose too much sleep over him.

I recommend people gear up for Springtime, as that is supposedly the next time when the next healthcare vote is going to occur. The thing that frustrates me through this process is that members from both sides of the aisle have good points, but those good points are drowned out by basic partisan bureaucracy. Hopefully, all sides will come together to create a bill that everyone can agree to help all Americans.

That’s how I roll….into the next eposide.

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