Health and Wellness with a Disability

  1. #IAmAPreExistingCondition: Medicaid is the Lifeline that Saved Me

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    Image of a stethoscope and pen lying on top of a medical chart.

    I owe my health and ability to live in this disabled body to Medicaid.  It is the social program that is will be under attack if the Senate accumulates enough votes for the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  The AHCA is the replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.  There are provisions within the AHCA that will impact those of us with pre-existing conditions and/or utilize Medicaid.  

    The disabled community, including myself, have been very vocal as to the harm the AHCA could cause for us.  I’ve taken part in discussing my own story & urging our Senators to vote “no” by using the #IAmAPreexistingCondition hashtag, and being interviewed by Al-Jazeera along with other advocates about the bill (click to view Part I and Part II).  

    I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Center for Disability Rights this month that outlines why Medicaid matters so much to me, and why the AHCA would be dangerous for my people.  We need more disabled voices proclaiming that healthcare is a human right that should not be deemed as an optional circumstance to acquire.  

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  1. Freewheel, Fitness Tracker for Wheelchair Users: Tools You Can Use

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    wheelchair-5-390x285

    Over the weekend, I stumbled upon an article about a new fitness tracker being developed for disabled people, particularly wheelchair users like myself.  Being someone who always jokes about how pushing this 20+ pounds of metal for over 25 years has been a great cardio workout routine for me, I was eager to learn more about how Freewheel came to be, and to feature it this week for the “Tools You Can Use” series.

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  1. Domestic Violence & Disabled Women – The Silent Epidemic within Our Community

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    Kendall could tell by the slam of the door that Mark was in a foul mood.  She was sitting on the couch in the living room of their small apartment reading her book, with her wheelchair positioned beside her.  She looked up, and saw the expression on his face that signified that this evening wasn’t going to be a peaceful one.

    “Did you make dinner yet?,” he said curtly.

    “No.  I was just about to get up and do so,” she uttered in a meek voice.

    “Damn it, woman.  I work this hell of a job all day.  At least you can have a hot meal waiting for me when I get home!!,” he yelled while leaning forward to get in her face.

    Kendall let out a small whimper while Mark glared at her as he proceeded to walk towards her wheelchair.  He shoved it across the room, and gave her a sadistic smirk.

    “How are you going to go make dinner now without your precious damn wheelchair?!?!,” he barked in a condescending tone.

    “Please Mark, just give me my chair back.  I’m sorry,” Kendall sobbed as Mark continued to tower over her, making her feel inferior for the 1,000th time.

    “You’ll learn one goddamn day to do what’s right!  You do this on purpose to make me angry!,” Mark shouted as he raised his hand in the position to hit her, but the threat of being smacked alone was enough abuse for him to inflict on Kendall that day.  Seeing how small she felt, he jerked the chair back toward the couch, and stomped off.

    Why do I keep putting up with this? Kendall thought to herself.  I feel so trapped by being here; I have no friends, no job, or money to support myself – how much longer do I have to endure this?  With shaky nerves, she locked the brakes on her wheelchair, transferred herself into it, and wheeled to the kitchen to make dinner, all while tears streamed from her eyes.

    Domestic Violence Observance Ribbon

    This fictitious narrative is sadly the situation many disabled women endure from their significant others every day in America, and across the world.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I thought that this would be the opportune time to spotlight the silent epidemic that is killing and destroying the lives of the disabled women we love, work with, and who bring incredible joy to our lives.

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  1. September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

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    Sickle Cell Disease Awareness 1

    September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and I decided to show my support by educating my readers about this disease that affects so many in America, and abroad.  As an African American, I am well aware that sickle cell disease hits our community the hardest, and we have to stand in support of those we know and love who live with the symptoms that affect their well-being each and every day.  The purpose of this article is to provide a mini crash course on the most common sickle cell disease, sickle cell anemia, and all that comes along with having this condition.

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  1. The Importance of Practicing Self-Care as a Disabled Person

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    Self Care Quote 1

    What exactly is self-care, you might ask?  Self-care is the active participation in enhancing the quality of your physical, mental, and emotional health.  Some people erroneously believe that nurturing the self is for those who are weak, fragile, or are slackers.  Self-care is something that everyone should practice regularly, and make time for.  Self-care is unique to each person because there are different activities that each of us can do that will allow us to “recharge” our batteries to be fully present and helpful to ourselves, our loved ones, and our obligations/responsibilities.

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