My illnesses make it hard to do my job, but not in the way you’d think

At a not-so-recent meeting at work, I was put in a very awkward position and now I don’t know what to do.

I can’t go into a lot of the details, but some people in the meeting were speaking ill of someone in the political scene by comparing them to children needing special education… and laughing uproariously about it. I didn’t laugh, but I also said nothing.

At other meetings, there is little involvement from patients. I’ve tried to advocate strongly for it, but things already move too slowly or we’re not at the place in the process yet.

Don’t get me wrong. I work with some amazing people, and many of them love the work I do on patient things and health activism. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are others who don’t get it, who turn around and use conditions of patients they see every day to mock someone else, and then don’t get that it’s inappropriate.

Sometimes that translates to having a really hard time doing my job because of it and I don’t know what to do.

Issues of job security make it so that I want to keep my mouth shut. My entire being is screaming at me for saying nothing. How is it that these doctors I see far more often than my own can make me feel so inferior? What am I doing here in this job? How can I be an ePatient when I won’t speak up for others in all aspects of my life?

This meeting was pre-MedX and, honestly, if this happened again, I would speak up now. I’m sure docs would think it’s not appropriate behavior to do so, but I also don’t care so much now. People matter, especially in healthcare, and if you’re picking on people with ableism involved? Maybe you shouldn’t practice anymore.

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