Apr 27, 2010
Its important to remember that I have dealt with any of my disabilities, psychiatric and now neurological in a rational way seeking treatment so I could recovery and accommodations for what I needed and was unable to (in order to remain a part of the community). I have had positive results with the providers I have dealt with. Unfortunately society has not always been that accepting. In the past it was complicated, Before recovery I would act psychotic and of course it is hard for anyone (especially when that's extreme) to deal with that. The difficulty is now the limitations are physical and factual. But sometimes people can't see them that way. Being that I have marked dysphagia and can hardly speak I use a TTY instead of a phone. But unfortunately another friendship dead ended (note there were no disagreements or conflicts at any time) because of the TTY itself. The call ended "Maybe we can have an actual conversation when you are over your problems". Let's stop there. A TTY conversation is a real conversation. I've called many people who were deaf or hard of hearing. That's an accommodation that enables a person to communicate. Some people I know accepted the TTY right away. Some people took some time to get used to it. Others couldn't. But all the time I physically needed it. And I made sure to keep in touch with people at all times. .
As for what else is going on, its clinically complex. There are neurological changes I have affecting thought processing, mood, cognition and many other aspects of how I process the world. But yet mentally I am rational. The reason I know (and this is being clinically understood in this manner) is that these changes only occur during convulsive activity. Anyone would know what a seizure was. So the best way to react to these changes is as one does to a seizure (being that its not controllable and its neurological). So for myself what I am looking at is an unknown level of mental recovery and some neurological deficits under clinical study. I can explain the accommodations I need and they would all be defined as "reasonable accommodations" (very specific concept within the ADA) but people have to be willing to listen. And yes before recovery there were people I alienated when I was psychotic. That's different. This isn't a "problem", its a physical disability and depending on physical recovery rates I may never "get over it". And as for people with clinically known neurological disabilities, strokes, TBI's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, whatever disability happens to someone you know, they are still your friend. Don't abandon them. In fact this is the time they need you most. When the main issue was psychiatric people encouraged me to stay in treatment. They were right. Now they just need to support me with a recovery as yet hard to define but once known may very well benefit others (as researchers begin to understand it). I accept who I am. I work with providers to define my accommodations. And in order to remain a part of society other people need to stop and think of what they are doing. I am the same person. And I will always be their friend. A TTY is a form of assistive technology. Learn what it means. Because you may find someone else in the same situation and although they cannot speak like everyone else they need very much to be listened to.