Having an invisible disability sucks!

I am NOT a poorly performing normal abilified neurology registrar, I am an incredibly high functioning ADDer damn it!

I am REALLY sick of my bosses (who are NEUROLOGISTS!! for fucks sake, and therefore should KNOW this stuff) saying, well yes, you do have ADHD, and we do work you INSANELY hard and SLEEP DEPRIVE YOU ALL THE TIME but you are just going to have to get over it and start acting normal, and stop being emotionally volatile, and pay attention and all.
SERIOUSLY, this is like telling some one in a wheel chair that, yes, they are in a wheel chair, but they just need to get over it and deal with the stairs anyway. Ramps? Nooo, that would be unreasonable. No one else needs ramps so why should you?

Just because I look like everyone else doesn't mean I can act like them. I am not suggesting that they cater to my every whim, or that I get to stomp around and act like the bitch queen of the universe, and get to hide behind my diagnosis and no one can touch me because of it, but seriously, they are just NOT being fair to me here.

Some days I wish I could walk around with one of those signs pinned to me like legally blind people have...

"I have ADHD. I am often socially retarded and will likely seem weird to you (except in one-on-one situations or palliative care, where I kinda rock (I am also prone to tangents) ) I apologise in advance for anything I may say that might make you cry...the bathrooms are that way"
OK, seriously, someone put in a complaint about me at work, because I "made someone cry"

first of all, they went on the attack first, then, when I read the email that they sent, they full on MADE UP stuff that they claim I said, and finally, you are a fully grown adult. Someone makes you cry at work, you suck it up and do it in the toilets, you don't put it a formal complaint, on THOSE grounds alone!

Yes, I may be a fairly abrupt communicator at times, but this was crazy!
I am going to give this blogging thing a go again, despite the fact that I am a notoriously unreliable blogger. Why? Because I am setting myself some difficult tasks and I think I might need both some anonymous moral support and accountability (to random strangers on the internet, but still!).

So I, Dr Carrot, am going to undertake a 1 year shopping ban, and am also going to try to keep my room in a reasonable state of tidiness for the foreseeable future.

Also I am home sick from work today, so further details when I am less woozy!
Random commentary from an Australian visiting USA for the first time...

Yes my posts are wordy, sorry!

 The funny thing is that it IS still a foreign country, but you don't expect it to be, so all the little differences have a big impact, as opposed to when you travel somewhere like India where you are expecting foreignness and also overwhelmed with it.  It is kinda like being in an alternative universe where most things are right so the little details that are off jar more, because they are not SUPPOSED to be wrong, only in a not unpleasant way, just curious.

Ok so they drive on the right, we all knew that, but the escalators are also in the right, as is the convention when passing others on the footpath...totally logical I know, but completely unexpected!

One that really freaked me out, a huge lack of pedestrian crossings!  You are just meant to figure out when it is safe to cross and do so!  To some-one who is still repeating in my head, "look left, then right, then left again" at every crossing this is mighty scary, especially as there are so many one way streets!  Although cars do seem to break for you much more, which I don't expect, so then I wind up standing there, waiting, until they get sick of it and start to go, at the exact same moment that I decide that yes, they have really stopped for me and step out, do we then repeat the whole process again! There are some pedestrian crossings, but they are few and far between.  When I think about it they don't make any noise...how the hell do blind people cross the road in this country?! Plus it is a white little man for go, and a red hand held up for stop, with a ten second count down before the end of the go cycle.

When they say lemonade, they don't mean sprite, they mean basically lemon cordial.

I keep on feeling like I am in a TV show!  Because most non-Aussie TV shows do such a ridiculous job of depicting Australia I had assumed that of course America was nothing like TV.
I keep on hearing people talking to each other, and on their cell phones (my brain actually thought cell then, instead of mobile, I went to correct it and then decided to leave it in), and they sound to me, for all the world like TV extras... I have to stop myself from giggling when I am on a bus hearing someone talking to his wife and saying "dang it shirley!" and so forth!  Or hearing African American women referencing Jesus when telling their kids off for being bad, ect.
Oh plus all of these mythical stores that we only hear about, like Walgreens, Wendy's, Arby's that I have only seen on TV, are here, they are real! Yes, I knew that theoretically, I just didn't expect the TVish feeling it gives me when I see them in real life!

These people will submit to being body scanned at airports, but at the same time there are signs telling you that your handgun and mace can't be in your carry on luggage!  Which is relevant, because people really do have guns and mace! Sure, you can see me practically naked before I get on a flight, but dammnit you ain't gonna take away my liberty to carry weapons in public!!

Drug companies are allowed to advertise directly to people here!  So freaky, these hard core immunosupressant, potentially lethal drugs blithely announcingl to consumers that such a product will help your IBD but may also cause serious infections, or death! People who I mentioned this to were quite shocked at my surprise!  But how else do they get their drugs out there, they ask, well, I explain, the doctors pick which ever drugs we think is most helpful to our patient...they think this highly irregular!  Also trying to explain the concept of universal health care freaks them out!  I had thought this was better now, but apparently it is not.  They think it is weird that people get admitted to hospital because they have pain that needs in patient management!  There is a lot of talk about costing in all the lectures I have gone to.

Oh and sadly no one seems to notice my accent, and many seem surprised when i explain that i am Australian!  This is sad on two counts, first I am in a part of the world where our accent is allegedly adored, and I can't trade on it!  Also my frequent social gaffs due to my cultural ignorance (like not knowing whether to sit at a table and wait for service, or to ask for breakfast as I walk past the kitchen at my B&B) are not automatically explained away as soon as I speak!.

Tipping continues to be weird, I don't mind the money at all, I just can't figure out how to DO it!  When ordering at the counter when there is a tip jar there, and you pay at the time of ordering, are you supposed to tip then instead?  If so, do you just give them 15 or 20%?  What if you under-tip, and then get great service, do you go back and add more?  Or do you tip afterwards, in which case do you leave your tip on the table, or do you walk half way across the restaurant, to the counter, just to give them your tip?  I went with the final option, but then the server's back was turned, so I wonder if they just thought I was a horrible rude customer who didn't leave a tip! Also tipping amounts freak me out, in that 20% is a fairly small monetary amount of a $10 meal, but at the same point it feels silly to give a 50% tip for a meal!  

That being said, the other big difference, people are really friendly here! Pretty much everyone says hi as I pass on the street...it is kinda nice!



September 2012

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