Inspired by both the Physical Disability Bingo Card
and the Invisible Disability Bingo Card
(and IDBC the sequel
), I'd like to make a bingo card highlighting the horrifically unhelpful things people with disabilities all too often hear from people who should really, really know better: doctors (and other medical personnel including but not limited to nurses and EMTs, but primarily doctors).
My personal "favourite" is when I see a doctor for a follow-up appointment after they've ordered some tests, and they announce to me, "Great news! You don't
have [insert diagnosis here]!" without actually having the real
good news that they've identified the cause of the symptoms I came to them about. Especially when this is then followed by them essentially washing their hands of me, as they've looked for "everything" and "all the tests came out normal." Thanks, genius, unless your statement alone magically makes my body work again
, it's not helpful at all.
I know other people probably have their own contributions to this category of fail!statements and fail!questions, and other people may come up with better phrasing than mine for many of them. (Brevity, alas, is rarely one of my virtues.) So please, contribute your own "favourite" inanities you've heard from doctor after doctor.
Another favourite of mine is "I'm not filling out any disability paperwork for patients (any more)" -- sometimes phrased as, "If you want the doctor to fill out disability paperwork, there's a fee of $___ for each form, which your insurance won't cover because oh right, it's actually illegal for us to charge for that especially when we're already billing for the office visit."
Then there's "No, I won't prescribe that medication for you, even though it's neither controlled nor a risk for addiction, and I actually don't have any particular reason for refusing, I'm just being stubborn."
Yet another favourite, though I haven't run into it personally in years, is "Either you really have that symptom/condition, OR you know some technical terms used to describe it in medical literature and other exclusive content like WebMD and Wikipedia; any patient who comes in and uses the correct terms to discuss either a symptom they claim to have or a specific diagnosis they want to be checked for is obviously
either a hypochondriac, a malingerer or both!"edited to add:
"If you just go back to your regular routine, you'll be feeling yourself again in no time." (Yes, this is
different when it's actual medical advice and also being given in place of
appropriate medical care, as opposed to when some doubtless-well-meaning layperson says it.)and
"Your presenting with both symptom A and symptom B is suspicious, despite the fact that at least a dozen recognised illnesses feature both symptoms as common and/or diagnostic."and
"I see that you're taking medication X, based on which I will assume that you have condition B, even though you helpfully wrote right next to the medication name and dosage that the medication was actually prescribed to treat condition A, and even though you wrote in the medical-history section that you have condition A and made no mention of condition B."
Although I've heard things like "but you're so young!" and "you seem fine / don't look disabled" from doctors and other medical professionals, I'm aiming for things which are profession-specific and haven't already been addressed on one of the other bingo cards.
As you can see I need help trimming these down from rant-size to bingo-card size, so suggestions toward that end are appreciated.
While I'm here... I've been wondering how screen readers and/or other assistive technology handle emphasised text, be it bolded, underlined, italicised or formatted with some other HTML tag, and whether some tags are more likely than others to get dropped by (or become illegible to) people using various kinds of assistive technology. Toward that end, some examples so people can tell how their tech does at letting them know what formatting the writer has applied:
1. This sentence has no HTML formatting tags.
This sentence is enclosed in HTML "pre" tags.
3. This sentence is enclosed in HTML "B" (bold) tags.
4. This sentence is enclosed in HTML "U" (underline) tags.
5. This sentence is enclosed in HTML "I" (italic) tags.
6. This sentence is enclosed in HTML "em" (emphasis) tags.
This sentence is enclosed in HTML "S" (strikethrough) tags.
8. This sentence is enclosed in HTML "sub" (subscript) tags.
9. This sentence is enclosed in HTML "sup" (superscript) tags.
Those are most of the tags I use. If there are other tags other people use frequently and are willing to change their usage of, if necessary, so that their intended meaning can be better conveyed to those using assistive technology -- or tags that people who use assistive technology know don't come through for them -- please comment, and I'll modify this post to reflect those, too. Please also note which software and/or hardware you're using, not so much for me as for other AT users, so we can helpfully compare how text renders in different programs. I encourage people using magnification (or some other assistive technology) rather than or in addition to a screen-reader to contribute their experiences as well.
Finally, does the "fandom heart" emoticon, <3 (less-than / pointy-bracket numeral-three) get lost in translation for anyone? Would the ASCII ♥ be better?
(Please also suggest any tags -- post tags, that is, not html tags -- I ought to have included but didn't. Or, actually, other html tags would also be good! But for different purposes.)