CW: violence in healthcare
When I was a 9 year old girl, a dermatologist I was seeing got mad at my mom for asking lots of questions and he laid me down on a table and took a q-tip with nitric acid and in anger dug it into the side of my face.
I still have the scar. I hadn’t thought of that story in years.
But this week, it’s been in the back of my head. A memory dug up by new inequities. I remember my mom, who at the time still had very broken English, advocating for me and the anger this man had that she would question his authority.
I remember being so confused as to what was happening and my mom pulling me off the table sobbing. My 6 year old brother, at the time yelling “What did you do to my sister?!” He was indignant for me even then.
My parents wanted to sue but we were really poor and the lawyers they reached out to discouraged it because they said no one would believe us over the doctor.
And that’s the memory, the feeling, that has been haunting me this week as I recover from a terrible healthcare experience.
It has been 30 years since that happened and I still had a doctor this week treat me like I was expendable and try to punish me because I had advocates that questioned him/I questioned him and he interpreted it as a challenge to his authority.
It’s the pre-existing conditions that show up in our community y’all BUT that inability for us to ask to even the most basic questions in our own advocacy without being considered insubordinate THAT is killing us in this crisis. THAT is turning us away at the door of healthcare.
You can follow @karlitaliliana.
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