Episode 08 — TBI and everything after – a conversation with Cheryl Green

What I would like to see is, at the same time that you’re going through rehab, that you’re getting constant reinforcement that it is OK to be a person with a disability or with an impairment.

It is not embarrassing to ask for help. You are not a burden if you need something, ever. And what disabled people need is not special. You don’t have special needs, you’re not a ‘special person’ – you are a person who has a specific need around your disability, and maybe that need will change, maybe you’ll continue to rehab and you won’t need that thing anymore. … Like, we hate these signs of impairment so much, and even mobility aids, and we lust for normalcy to this degree that if you’re not getting better at a really fast trajectory, it’s easy to hate yourself.

Hello and welcome to episode 8 of the podcast Tips and Tricks on How to Be Sick.

I’m Eirenne and I will be your host as we talk about navigating the world as people with chronic illnesses, both physical and mental, disabilities, and the ways in which the world isn’t necessarily designed for us.

In this episode, we are having a conversation with documentary filmmaker Cheryl Green. Cheryl has a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, and she thinks that the TBI community and the wider disability community could learn from each other if they connect and share experiences. So today, Cheryl is going to share her experiences before and after acquiring her disability, the ableism she has found in the process, and how we can make things just a little bit better for people with intellectual disabilities, TBIs, and really, any disability that causes temporary or permanent cognitive impairment.

A few content notes for this episode:

  • This episode was originally intended to go up in August. It is now the very end of December. My bad!
  • There are some frank discussions of ableist language in this episode, including some specific examples.

And now let’s get to the conversation.

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