Author Archives: Jen Kerwood

About Jen Kerwood

30- Asthmatic- Snowbird- Politically Incorrect- Avid Traveller. Tired of having asthma attacks every time I leave my house. Director/Producer of "You've Got To Be Smoking."

Last One Picked

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I had a fairly good childhood. I was bullied a bit in elementary school, but as far as bullying goes it was pretty mild. In high school I became sort of a floater. I wasn’t really popular. I didn’t get invited to the “cool” parties and the in- crowd didn’t spend much time noticing I was alive. However, I wasn’t really unpopular or “weird” either. I mean I was weird, totally weird, but bullying wasn’t a huge issue in my school and I wasn’t that kind of weird. I had groups of friends from a few different cliques, but I never really felt like I fit in 100% to any of them. Although I was generally liked, I felt a bit like an outsider a lot of the time. This feeling intensified as I struggled with depression and grief. When I developed asthma I inched a bit further outside of that “normal” range. I thought I understood what it meant to be the one that didn’t fit in. That was until I moved to Mexico. Now fitting in has taken on a whole new meaning.

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Speaking About Disability

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When I was depressed I lost friends. Not because they stopped liking me, but because they didn’t know what to do or say. I made them uncomfortable and people don’t like feeling uncomfortable. But why didn’t they know what to say? They knew what depression was and they were all very aware of what triggered it. I know some of them just didn’t want to deal with it, but others disappeared slowly. These were the friends who wanted to be there for me, but didn’t know how to be. There is a growing trend in our society to judge people for the words they use. It’s hard to express your opinion or even think out loud without being labeled something- fat shamer, anti-Semitic, heartless, or just plain bitch. Where did the discussion go? How can we learn and grow and be there for each other if we’re all afraid to open our mouths lest we accidentally insult someone?

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Universal Drug Program Dreams

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As someone with a chronic illness, a universal drug plan would significantly improve my quality of life. I’m apparently “not insurable” on my own and since Jay and I are both self employed I can’t piggyback on an employers health plan. Is it fair that I’m expected to dish out hundreds of dollars a month for medications I would die without because I happen to have a disease (that I didn’t cause)?

New research is coming to light that suggests it would SAVE Canada money to implement a universal drug plan.

Canada is the only developed country with universal health insurance coverage that does not also offer universal prescription drug benefits.

About one in 10 Canadians say they can’t afford to take their medications as prescribed, previous studies suggest.

If I couldn’t afford my medications I’d be spending a lot more time in the ER. But it’s not like each ER visit costs the government more than a months worth of medication would. Oh, wait…

Hiring and Firing the Disabled

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I know what it fees like to be discriminated against at work based on a disability. I have heard the thinly veiled excuses and the felt the drastic shift in attitude towards me. I didn’t press the matter, but I probably could have had I wanted to. In my case it was regarding a temporary issue, which made me even more frustrated. I wasn’t quite as productive while I was ill as I would have been at 100%, but I was fully trained and still carrying a considerable work load. It wasn’t only morally wrong to pick on me, but financially stupid as well. It’s human nature to want to contribute and feel valuable, and everyone who is capable should be allowed to work and support themselves. But, when we take emotions and ideals out of the equation, what are we left with and how should we navigate through it?

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