americans in recovery

Service Dog Appreciation Post 4/?
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Not the most flattering picture of me but that’s not the point of this point so it’s fine.

I felt a seizure coming on and Daphne sat up and alerted me to let me know that I needed to sit or lay down in a better place. I walked to the front of the room with Daphne on my right and my cane on my left, and tapped my professor on the shoulder to let her know I was about to have a seizure and needed to step out.

I started to get really shaky and stumbled a bit so she opened and held the door for me. I managed to get down the hall to a couch with Daphne’s help and woke up about 20 minutes later with Daphne draped across my lap, only remembering the beginning of the seizure.

It’s not very often that I pass out or for that long but I’m so thankful that Daphne is my Service Dog and knows to watch over me when I’m vulnerable. I’m also incredibly lucky and thankful that she’s able to predict my major seizures before they occur because even a small heads up gives me time to get myself away from hard or sharp objects and off my feet.

Daniel ___ is a clinical social worker, a leader in team-based mental health treatment programs, an advocate for hope and recovery, and the nemesis of stigma and oppression.

As a graduate of ___, he majored in Biological Basis of Behavior and Science, Technology & Society. It was there that he learned about his love for majors with long names and his fascination with the way that historical, biological, psychological, and technological systems influence individuals and entire communities. He eventually went on to pursue his master’s degree in social work at ___ and was a participant in the ___ Project for Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in Mental Health.

Prior to the start of his professional career, Daniel was brought to this world in Pennsylvania by his parents, Cambodian refugees who experienced the terror of the Khmer Rouge, and he grew up as part of the sole Asian, Teochew-speaking family in an underserved area of north Philadelphia selling Chinese take-out to a neighborhood with sinking homes. After years of taking part in acts of internalized racial oppression through making conscious and unconscious attempts to live up to the false mythology of the model minority, Daniel discarded the route of popular prestige. He became a social worker to create system-level changes within a framework of anti-racism and recovery while accepting discouraging amounts of money for encouraging the well-being of young adults in underserved communities.

Following his internships in youth development and education programs and a forensic ___ team, Daniel went on to work in a ___ program in Coney Island for the __. After having been a social worker for a little over three years, Daniel was selected to become the current Team Leader and ___ for the agency’s ___ program. He utilizes motivational interviewing along with other evidence-based strategies to foster hope, resilience, and recovery. Because the majority of the ___ participants are employed and/or attending school, he is proud to highlight his team’s success in portraying the importance of reducing the duration ___ and the need for early intervention and coordinated specialty care. He is actively invested in family involvement, trauma-informed approaches, and systematizing collaboration in a multidisciplinary community. He is currently learning Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to further his clinical skills.

Daniel was also chosen to become one of the leaders of the __’s Confronting Structural Racism ___ initiative and facilitates its ___ People of Color Caucus. Utilizing his interdisciplinary mindset and knowledge of structural oppression, lessons learned from his published research, and his experience as an Asian American who is ambivalently unafraid to bring people to the edge of discomfort, Daniel has been actively building a community to undo racism at his workplace and in the community. He is also an active member of the ___ Asian American Mental Health and serves as a leader in the Professional Development Group’s planning and organizing committee.

His passions in the empowerment of entire populations and limiting the effects of oppression have led to his current goal of developing a broad network of individuals seeking to mentor one another, redefine the meaning of wellness, and create sustainable changes to improve the systems people encounter and occupy.

———
So I am participating in an alumni panel discussion and was asked to provide my bio.

So… can the medical drama please end?

My primary care physician’s office has promised me four times including at my last office visit (post-hospital evaluation) that they would fax paperwork over so I could restart physical therapy. They have faxed over old paperwork and they have faxed allegedly new paperwork to the wrong office. When I called physical therapy this morning to see if they had received it yet, I was told that the physician’s office told them that because I had been in the hospital they would not issue paperwork until I had been reevaluated by home health. Even though I haven’t been a home health patient since March AND their office saw me earlier this month for this exact purpose. Because leaving stroke patients stranded with poor walking skills and no access to physical therapy for over a month is a fucking great idea.

In other news, I fired a physician this morning.

2

Going out in public is difficult for me, especially going to a place like Walmart. Thankfully, this little bubz was around to make things easier. Way to be on point little one. You da best

Artist Statement of Purpose: My goal for this shirt is for it to be worn by people who have a connection with indigeneity and people of color. Thank you for not taking away from other people’s cultures. #endculturalappropriation
#thisisnotyournewagemarket

Buy shirt here

Skin Hunger (Trimberly)-PT.1

Also on AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11662464/chapters/26242959</

There is a popular myth going around the world, saying that skin hunger is terminal. Incurable. Untreatable. Inoperable. There are people thinking the diagnosis is the end. They are wrong.

Well, at least partially. Like many disease people are used to, the key to recovery depends on two factors. Diagnosed early, and proper treatment.

Kimberly can’t stop thinking about what it means. So many patients are out there, without a taste of hope. The harm of affectionless is only discovered in recent years. It means there are fewer studies, fewer doctors, and fewer hospitals.

The news sources declared it “a global epidemic”, the same year Kimberly graduated from high school. She entered college knowing nothing about her future, and there were events every week, advertising the benefits of becoming an affection therapist.

Supposedly it’s easier than the med school with about the same salaries. An affection therapist was well respected. The job was in high demand which guaranteed a position straight out of college. Kimberly was convinced.

Six years later, she arrives at the last obstacle between herself and a shiny certificate. A dreadful internship at American Affection Recovery Center.

Before becoming a validated affection therapist, the interns have to cure three skin hungry patients. One at a time. There are no time limits. It can take a few months, or years.

She is aware of the 30% Masters of Science in Affectionology who failed this step. Their certifications are forever delayed and most of them give up after three or four years. Kimberly isn’t about to.

———

The first day is always the worst. Kimberly signs in with the front desk, making sure that she is the new intern and not a patient. She waits patiently for the manager of AARC.

“Good morning, Miss Hart. May I call you Kimberly?” Jason Scott is not much older than herself, but he is technically her boss. He warmly smiles and offers a hug.

Kimberly leans in politely before pulling away. Of course, AARC encourages a healthy amount of physical contact. “I’m Jason. Let’s start the tour, shall we?”

Kimberly nods along as they zip through the hallway. The entire first floor is a common area where recovering patients can socialize. There are couches, blankets and pillows, all in warm colors, and a well-stocked food bar.

“This is the lounge, for the residential patients only.” Jason explains, “We don’t deal with emergency visits here. Every patient is a resident. They pay monthly for recovery, and we want to make them feel at home, if not better.”

They ascended through the elevator to the second floor. Kimberly comes face to face to a quiet hallway. Identical doors line up on both sides, the only change is the room numbers.

“From this floor up are all patients’ rooms.” Jason stops to exchange a hug with a patient, who smiles at him. “There’s one staff only room on each floor. We hold meetings, eat, and sometimes sleep here.” He gestures at the first closed door that comes to sight.

Kimberly peaks inside the staff room when he opens the door for a crack and closes it. They move on down the hallway. Each door has the full name of the patient on the door, together with the therapist that is assigned to them. She can hear muffled talking on the other side of some doors, while the others are completely silent.

They reach the end of the floor when Kimberly notices the last door has no therapist’s name on it. She looks up at Jason, a bit alarmed.

“Well, this is your patient.” He tells her. “I’m making a new sign for the door, and it will be up soon. So don’t worry about that.”

Kimberly studies the door with the number 224 on it as if it can tell her more about her patient. “Um…what are they like?” This is important to her career and the rest of her life. She would hope for an easier patient if that’s at all possible. It would be nice if she can walk out of here as Dr. Hart in a few month. She is allowed to dream, right?

Jason glances at the door rather nervously. “I will give you her file.” He promises. “Now…let’s talk in the staff room, alright?”

That’s…secretive. Kimberly follows him curiously to the private space. She watches him closing the door and sits down in the nearest chair, before siting across from him.

“What’s the matter?” She asks, now getting a bad feeling about the whole matter. “Is there something wrong?”

“Look, Kimberly, I understand how important this internship is to you.” Jason begins. It’s probably not a good news. “The Director of AARC had personally recommended you to this case, not only because of your grades and letter of recommendation…but also because this particular patient requires special treatment.”

“Okay…? Like what?” Kimberly is growing suspicious.

Jason sighs and decides to spit it. “Trini Gomez is difficult. She is unresponsive and often refuses treatment. What makes things worse is that no one visits her, and her parents stopped paying the bills since April. Which means…”

“Which means she’s living on government support, and you can’t afford real doctors.” Kimberly narrows her eyes, understanding the situation. “You need me because I’m free?”

“Kimberly,” Jason tries to speak. “It’s not…"

“I get it.” Kimberly interrupts. “It’s not an issue. I come here to finish my degree and I didn’t expect to get paid. Now, tell me about her.” She smiles, partially glad that

she gets a female patient. “You mentioned her parents?”

“I’m glad that it’s fine with you.” Jason looks visibly relaxed. He turns around and pulls a yellow folder from the file cabinet. He pushes it forward for Kimberly to read. “I have never seen her parents. They called in and paid for the first month, and then vanished. The phone number they left was discontinued, and their home address is apparently a smoothie shop.”

“Wow.” What a pair of shitty parents. Kimberly watched her languages and didn’t say it out loud. But judging by the expression on Jason’s face, he is thinking about the same thing.

She picks up the file and opens it. It’s a surprisingly thin stack of papers.

“I know it’s school requirement, but I’m really glad that you’re doing this.” Jason sighs. “We have retired people and students who volunteer here, and the girl has been living off of that. Let’s just say it’s not ideal.” He stands up and keeps himself busy making coffee for the two of them. The water boils in the background.

“What happens to the volunteers? It’s better than nothing, I suppose?”

“This week’s been tougher than usual. A boy comes in and completely freaks her out. Within three minutes, he introduced himself, attempts to hug her when she turns down the handshake, and then proceed to offer a foot massage.”

Kimberly’s mouth hangs open. She has done case studies for her master’s degree. Violating a patient’s personal space without consent is a big no no. The first impression like that can very much be traumatic.

“The Director is pissed and now I’m in charged of two therapists instead of three.” Jason huffs. “You are the second one.”

Kimberly grins, feeling the mood lightens. She expected Mr. Scott, the manager, to be high and mighty. In reality, the “employee of the month” board on the wall tells her, that there are thirty managers in the entire facility. He is only human.

“I hope Trini is doing okay now?” She asks carefully.

“God no. She locked herself in the private restroom for four hours, until our technicians break the door down. We had Dr. Cranston looked at her, and even he said the girl was near impossible.” Jason drums his finger on the table. “Oh, and the Director will offer you the certificate if you cure Trini.”

“Wait, what?” Kimberly almost spits out her coffee. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“Instead of the required three patients,” Jason smiles encouragingly, “you only have to cure one.”

Kimberly stays silent and weighs her options. She flips through the files and learns not much about Trini. Most of the forms are supposed to record the details of her life, but they are left blank except a few. There is an ID photo on the corner of the first page. Her face is blank and eyes are lifeless. The girl looks like she has already given up on herself.

But then again, if Kimberly succeed…she’d be a real therapist while her classmates are still working on their second or third patient.

“I’m in. When can I see her?”

Mall today with @daphnetheservicedog

She earned several compliments and asks from people wanting to pet her

I had an anxiety attack and seizure right back to back and Daphne did excellent responding to both

She continued to lay behind me each time we stopped to block instinctively

Gracias bubz ❤️