Most patients like me don't really get the understanding we need. I was once with my team in Sydney and we had to walk from the office to the restaurant for dinner. It was cold and the short walk was uphill. I walked very slow because I was having a hard time breathing from the effort and the cold. My teammates tried to stay with me, but I was soon left alone to fend for myself. It took awhile because I had to make a lot of stops, but I eventually made it to the restaurant. I soon left after eating because I was so tired.
That happened several more times and I even experienced people laughing at me because I walked so slow. I eventually asked permission to work from home twice a week. The government work from home order was a huge relief for me because it reduced the guilt I felt from working from home. I became more productive, but the stress and a viral infection I picked up randomly made me ill. My doctor eventually declared I was disabled and recommended I retire.
The ASEAN has drafted the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They envision to have a more inclusive community. I hope though that this will include people with invisible disabilities. There is very little understanding about it because very few people understand what it is. I have also experienced getting my condition trivialized.
Having a disability is hard, whether it's physical, mental or an invisible illness that causes impairment. I decided to write about my disability to support the ASEAN Disability Forum. I have been able to cope with my disability with the help of family and friends, but there are many others struggling. I hope governments would implement the masterplan to make communities more inclusive for the disabled.
A basic program the Philippine government I can think of is making sure that places for public transportation would be easy to maneuver. One example is the MRT and LRT where the elevators are always broken. If they can't provide ramps, they should at least make elevators and escalators work. You can also learn more about what other countries are doing from the ASEAN Disability Forum FB page (https://www.facebook.com/ASEC2025/).
Let's hope and pray for a more inclusive community for everyone. Dear presidential candidates, bekenemen...