Understanding “The Other Side”
From Dr. Berland’s article, The View from the Other Side, and the videos and interview, I gained the insight of how some disabled people feel about doctors. In the interview, Buckwalter talked about how he wanted to tell his physician that he wanted pain relief on his shoulders and if surgery or an electric chair was necessary, but he couldn’t get it out of himself because he felt like the doctor just wanted to just finish talking to him and move on. What Buckwalter needed was someone to actually care and really talk to him about his problems. Two weeks later, his condition worsened because he was not able to tell the doctor what he wanted. Dr. Berland’s project helped me realize how important it is that doctors care about their patients.
She also made me feel closer to disabled people because I was actually seeing some of their experiences which gave me a sense of what they were going through. When I saw Vickie Elman crying and waiting for someone to help her get into her home, and saying she’ll probably spend the night there in the cold weather, I sympathized for her. I was thinking about how she just sat there in her wheelchair for I don’t know how long, probably without anything to eat.
Listening to Ernie Wallengren talk was also a bit heart-wrenching, like when he said he had to go to the restroom in the middle of the night and how his wife had to help and how it was such a long process. I watched a little more from the film and he said that he is worried about the burden that he is placing on his family. Now that I think about it, he is pretty young, and to see that making his own breakfast was a little bit of trouble, was just sad, but he has a supportive family that loves him and that is a blessing. That’s one thing that can help someone keep their chin up.
I think the point of Dr. Berland’s film, Rolling, was to allow others to step into the lives of disabled people and understand the difficulties they have and to make them aware of their needs, like having doctors who show concern.