The Doctor Won’t See You Now

YR’s Adult ISH podcast explores what it’s like living with an invisible disability with author Esmé Weijun Wang and entrepreneur Emily Levy.

The Doctor Won’t See You Now

How do you fight to be seen when your disability is invisible? In this episode of Adult ISH, producer Dominique French talks to two guests publicly living with unseen disabilities as they fight for long-overdue recognition. First up is entrepreneur Emily Levy, whose brand creates fashionable and functional products to go with medical devices and who leads a community of disabled peers. Then, author Esmé Weijun Wang discusses her book “The Collected Schizophrenias,” experiencing mental and physical illness, and changing the language around disability.

Adult ISH is produced by YR Media and brought to you by PRX’s Radiotopia. Be sure to follow all our socials @yrAdultISH!

Episode Transcript

Georgia: Hey, this is Adult ISH producer Georgia Wright. We’ll start the show in a second, but I wanted to give a heads up that this episode includes discussion of some tough mental health topics, including suicide. Please take care as you listen. Thanks.


Nyge: All rise for the judge.

Dominique: There are a lot of reasons you might find yourself in front of a judge on a Tuesday morning: drunken nights, parking tickets,landlord disputes, youthful Indiscretions. But it’s especially strange to be standing in a cold, cramped courtroom for no other reason than being sick. 

Nyge: Welcome to Adult ISH, produced by YR Media and brought to you by Radiotopia from PRX. I’m your host, Nyge Turner. And this week, I’m teaming up with producer Dominique French to ask the question: how do you fight to be seen when your disability is invisible? To help us answer this question, we’ve got two amazing guests today, author Esmé Weijun Wang and entrepreneur Emily Levy. But first, I’m going to pass it back to Dom, who’s going to tell us what it’s like to prove your disability in court. 

Dominique: You can still bag groceries.” That’s what the judge said to me. He wasn’t wrong, I guess, but it didn’t feel right. After years of paperwork, lawyers, therapists, denials and appeals, the judge had made his decision: I was not, in the eyes of the law, disabled enough to get help from the Social Security Administration.  His final verdict: I was smart, graduated from a good school and showed up in court, so I was healthy enough to be making a living for myself. Bagging groceries. I could barely get out of bed to go to the bathroom. And here was a judge that insisted that I could, at the very least, stand for 8 hours a day to make ends meet. 

I remember standing up in my mom’s itchy blazer as she and the lawyer discussed reapplying for benefits and inaccurate evidence and thinking, “Well, that’s it, then. I guess I’m not really disabled. Maybe I’m lazier than I thought. Maybe it’s all in my head.” That was the problem. It was all in my head. I have this sort of disability that other people can’t see. A psychiatric disability. Now. I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not I should reveal what my own disability is. On one hand, I think it could be good for others to hear. Maybe even good for me. Freeing, perhaps. And on the other hand, I feel a deep sense of unreadiness to divulge what’s going on in my own mind. 

So, for now, just know that I have a psychiatric disability that I’ve struggled with for the better part of six years. And it touches everything in my life. It’s always with me, always factored in. And for the most part, if I didn’t tell you about it, you might never know. Which means when I do need help, whether it be assistance from the government or support for my mom, I often run into the same problem over and over again. What’s going on on the outside hardly ever matches up with what’s going on on the inside. 

I often find myself saying, “Listen to the words that I’m saying, not the way that I’m saying them.” Because after a lifetime of trying to appear okay, it becomes difficult to show others when you’re not. That’s not to say that having my disability be invisible doesn’t have its privileges, because it does. I get to pick and choose who I tell, giving me the benefit of medical privacy should I want it. But it also means that I live with this big secret. One that I’m afraid will drive away friends, jobs and potential romantic relationships. Something that’s difficult to describe to someone who’s never experienced it. But this week, we’re opening things up to give everyone an idea of what life with an invisible disability is really like. 

Nyge: Dominique is not the only person to have gone through fighting for recognition for an unseen disability. Entrepreneur Emily Levy took her own personal experience and created an entire company to find solutions. She’s the co-founder and CEO of Mighty Well, a brand that creates fashionable and functional products to go with medical devices. 

Emily: I started my company out of my dorm room at undergrad, when I had first gotten diagnosed with a chronic illness. And I had to have a long term IV known as a PICC line in my arm, and then lived with a port in my chest for almost four years. So most people could not tell that I had a disability unless I was wearing short sleeves or had a more revealing neckline. And the advice that I got from very early advisors and mentors was very much that people wouldn’t invest in someone who had a chronic illness or disability. At the time, you know, I was 22, 23, 24 when I was really getting this advice and I just wanted to see my vision come to life. And it was a really conflicting thought that I had to go through. Because on the one hand, Mighty Well’s community loved that I was someone with a disability and chronic illness and medical devices who was taking charge and doing something to create a better quality of life for not only myself, but people just like me all over the country. And then on the other hand, you know, we desperately needed capital in order to create these products. (Dominique: Right) So it was a big challenge around the wording, how often I would tell people what I was really going through. And if I’m honest, I kind of felt like I had to wear a mask, like even before the pandemic, because I felt like I had to save all my energy to show up with it all together when I was in these investment situations. Whereas the reality was of it at the time, chances are I was doing two to three home infusions per day. 

Dominique: If you had the opportunity to interact with those same people today, what would you say to someone telling you to not disclose the fact that you’re disabled? 

Emily: I’ve had to do so much work on myself and to re-empower myself, and I’m at the point now where I realize I’m not for everyone. And if that’s a potential investor or adviser who doesn’t agree with that sentiment, I’m now realizing that they’re not the right fit for me because that is the reality of my life and my lifestyle. I have to organize my business around trips to the doctor, to the infusion center, traveling for medical appointments. And at the end of the day, the content that does the best for us is when I’m being transparent around what’s going through my health.

Dominique: How does it feel to come out, so to speak, as disabled to people? 

Emily: If I’m honest, it was a long road with my own mental health to get to the point where I identified as disabled. I would more say I have a chronic illness or a health condition, but it was really during the pandemic when I had a relapse in my health where I had to just get honest with myself that this is my body, this is what’s going on. I had to start using a cane last year, so I couldn’t really hide it anymore. And it just got to the point where I just kind of had the like, “fuck it” attitude, you know? I don’t — I just did not have the patience anymore to hide what I was going through. So I really encourage friends in the fight who we call folks in the Mighty Well community that, you know, disability is not a bad word. We very much live in an ableist society and I didn’t even realize the own ableist thoughts that I had because of those that I grew up around. You know, I very much grew up with the notion from my parents of like, “If you fall down, pick yourself up. It’s not okay to cry.” You know? “Suppress whatever dark thoughts are going through your head.” But I think our generation is like, “No, this is the reality of the world we live in and I’m going to be unapologetically me.” 

Dominique: The phrasing that I always got growing up was that “there’s no use crying over spilled milk,” and I think that was one that I had to really unlearn, especially having a disability, was that, like, there was so much spilled milk and I was like very upset about it a lot of the time and I had to learn to be able to not only cry about it, but like enforce with other people that like, “this is what it’s like for me and I have to be able to process this my own way.”

Emily: Mm hm. That’s really beautiful. 

Dominique: Oh, thank you. So what feelings have you experienced as a result of going through the American healthcare system?

Emily: Oh, it’s been a spectrum for sure. I first recognize that I have a lot of privilege in that, you know, I’m a white-presenting woman. My family has had private health insurance. My family can afford to pay out-of-pocket for alternative care. So I am very upfront and recognize that. But at the same time, having an invisible illness and looking healthy, looking quote unquote, young and vibrant. I’ve definitely run into a lot of health providers telling me, “Well, you look great! You know, what’s the problem?” Or immediately just saying, “Oh, I think you need antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication.” You know, at one point in time, I lost a rapid amount of weight due to an autoimmune disorder, and people just assumed I had an eating disorder. 

So quite often I felt like I either got dismissed or I was very much treated like a name on a chart, like a name on the medical chart. And I felt like I was being treated as a medical curiosity from a very young age. I first became chronically ill around 7 when I contracted Epstein Barr virus, and it was a very serious case. So I just, I remember like medical doctors bringing in their students to come study me and just, my mom bringing me from doctor to doctor, and them just telling me, like, “She’s fine.” You know? So that really brought me to a place of having to be my own advocate. And that’s not easy at all, especially when you’re a young person. But I think it’s one of my strengths now. 

Dominique: I think having a disability and being like chauffeured throughout the healthcare system really puts you in front of a lot of eyes and has the potential to make you prove yourself in front of a lot of people. Have you had that experience outside of the healthcare community, maybe with like a professor or a mentor or even a friend? 

Emily: Oh, that’s such a good question. And what I’ve reflected on in the past year of very intensive therapy is that, at times, I felt like I had to be performative with my health in order for people to understand that what was going on was very serious. And this is in the form of choosing to wear a short-sleeved shirt so people could see my medical device or using a cane in public even though that day my legs might have been feeling pretty good. And I found that people were a lot nicer to me when they could see that I needed a medical device versus having an invisible illness. 

Dominique: As someone who’s coming with a disability myself, that’s always invisible and that’s a psychiatric disability, I think I have almost, like, the opposite side of the coin where it’s like I, I don’t want people to know because I want — I don’t want people to think they have me, like figured out and like to dismiss me because of it. And it’s, it’s so interesting the way our society treats different disabilities different ways, whether they’re more or less kind to you because of it, whether they give you like more room and more space, or they’re more stigmatized or more afraid of you because of it.

Emily: Oh, absolutely. And I’ve been very transparent with my struggles with depression, suicidal thoughts and ideation, um, crippling anxiety. And I do feel like some medical professionals just kind of see mental health as like signs and symptoms versus maybe a primary cause or a root cause. I very much had the experience when I was in high school when my mental health started being really serious, that I had, you know, probably a 30 minute appointment with the psychiatrist, um, yeah. And she was like, “Okay, here, like three pills you can go on. Which one do you want?” And my mom was just like, “This lady met you for 30 minutes, like, no, you’re not taking this.”

Dominique: Yeah, I think so many people have had an experience like that where they, you know, for all intents and purposes, go and see a stranger. I think it happens a lot when it comes to mental health and they’re just kind of like, “Well, here you go, get out of here. Good luck!” But I think it can happen with the dismissive nature of the healthcare system with any disability or any any illness at all, really, that’s looked upon by the medical community as something that is not, I hate to say “ideal,” but ideal like disability is considered to be very inconvenient for the medical community and for society at large. Could you name a time that you feel like the healthcare system itself really let you down? 

Emily: Oh, yeah.

Dominique: Or could you pick one, shall I say? 

Emily: I’m going to pick one that just, like, popped into my mind. I went on vacation with my then boyfriend, now husband, to visit a friend in California. Earlier that day, we had gone to Disneyworld or Disneyland or whatever the one in California is. I walked all throughout the park, did great. My doctor had had me on Cipro, which is a really intensive antibiotic. And by that night, like my whole gut was like crunching and turning and just, I was in the most excruciating pain after having a really phenomenal day. 

So I went to the local community emergency room and they were running all these tests. And I remember like the, this guy who wheeled me to go into the see the MRI or CAT scan machine. Yeah. And I just remember him looking at me like really pitifully and him stopping and saying, like, “I’ll pray for you.” And I was like, “What? Like, I’m not at temple right now. Like, I did not ask anyone to pray for me. I asked you to put me in this CAT scan machine, you know?” (Dominique: Yeah!) So I understand, like, this person’s intentions were from a place that they thought were pure. But there’s been so many times that I’ve had similar interactions, whether it’s with home care nurses, whether it’s been in actual medical facilities where, you know, people have taken this overtly religious approach when like, that’s not what I’m here for. And I do believe in the power of prayer. But I think there’s a time and place and definitely a need to ask for consent around spiritual beliefs. 

Dominique: I have definitely — well, no one has offered to pray for me, which maybe I should be insulted about. I have gotten that that look! (Laughs)

Emily: Like, oh, poor you! 

Dominique: Yeah, like — 

Emily: What is this young person doing here? Like, yeah.

Dominique: Exactly. 

Emily: And I think so often young people, especially with chronic illnesses and disabilities, we also have that deep sadness because there’s so much of our life that we’ve missed out on or we’re not able to do. Or maybe it’s even like our mental health is just not in a good place that day and joining a group activity is not what’s best for us. So I have to say, I’ve spent a lot of my youth mourning the life that I feel like I just couldn’t have. And I’ve only recently gotten to a point where I love my disability, I love my illness. I’m so proud of my body for all that she’s gotten me through. I mean, it took a really long time to not be super angry at my body and my brain. 

Dominique: Wow. Yeah. I have felt that so much. And I don’t know that I’ve ever heard someone say it out loud that there’s this whole life you envision for yourself and that other people envision for you, too. And there’s this disconnect between — especially because your disability is invisible — this disconnect between like, why aren’t you experiencing that thing? You look in the mirror sometimes and you’re like, “I look okay. I look, I look fine.” (Emily: Yeah.) And it — mourning is such a good word for it because yeah, I often feel that I’ve been sort of rocked out of my youth at times.

Emily: Yeah. And we’re not a society that embraces grief and dying and mourning. And, you know, you go to a funeral, you move on, you go back to work the next day. And recently I’ve been really leaning into Judaism practices, which my family, you know, traditionally has practiced but was never really instilled. And like, you know, there’s a reason, like our community takes seven days to mourn for people. So I started to look at it as like, I need to mourn the life I never had, and also realize that this body that I was given has taken me to places — like being on this podcast — that a healthy version of myself probably wouldn’t have had the platform for. 

Dominique: How would you make changes in either our healthcare system or our society to better support people with invisible disabilities? 

Emily: That’s a great question. I remember the first time I went to the UK and I got off the plane and went to use the airport bathroom and there was a sign outside the disability bathroom that said “Not all illnesses are visible.” And I was just like, “Wow!” And then I saw that, like, on the train and like in other public spaces. So I don’t think the U.S. does even a remotely good job of educating that there are a variety of invisible disabilities, ranging from mental health to, you know, neurological and physical conditions. And I wish it just started more at that, like, grassroots level. I think we’ve, we’ve been getting there, especially within Mighty Well — we’ve been a part of the adaptive wear movement, which is a whole category of apparel, clothing and medical gear for people with disabilities. And you’re starting to see adaptive models, you know, in major ad campaigns. So I think it almost has to start at like a society level and then work up the food chain. Because when we as patients advocate for ourselves, you know, eventually someone’s going to have to listen!

Dominique: They have to. Right?

Emily: Keep sharing. Keep telling the world. I think eventually they’ll catch up with us. 

Nyge: If you want to follow Emily Levy and Mighty Well, you can find her on Instagram @mightywell_emily. 


Nyge: Author Esmé Weijun Wang literally wrote the book on one of the most stigmatized mental illnesses out there. Her essay collection, “The Collected Schizophrenias,” tells her story in an effort to switch up the dominant narratives around mental health conditions. 

Esmé: I have gone through — I had gone through many years of really intense mental illness. And so I kind of associated disability in the beginning or my own experience with disability, with my mental illness. So I was registered as a disabled student in college. I was when I was working at a kind of full-time tech company job, I was known as having a need for accommodations because of a mental illness.  It didn’t start changing until about 2013 or 2014 when I became more physically ill. It really was unexpected to me. I had never really dealt with physical illness much. So to have to deal with this whole new thing and a new way of being disabled was very surprising and unexpected. And I didn’t know how to deal with it. 

So I found that, you know, even talking to my therapist, who I’ve been working with for many years, was very not fruitful by that point. I would tell her about the struggles that I was having with my physical health, and she essentially would just say, “That stinks. I’m sorry about that.” And that was not very helpful to me. I mean, since then, I’ve found a therapist who specializes in working with people who live with chronic illness, and she herself also lives with chronic illness and disability, which I found extremely helpful. So ever since I started becoming more physically ill and having another invisible illness that made life difficult for me and constrained my life in lots of different ways that my mental illness had not constrained me in the past, such as not being able to leave my bed much or not being able to leave my home much. It was around 2014 or 2015 that I started realizing, “Oh gosh, I’m at the like needing wheelchairs at the airport stage of my physical situation.”

Dominique: And could you talk to us a little bit about what the, the feelings around the double diagnosis was? Because I know as someone who has multiple diagnoses, any time I figure out like a new aspect of the spectrum of all of the things that I have to deal with, I’m always like, “Oh, come on. Like another thing that I am saddled with for my whole live long life??” Could you get into a little bit of that for us? 

Esmé: So I think it’s interesting to consider the impact of having a new diagnosis because for me it’s always been two-fold. So, one, I’m really relieved that it has a name and that there might be a treatment plan. So there’s something very exciting at some points to receiving a diagnosis. You’re not the only one who has it. As I say in “The Collected Schizophrenias,” I like to know I’m not pioneering in an inexplicable experience. The other part is what you were saying — the actual having of the situation, which is, “Oh, come on, like this too?? Come on! How can I have so many things wrong with me?” And I’ve been thinking a lot about that in recent years. 

The kind of different ways of looking at it: Is it just that I’m so unlucky that I have all of these things that are wrong with me, or do all of these things form a constellation that can be described or explained with a common thread or common tie? Is there one, or yeah, one big thing that is creating all of these disparate experiences? Because I do think, as you were saying, the whole idea of just being a very unlucky person is probably better explained by saying these things are connected in ways we just don’t understand yet. 

Dominique: Yeah, I mean, I, I certainly hope so. What you’re describing sounds a lot more poignant and beautiful and easy to, easy to swallow than a sort of wondering why, you know, you’re that, that one unlucky person. 

So you spoken a lot about navigating the limits within which you work. Could you talk a little bit about how you’re currently navigating those limits, especially as a very ambitious and accomplished person?

Esmé: I think about being ambitious and limitations a lot. It has a lot to do with the work that I do. I’ve taught a class in the past in conferences and online called Ass-kicking with Limitations, and now it’s a self-paced course that I have available called Dream Hunting with Limitations. So I’m constantly thinking about the weird – the weird things that can happen when you’re a very ambitious person whose body just will not let them do what they want to do. 

Dominique: Can you speak about how the larger disability community has impacted your life and your work? 

Esmé: I really was not very educated about disability, justice and disability rights until I became more physically ill. There was something about being physically impacted that really shifted my, my life and the way I looked at how to think about those limitations. So I started having more conversations with the disability rights community and I started being asked to take part in the community, which was really exciting and interesting to me because I had never, like I said, been that up to speed on what they were doing. And I started writing pieces that spoke directly to chronic illness, which I think is another interesting conversation, the conversation about what is chronic illness or somebody who is living with chronic illness versus somebody with a disability. Are they always the same thing? If you are chronically ill, does that immediately mean that you’re disabled? 

But it is interesting, I think also because so much of the disability rights community has to do with, in the eyes of the non-disabled, visible disabilities. 

So having what was first diagnosed as bipolar disorder and later diagnosed as schizoaffective disorder meant that even though people think of mental illness as being a very invisible illness, what scared me the most about schizoaffective disorder and having psychosis were the times when I really could not control my physical expression of that illness. 

What really freaked me out about psychosis was not walking through a parking lot and seeing a corpse in the driver’s seat of a car. It was seeing big holes open up in front of me as I was walking across campus or seeing these demonic shadows flying at my head, because then I would jump without knowing. I would just kind of impulsively jump. I would duck and — and doing these physical things that I knew that people could see just kind of ducking and dodging and diving, I felt like was so much worse because I couldn’t hide that. Those were just instincts that my body had, experiencing psychosis that way. And so I feel like there are advantages and disadvantages to having a primarily invisible physical illness. 

Dominique: It’s, it’s strange that so many, quote unquote, invisible disabilities are some of the most stigmatized things a person can deal with in our society. Yet operating through our society with a visible disability really embodies that sort of societal discomfort around those sorts of things and like the ebb and flow that one would experience, like yourself, when you have oscillated through experiencing both of those things. 

Esmé: I think a lot about — and chronic illness and disability are not always synonymous in that not everyone with a disability has a chronic illness, and probably vice versa as well. But I always think about this medical anthropology class I took a while back. And the thing that stuck out to me the most from that class was the discussion of the sick role. So the discussion of the sick role in communities is very interesting and complex. But what really remains with me to this day is that one of the biggest characteristics of the sick role has to do with the idea that if you are sick, you owe it to the community to get better. Part of the sick role is that you will be better at some point. And you hear about that when you hear people with chronic illness discuss being out with their friends, when their friends or family become weary of them being sick for so long. When friends or families say, “Well, so when are you going to get better?” And things like that. I think about that a lot. 

Dominique: I think that also has a lot of implications when it comes to any mental illness or a psychiatric disability because it has moments of remission. It’s one of the scarier things about maintaining relationships when you have your own personal society, created by the people around you that you love and that want you to be okay, really want you to be okay, like, yesterday.

Esmé: Yeah. I mean, it’s part of the whole “get well soon” narrative, right? Yeah. So I, I think, you know, people send get well soon cards. They, they say “Hope you’re feeling better,” and things like that and as a person who is ill so often, I often feel like a disappointment in terms of, you know, “I’m not doing this for you. I’m sorry. Like I’m not fulfilling this expectation that you have.” And it also makes me think about a very ableist belief, which is that the stories of disability need to have an overcoming narrative. I always get so annoyed and I will actually reach out to media if I see an article about me that uses the overcoming word in the headline word. 

Dominique: The o-word.

Esmé: Yeah, just like I don’t consider myself to have to overcome it. It’s something that I do these things with, they’re alongside me while I’m achieving things and often not achieving things. But it’s here. 

Dominique: There was one anecdote of yours that we read about in particular that I think really speaks to this pressure to perform a sort of either illness or wellness when just living with the disability. And it was one that involved disability insurance and a private investigator. Could you tell us a little bit about that experience and what that was like? 

Esmé: Yeah, it was one of the most stressful and infuriating times in my life. I was on the phone with this particular health insurance company for hours a day, days of a week. And at some point during my struggles with them and receiving disability benefits from them, long-term disability benefits from them, I was given the documents that made up the private investigators report on me, which I was not supposed to receive. 

Just going through it was so chilling. I had not realized that there was a private investigator following me, and that was very naive of me. Many disabled people will share their stories about PI’s, being followed by PI’s, having — and how common it is for insurance companies to send PI’s — to make sure that, quote unquote, make sure that people who say they’re disabled or sick are not just faking it. And so there were all these notes and all of these photographs. 

And I just remember that this one line, “patient was seen smiling and laughing.” And it made me so angry because the incident they were referring to when I was smiling and laughing was when I had gone to a cafe that was next door to my clinic. And I had only left the house that day to go to the clinic. And I had not left my house for a very long time before and after that. The reason they didn’t have any great, you know, notes or photographs to write or take, was that I was stuck in my bed! But because they saw me smiling and laughing clearly, I could not have truly been ill. And that was part of the evidence they used against me. 

Dominique: Disability insurance is something else. It’s really like if you wanted to boil down what it’s like to have to prove oneself as an, an ill person and like the ways in which it can be dehumanizing and belittling and like so clerical. I remember going to court and trying to apply for it myself and being told that I, like, was able to like shower and get dressed and go to court that day, so I must not really be in that bad of a way. And I remember thinking. “How? You don’t know how I — One, I didn’t shower today.”

Esmé: Nice of you to assume that I showered!

Dominique: Yeah, exactly. Come. Get a whiff!

Esmé: And also, how were you supposed to be able to even have the opportunity to have this person argue with you and judge you if you hadn’t shown up that day? 

Dominique: Exactly! It’s like, “Should I have come in sweatpants and really, like done a little soft shoe to, like, really perform my, my illness, my sadness, my, you know, my disability for you??” The, absolutely impossible nature of being able to win and that you can’t win — and you can never prove it enough or in the right way. 

Esmé: Yeah, look, another thing that I remember they asked for numerous times over the course of this big fight was for me to describe the hour by hour what my day to day life was like.

I was so stymied by that process because I — my day to day didn’t look like any one thing. It really varied, first of all. Second, I was just confused as to what they wanted from me. Like, was I supposed to describe, I don’t know, this misery of every hour? Just like “I woke up. And then I was so depressed about being disabled that I immediately cried.” I just imagined this kind of imaginary 24-hour report that I would have to give to them — the perfect 24-hour report that I could send in that would have them look at it and go, “Yes, you are deserving.” 

Dominique: Thank you so much for making the time to have this conversation with me. As a fellow, extremely ambitious, disabled person, I was so looking forward to being able to have a kind of conversation like this with someone that I very much identify with. So, thank you. 

Esmé: Thank you so much for having me.


Nyge: If you want to follow Esmé Weijun Wang, you can find her on Instagram @EsmeWWang. She also teaches a variety of workshops as part of the Unexpected Shape Writing Academy, which you can find at Back to you, Dom, to close us out. 

Dominique: An unseen disability can take so many shapes. It’s truly unique to each person. As for myself, I live life with the help of medication, therapy and doctors. It’s not easy, but it’s nowhere near as hard as it used to be. Sometimes I dwell on the fact that things will get hard again eventually, but I try not to. For others, their disability may only be invisible part of the time, meaning they deal with society’s preconceived notions and assumptions when utilizing a medical device. The creation of this episode reminded me what a long way society has to go in the treatment of people living with disabilities of all sorts. And personally, I look forward to the day that I can freely discuss my disability without it feeling like an act of bravery. Just merely a fact. Like any other. 


Nyge: Adult ISH is produced by YR Media, a national network of young journalists and artists creating content for this generation. 

Our show is produced by Georgia Wright, Dominique French and by me, your boy, Nyge Turner. 

Our executive producer is Rebecca Martin. 

YR’s Director of podcasting is Ray Archie. 

Original music for this episode created by these young musicians at YR: Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, and Jacob Armenta. 

Music Direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler. 

Art for this episode created by Kyana Early, and art direction from Brigido Bautista and Marjorie Masicat. 

Creative Direction by Pedro Vega, Jr. Special thanks to Eli Arbreton. 

We are also proud to be members of Radiotopia by PRX, an independent, listener-supported collective of some of the most amazing shows in all of podcasting. Find them at And if you haven’t reviewed our show on Apple Podcasts, please be sure to do so. Five stars is much appreciated. 

You can follow us on all the socials @YRAdultish. And on that note, we’ll see you later.

Support the Next Generation of Content Creators
Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now
Support the Next Generation of Content Creators
Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now