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#3 The Lego-Paved Road to Acceptance
So, your chronic illness has been (correctly) diagnosed. You’ve memorised your mile-long prescription list. But, you’ve started to notice something – everything around you is exactly the same. There’s no extra seat on the tram for young-people-who-are-sick-but-don’t-actually-look-it. And no amount of smiling is turning the stairs at your job into a ramp. How do you go about asking for the help you need?
Ferris Knight is a writer, producer and performer living with chronic illness and disabilities – bipolar 1 and hypertensive peristalsis, to name but two. She’s had more than a few run-ins with frustrating social barriers, and has gone to great – and painful – lengths to show everyone else just what it’s like to live in her body. Even so, she finds herself tempted to deny that anything is wrong. Asking for help can feel weirdly humiliating … but, as we’ll discover, it’s an absolute imperative to living with chronic illness.
Content warning: this episode includes discussions of severe physical and mental illness, hospitals and medical trauma.
- 'My Bipolar Story' by Ferris Knight, Ramona, published 6 August 2018
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In this episode
Hosted, produced and edited by Silvi Vann-Wall and Izzie Austin. Writer, producer and performer Ferris Knight is our guest.
Recorded at Studio 757, Melbourne. This series is produced in partnership with the Wheeler Centre's Signal Boost programme. Mentorship and production support from Bec Fary.
Music: 'Dip Dop' by Barrie Gledden; 'Sad Marimba Planet' and 'More on That Later' by Lee Rosevere.
Sound effects sourced from SoundSnap.
Download a transcript of this episode here (Adobe PDF format).
Silvi Vann-Wall is an audio producer and podcaster, with a strong journalism background. She loves making weird and wonderful audio and is usually found with headphones on. She has lived with a chronic illness for ten years and this informs her current work.
Izzie Austin is a zinester and postgraduate student who grew up in Brisbane with several cats, and now lives in Brunswick with just one cat. They are currently undertaking a PhD in cinema studies and working on Pill Pop – a podcast about chronic illnesses, including their own messed-up pancreas.
An audio road trip for the chronically ill.
Pill Pop is hosted by two chronically ill people – Izzie and Silvi – who take you on a road trip through chronic-illness country. Izzie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a young kid, and Silvi was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as a teenager.
We've lived the majority of our lives with illness, and now it's time to share our stories with people just like us. So hop on in to the back seat of our secondhand ambulance and buckle up for the trip of a lifetime!
At each Pill Pop Pit Stop, we'll interview a guest about their life with chronic illness, covering everything from the funny, the sad and the flat-out gross. Each episode will take you on a journey – from diagnosis, to finding a good doctor, to accepting that your illness is forever.
For anyone who's wondering what it's like to be chronically ill, we use the power of audio to fully immerse each listener in the body of our guests! It's like the episode of The Magic School Bus Ms Frizzle didn't want you to know about.