– Let’s talk about the Cleveland Clinic in utero Spina Bifida surgery. Every few years, this surgery pops back up on our social medias, this time around it popped
up on Instagram and Twitter. And as always, when this surgery
pops up on people’s feeds, a lot of misconceptions
happen about Spina Bifida and exactly what this surgery is. First off, this surgery is not new, it’s been around since the 90s. But it’s new for this clinic. Secondly, this surgery
does not cure Spina Bifida. It is just one of the many
ways to treat Spina Bifida. Now, I don’t have an
issue with the surgery in and of itself. I think it’s a great
tool to get a jump start on treating someone with Spina Bifida. I just don’t like the
conversations by doctors and people without Spina
Bifida, ables essentially. I don’t like their conversations on how, this is a miracle, or this
is gonna be a cure all, and that finally people with Spina Bifida are gonna have better lives. First off, I can tell
when I see these comments that many haven’t interacted
with a lot of people, specifically adults with Spina Bifida. And secondly, you’re
teaching your children who have Spina Bifida that because they didn’t have this surgery, their lives are not gonna be as great as the ones that did. While, yes, there are a lot
of things I have to deal with with having Spina Bifida, and I’m not happy with all of them. But, I love having Spina Bifida. I love my disabled life. What I don’t love is the
lack of accommodations, accessibility, and the fact
that people with Spina Bifida, our voices are never heard or valued in conversations about us. This surgery, yes, is a great feat for Spina Bifida treatment. When we only focus on these surgeries, we continue this narrative
that there’s only really one type of Spina Bifida, and that everyone with Spina Bifida has to have surgery in
order to live a better life. Spina Bifida is diverse, and as much as the Spina Bifida Association
wants to act like there’s only three types, there are multiple types. And this whole idea of a
hierarchy in Spina Bifida that this specific type is more severe than another type, is garbage. Yes, the more common types
are myelomeningocele, which, is what I’m assuming
the baby in the video has, of an exposed spine. That’s not the only type. I have lipomyelomeningocele, and I have had over 12
surgeries on my body. I can walk, but I need a little
assistance, so I use a cane. I have friends with myelomeningocele who haven’t really had any back surgeries. But, they’re a wheelchair user. On my channel I have
encountered a lot of people who have Spina Bifida occulta, and we’re normally taught that occulta doesn’t really affect the person. But, I have met many people with occulta who have had more surgeries than me. So there is a reason why
Spina Bifida is called the snowflake disability, no two Spina Bifidas are the same. When these kinds of videos
go viral about Spina Bifida, we tend to lump Spina Bifida
as one specific thing, and it is not. None the less, a lot of
able people like to focus on the fact that there is a chance, someone getting this in utero surgery, that the baby will end up
walking after they’re born. Some humans are born
and they can not walk. That is just part of nature’s diversity, and it is extremely ableist
when you are forcing these ideas that in order to pass and
be normal in our society, you have to be able to walk. It’s rooted in ableism, and
it’s rooted in this fear because we know the barriers
people who use wheelchairs, or any other mobility aides have, but instead of acknowledging why these barriers are existing, we want to try and fix the problem. Which is also slightly eugenics, but I can save that for another video. So yes, I think this surgery is another great treatment
for Spina Bifida. No, it does not cure Spina Bifida, and there is nothing wrong
with having Spina Bifida. People who have Spina Bifida, we live amazing lives. We’re not always happy
with our disability, and I know a lot who aren’t, but it is not the job of abled people, and people without Spina Bifida, to determine how we should
feel about our lives, and what we should do with our lives. So next time you see these kinds of videos being spread around, ask yourself, how do the
people who have this disability feel about this? And then go find your answers from them. That’s all I’m gonna say on the matter. So thank you for watching
this #SpinaBifida. If you notice, I uploaded on a Friday. I used to upload Mondays, but we’re gonna try Fridays from now on. So don’t forget to subscribe, and click the notification bell, so that you are always alerted
when a new video comes out, especially now that we’re
changing the upload schedule. And if you like my work and
you want to help support me, the links to my Patreon and PayPal are in the description below. And until next time, bye. (soft jazz music)