Ep 9: Marfan Syndrome, Eyes, Hearts and Indigenous Rights, with Laura Hernandez

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(Replay) Laura shares her experiences with vision loss, including seeing shadows, undergoing surgeries, and retinal detachment. We hear her vision bucket list and we talk aortic heart surgery, echocardiograms and being told at a very young age that you’re not going to live past the age of 14. We also discuss depression, finding the medications that will work for you, and being on suicide watch. Laura shares her unique experience being both a therapist and a patient and how it helps with diagnosis and empathy. We chat about techniques for forming good habits and coping.

Laura is also very involved with fighting for indigenous rights and she talks about how her heart was calling her to the North Dakota Access Pipeline. She shares her experiences about what was really going on at and during the protests.

We leave you with some of the surprising and patronizing things people do and say to blind people and the comedic material Laura has developed as a result.

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“Kombucha is basically puddle tea.”

“I had thick glasses, back when it was uncool to have thick glasses.”

“A lot of my material began in doctor’s offices.”

“I love Forest Gump because of the leg braces! I just wish the whole movie was that!”

“They assume you’re a victim and act like they’re a superhero.”


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Laura Hernandez (Ojos del Alma) Facebook page:

Laura Hernandez Twitter page: @badassblind

American Indian Movement Southern California (AIMSOCAL) Community Page –

Indigenous Defense Resistance Unity Movement (IDRUM)

Nestle – teleSur video

Protest against Nestle Press Release

The Story of Stuff Project – Petition Against Nestle

“Black Snake Killaz” a documentary by Unicorn Riot of the fight for the protection of water. #NODAPL #StandingRock #MniWiconi #WaterIsLife #DefundDAPL

Evictions of Camps at Standing Rock

Productivity app mentioned: Streaks

Self-Help book mentioned by Andy: “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero.

The signs of Marfan Syndrome: https://www.marfan.org/about/signs

National Alliance on Mental Illness support: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support

This podcast is edited and produced by Alex Stein. Listen to his podcast here: https://www.thealexsteinpodcast.com

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