Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Cure: "The Holy Grail"


Disability "cure" has been in the news of late. There's a long piece in Newsweek about a man with a spinal code injury who has evolved away from the idea of a remedy to repair a spinal code injury will be found in his lifetime. And in the New York Times, there is a long article about scientific work to find mechanical/electronic devices to compensate for blindness.

The stories touch on an element of living the life disabled that has troubled me since the time I was pulled from the iron lung and set free to roll my way home. I cannot recall ever having a desire for cure. In fact, I don't think I ever believed in the possibility of cure. I naively prayed for a miracle, of course, but ... at some point, I decided to live within the mystery of What Is.

Along the way, though, I have met people with disabilities, or read work by people with disabilities, who offer the thought that they would not accept a cure, would not accept a miracle, would not change from living with a disability to living with full physical function.

I thought the statement disingenuous at best. It doubtless is a reflection on my character and my flawed emotional state that such statements would frustrate me to the point of anger.

Don't they know what they are missing?

I did. I remembered running. No, better. I remembered being able to do for myself all that I cannot do now -- being independent of other people, which in some way is a fallacy discussed in a recent post.

I am no longer angered by such statements, although I've yet to grow to the point that I comprehend the complexity of their meaning or that I can visualize the strength of character, the equanimity of spirit that allows a person to express that thought with sincerity.

What I do comprehend is that a rush to cure -- a choice of cure over services -- works against the full integration of people with disabilities into society.

But that's another discussion.
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