Medical Trauma

On this week’s episode of Private Practice (I know, I know) they had a new doctor, Dr. Fife.  This character uses a wheelchair, one of the kinds that can enable a person to remain in a standing position.  This.really.intrigued.me.as.a.disabled.person.  I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel using this type of chair: Would it remind me of walking?  Would I like it?  Would this terrify me?

I have what I like to call medical trauma.  After all, how can someone go through all this, particularly in childhood, and not have a permanent stamp on the psyche.  I think it is a form of being traumatized.  It’s not always there.  I like to think that I am usually pleasant, sometimes chipper.  But this?  Certain sounds, songs, smells, events… can trigger a flash flood of memories, much like a war veteran.

Funny thing is these memories can be pleasant (take running around in gym class) but there is the undercurrent of my then low self esteem combined with “If I only knew what would happen later?”  When I got my newest set of permawheels I was inundated by memories.  To me what comes next is a 60% rational, 40% irrational response to a painful trigger; one which no amount of rationalizing can really soothe.

I try hard to ground myself in facts, but sometimes it is so hard.  What if I was given a second chance?  What if there was a cure?  Would it be too emotionally painful to revisit certain physical abilities that I gave up so forever long ago?  I think things like the standing wheelchair are great for some people, just maybe not me…

 

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