Should I care or not about a cure? I feel like I’m one of the few that actually admits they don’t care that much. Heck, maybe I am actually one of the few that don’t care. Can I be honest though? I kind of judge those people that are obsessed with a cure. Before you jump down my throat or get offended, let me explain. What is it I judge? I judge the fact that some people are so caught up with the idea of a cure in the future they fail to enjoy the present joys of life.
What I can’t understand is that some people who rely on a wheelchair for mobility feel they can’t be happy until they’re no longer using that chair. I’m often asked the most asinine question, “If there were a cure would you choose to walk?” The sarcastic voice in my head says, “No I love having to piss through a tube and not being able to reach 75% of the groceries I need at the store.” Instead I reply, “Of course!” Does that mean I mull over why there isn’t a cure every minute of my miserable day just sitting in my wheelchair? Hell no. I’ve got a life filled with fun activities, good friends, an amazing partner who loves me, and a lot of damn good food.
Do I hope for a cure? Yes. Do I get angry there isn’t one? No. Why? It’s not healthy. I learned early on that my happiness depended greatly on focusing what I can do, and not what I can’t. I know, it sounds cliche, but I don’t care because it works for me. So am I anti-cure? Definitely not, I would give up a lot in my life to be cured.
That’s the thing though, when I say I want to be cured, it sounds like I have some highly contagious disease that is one of the worst in the world. Instead, I’m just a quadriplegic. I sit, I’m not contagious. The only thing contagious about me might be my laugh, but most the time that’s not even true. By “needing” a cure, you’re saying having a spinal cord injury is the worst thing ever, and that affects not only the perspective of other people with SCI’s, but also able-bodied people.
It leads to that nasty “P” word: Pity. When people with SCI’s piss and moan about life, they in turn get hollow pity. Why hollow pity? Well, because let’s be honest, nobody gives a rat’s A. What have you achieved by writing out a crazy rant about life on Facebook? You made someone feel better about their life, sure. You also got those “so sorry, keep your head up” comments by random people. Most of those who see it are not thinking of you 10 minutes later. They’re watching Buzzfeed videos of people eating weird food.
So what are we achieving by bitching and moaning about how terrible life is because there’s no cure? Not a whole lot. What can we do to make a bigger difference? Be a happy, generous, caring person in a wheelchair. When people love you they’ll want the best for you. Show them the specific ways they can help and they’ll fight the battle to find a cure by your side. Or you can just continue bitching and getting pity comments from people you barely know on Facebook.
Gina, a C-5/6 quadriplegic, describes herself as a “politically incorrect foodie who is an equal opportunity offender.” Beyond that, Gina is a law school graduate who grew up on a farm in California. Gina’s true passion is food, and you’ll often find her posting food pictures on her Instagram “Culinary Quad”. Following her divorce in 2014, Gina found herself back in the dating game after being off the market nearly 10 years. She has no longer single and is happily planning a new life with her boyfriend. Raised by a strong mother who had an insatiable appetite for any educational psychology materials, Gina swears she was raised by an unlicensed psychologist which led to her being so introspective.
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