My two cents

Voice Card  -  Volume 26  -  Larry Card Number 1  -  Fri, Sep 11, 1992 1:24 PM

This is ONE OF 2 responses to VC 25 Drury 11 ("Handicaps")...

I've been following this discussion with interest but have, until now, remained on the sidelines. I just have to make an observation that may or may not have any relevance to the central theme of this discussion.

I disagree with the notion that the either the mind or the body can heal itself (or that the mind or the body can be healed) of serious injury or trauma. The injury or trauma can be masked or the body/mind made to appear healed, but the actual healing process is never quite complete.

Let me give you an example. I've been very fortunate in my life in that I've avoided serious physical or mental trauma - but I, like I'm sure most everyone else, have experienced injury that has required a healing process. My two most serious injuries are (1) a dislocated shoulder suffered in 1979 and (2) tearing all the ligaments in an ankle sometime in 1983.

These injuries have had plenty of time to heal and to even the most careful observer my shoulder and my ankle would appear normal. But they're not. My shoulder will never have the same flexibility that it had before the injury - so it does hinder me in some instances. Additionally, because it has been dislocated once, it will take much less pressure to dislocate it a second time. My ankle doesn't affect me much during the normal course of the day. I can still run as many miles as before the injury - but if I do anything that requires more stress (like playing basketball) I have to reinforce it by taping it.

Additionally, because it has been injured once, it is more likely to be injured a second time. I can be running along and if I step on a rock that upsets my balance slightly, my ankle can give out and I'll find myself on the ground. The good stuff in the ankle is just not held together as well as it used to be before the injury and it never will be.

So, are my ankle and shoulder healed? I don't think so, even though they have recovered significantly.

Well, that was too long and I'm sure quite boring. But the point is that your body and mind never really heal. They recover to a point, but they are never really healed. That's why a recovering alcoholic doesn't consider him or herself cured, because there is an awareness that it won't take as much this time (just one drink) to bring back the problems.

Everytime that your body or mind experiences trauma it doesn't come back quite as strong. You have to take more precautions to prevent another trauma, and it requires less stress than before for the trauma to recur.

I agree with John that there are a lot of people out there with mental injuries (handicaps) as well as a lot of people with physical injuries (handicaps) - it's just that some have recovered to various degrees.