The Term “Better”

I was stumped what to write this week. Aside from a head cold, I have had a very good week. I talked to a guy who works at the gym here in the school, and apparently they have quite the arraignment of devices for people in wheelchairs here. I do not want to be “swole” (swoll?), but I do wish to keep my cardio up and work on muscles to make wheeling around better and easier

This week, I seem to be having the conversation about the term “Better” a lot. I am well aware of what people mean by that, but it really does grind on me, and I feel that people are using it unfairly.

People either hear the story, or see the wheelchair, and hope I get “better” implying that I should get to the state I was once in. Aside from this cold, I am better. My body is functioning, mostly, how it should. I am not in pain, and I am functioning very well.

There is a difference from doing what I want to do, and feeling or being better. I am better. My strength is up, my mind is sharp (enough), and my cardio system is better than it has ever been.

I am stuck in this chair for now, but that does not mean I have to get “better”, for your sake or mine.

I get it. No one is saying that I am in a lesser state than anyone else. No one is saying “while you are in the wheelchair, you need to strive to get out of it.” No one is that cruel..

No: What people are saying is that they hope, for my sake, that I get to the point I was once in. There are a plethora of people in chairs who are incredibly healthy and able people. Someone would not go up to someone without a six-pack and say “I hope you get better.”

To say “I hope you get better” implies that there is something is wrong that I can fix. To say “I hope you get better” actually casts a negative connotation on the progress I have made. Do I want to be the chair forever? Fuck no. I, however, see ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with people in wheelchairs, thus get mildly offended for the entire sub-culture.

To be clear: I do appreciate when someone wishes me well. I am not saying that no one should push me to be better than I am. I am not saying that I am comfortable being in a chair. I am saying that me being in a chair should not alter your perception of my health or my abilities.

Am I hesitant to do things I used to do? Hell yes. Do I require a washroom in a reasonable distance that I can use? Don’t we all? Am I here for your pity? Fuck no.

If you really want to ask, see how my recovery is going.

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