On Star Trek: Or I almost let my nutty Trek stuff

September 7, 2006 at 10:41 PM (Uncategorized)

get posted here by mistake. No worries, I keep the hobbies that would result in raised eybrows in their proper place

It’s 40 years since the first US airing, and myself and my cousin the Real Life Journalist nattered on about it over here, to mark the anniversary.

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Ilness vs. Impairment

September 7, 2006 at 7:58 AM (cancer, illness, Personal) ()

There’s an interesting discussion, over at Alas, about how various people or groups of people view impairment, and a question was raised about how various groups see “illness” vs “impairment.” Impairment, in that discussion, seems to mean in part those things that can affect mind, senses, movement, but are not always “diseases,” and in part a difference that occurs and then is static thereafter. Ilness in that discussion seems to be something that can be either transient, or permanent with varying levels of effect, seen as a disease by Western (and possibly) alternative medicine

I’ll qualify the following by saying: Anyone who feels that for *them,* alternative medicine is the only way to treat any ilness…go for it. I respect that a bit more than I did fifteen years ago, and that’s fine.

I use some alternative medicines, most notably echinacea for asthma. But I prefer a collaborative rather than an exclusionary approach.

From my experiences…

Impairment would be, cerebral palsy,asthma,carpal tunnel.

Ilness would be cancer.

When I was diagnosed in 1991, I had very late stage Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, 3b, and was not given much time left unless I started chemo. (In remission as of this writing, since 1992)

Some of the alternative medicine options I researched at that time offered complete remission, but through a process similar to having a colonoscopy every day.

I passed.

A close relative, upon hearing of the diagnosis, and that I had begun chemo, was quite concerned.

“How can you put all those toxins in your body?” They sounded quite appalled.

I was also rather appalled at the question at the time. (we have since made it up..)

There’s also a school of thought, notably by a doctor/author named Bernie Siegel, that *any* disease/ilness that comes on the scene shows up because it was set up for, even *wished* for, even *desired.*

I shall show unusual restraint here and just say that I profoundly disagree with the notion that any cancer patient *wanted to get cancer* and I even go so far as to say that thinking like that is dangerous, because it can be another subtle way of disrespecting those with the ilness….a New Age version of the Christian from the “healing congregation” that says someone doesn’t “get healed” because of a weak or flawed faith experience.

I viewed, (and still do) a diagnosis of cancer in a as a probable declaration of war, between myself and the cancerous cells.

If it is a war you feel worth fighting, you take any ammo that is handed you. Including chemical weapons. You resign yourself to a certain amount of collateral damage. You acquire various types of armor (medicines, denial, intellectual curiousity about learing about the ilness, to know enough to fight it correctly, emotional distance, family support, fun.) I’m pretty annoyed at it now, because there are at least four things that cause me difficulty that would not be raising such a ruckus had I not had cancer.

Paradoxically, I also agree with and respect anybody’s right not to go through the chemo and just hang it up Jack…( a really close friend at the end of a long life chose that, after a single six months of chemo…made complete sense to them.)

While I agree with the (for me) new and complicated idea that bodies with impairment can be joyful, and not “lesser” than those without…

When it comes to ilness as defined above, I have taken the opposite…if some condition is so obviously inimical to the things I can still do now (never mind the things I could do before the chemo, like reproduce.)

Then, I fight.

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