Disabled but not Down

Kris Castner’s article, “The Handi-capable Body” describe’s her experiences growing up with a disabled sister. Her sister, Julie, was born with her legs turned inwards, and over time the condition only got worst, making it more and more difficult for her to walk. Over the years between high school and grad school, Julie undergoes three, what Kris calls, “transformations to her body.”  The first two were surgeries that helped Julie walk better, and the third was the removal of the second surgery, due to changes in insurance plans. Kris says that each time a new procedure was discovered and undertook, the family saw it as possibly being the “fix [Julie] has been waiting for.” Recently, the family discovered a new process that used nuero-technology, but Julie responded to this with indifference and lack of enthusiasm. Kris then realizes that there was nothing wrong with Julie’s body, and that she never was looking for a fix.

I could connect to this article on a very personal level. I was born with a high frequency hearing loss, and until the past couple years, it had been gradually getting worst. Like Julie, I have also gone through several “transformations,” three in fact, in the form of hearing aids. I got my first pair in fourth grade, and I am now on my third pair, with each new technology expanding my access to sound. We also saw each new “transformation” as being the fix I’ve been waiting for.

In the past couple years, there have been rapid developments in the realm of hearing aid implants, a technology that could radically improve my ability to hear, although at the cost of absolutely loosing what hearing I have already. My audiologists continually remind me of the technology, and update me on it’s advancements. Like Julie, I appreciate the offer, but I know that this is not the fix that I want, in reality, I know that I don’t need or want to be fixed, I am who I am and that’s who I want to be.