Before you begin this, bear in mind that in the end, all things are equal. “All living organisms have mechanisms to sense and respond to changes in their environments” – Young LR, Oman CM, Watt DGD, et al. (1984). “Spatial orientation in weightlessness and readaptation to Earth’s gravity”. Science 225: 205–208.
I have not at this point learned to dance. I mean dance, not the senseless jumping around and flailing of my imbs like back in what now feels like a separate life from the one I currently exist in. I’m smiling to myself because I was sort of given a unique opportunity—I have had many experiences throughout my youth as an able-bodied man. I have lived in Montreal and Calgary, I have had a driver’s license, I have owned a vehicle. I’ve held the same job since 2002. I have opened a bank account. I have applied for and received a line-of-credit as well as a credit card. I have had what I would like to think of as a successful dating career. Some say better to have loved and lost. To those adage-lovers, I say: “Are you kidding??” But through everything, I never learned to dance.
It is perched just out of reach in what is apparently a never-ending battle between the things that I have always wanted, and all those concessions which I must take into account under the “things I no longer have the physicality for. “ Still—I never learned to dance.
I am alright with wheeling onto the dance floor with very intention of doing what I have traditionally done…bust a proverbial move, as it were.
It grows wearisome, this never-ending game of keep away which I have no choice but to play. Learning the most effective way to relegate myself to amending my traditional understanding of dancing Is just one more thing that I must adapt to. It doesn’t require much effort- I have always tried to just help people. I maintain this attitude to this very day. I suppose I have being brought up Parker to thank for this. I have no idea how many times we discussed identifying root causes of problems, advanced problem solving tactics, and watched as a fortune 500 company made concessions to keep our customers happy. Consider this a corporation of such stature making concessions to a Mom & Pop Shop! Did I ever take that lesson in, eh? Because it is that Mom & Pop Shop who pay the bills. I liken such a viscerally corporate entity making concessions to end-use account to me making concessions to my disease (any reading this who may be engaged in business practices with Parker may have noticed a comparison between my end-use accounts and my disease. I apologize for this. The fact that I have taken pause for even a second should show with the utmost clarity what kind of company Parker Hannifin is.
While I may have been forced redefine something as casual as dancing, it is brought to me in the only way that I would possibly make a concession such as this (words are very important to me—they always allowed for flexibility in my high-school years, which was always a pleasant change from the rigidity of Science.) The familiarity I have been building over a lifetime with all these words that I am now forced to redefine is difficult for me. It is a bitter pill that I must take–those definitions are comforting to me, but like everything they’re fleeting.
I’d like to say that I do not like the word handi-capable. I find the hybridization of these words (handicapped and capable) borderline offensive. I know that i am disabled. And I also know that I OWN MY DISEASE (in the words of one Jesse Pinkman: “bitch.”) My disease doesn’t own me. Instead, we have a 60/40 split. Trust me; I was left out of the negotiations.
I also know that the final truth is that I must respect my disease–otherwise, I pay the price. And just as it is with many things in this world, the price follows the societal trend and only increases with time.
But still, in the depth of experience that I have been amassing is all part & parcel to the person I am, love me or hate me. I suppose that in the end, whether I can dance is irrelevant. What all this writing has culminated in is the realization that I must concede. In parts of life beyond what I have known for a lifetime vis-à-vis the practical definition of words. And thus, I will adapt. It’s i. It’s in my nature. My professional background has fostered experience dealing with the most irate customer I have ever known—my illness. That’s it. There is so much seemingly grim finality when many are living with a chronic illness. I chose, therefore, to just think of it as another bad day at work.
With my most irate customer who persistently has me making concessions.
Fatigue, sleepiness, and physical activity in patients with multiple sclerosis, Merkelbach S, Schulz H, Kölmel HW, Gora G, Klingelhöfer J, Dachsel R, Hoffmann F, Polzer U © 1984, Heinrich-Braun-Klinikum Zwickau, 08056, Zwickau, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
Statistical data courtesy of StatsCan.