I have logical and philosophical objections to certain words used to describe me or what I do. I don’t expect anyone to change the way they speak, but I do sweetly invite you to be aware of the way you think about these things that, I hope, affect your own life as little as possible.

Disabled.

Hah! I am extremely able. With both hands behind my back and my head held under water, I am still able. I am able to add 2 and 2, for instance, or quote that wonderful bit from Twelfth Night that starts, “I’d build me a willow cabin at your gate, and wait upon my soul within the house …” Mind you, if you’re holding me underwater, it would be hard to check that, but I can do it, I assure you.

I am _handicapped_. Like a runty little horse that has to have 10 pounds of lead stuffed into its saddle before it gets into that race. Like a golfer who’s in a game judged by a dyslexic with a nonfunctional calculator. I have exactly the same tasks to accomplish as anyone else in the race or on the course, but I have some additional burdens that make it quite a bit harder to succeed.

Recovery.

Why should I want to recover? Of all the covers that have been ripped off, I can’t say I think all that many need to go back on. I love all this fresh air. I love the lack of artifice. I love the inward freedom of having so much stuffing removed. I don’t need recovering. Appropriate padding, yes; portable cushions, by all means. But upholstery is just one big refuge for metaphorical dust mites and dander.

I aim to _heal._ Healing from any profound physical or mental insult (and CRPS is certainly both!) does not mean going back to what or who or how I was before, it means finding a new way forward. There is no way back, and if there were, I have no reason (given how things played out) to think that returning there would be good for my health! No, it’s forward for me: man the lifeboats, or woman them of course, but I’ll head for new horizons rather than wade back through the hideous swamp I sometimes think I’m climbing out of.

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