Enough of the “miracle recovery” storiesMar 31 04:41
"Man walks again despite all odds." Think you’ve seen this headline a few times or two? So have I. The media loves - no is completely obsessed - with miraculous recovery stories. Why do they love them so? It’s something that’s ingrained in every one of us. Every human wants to thrive, survive…to heal. It’s a gene we all have, like staring at a bonfire. You just can’t look away.
But when you see dozens of miracle recovery stories in the news ever year when those who really understand medicine know they’re not true "miracle" stories at all, but cases of those with only bruised spinal cords recovering, it can get old; especially when it makes people who know you wonder what happened to your miracle.
When Jack Jablonski severed his spinal cord a few months ago, I remember reading all these comments on his CaringBridge site from people who had broken their necks and were able to walk again, telling him to not lose hope, etc, etc. All people who had not…eh-hem…..severed their spinal cords.
Should they have instead have told him there’s no hope? No, but they should really stop referring to their story as miraculous. Reading their comments brought back a flood of memories of the same thing happening to me when I was injured.
Notes like, "Hey Tiffiny! I was able to walk again after my injury. I have to wear a Halo the rest of my life, but it’s all right though because I have fun with it. I even hang X-Mas lights on my Halo each Christmas. Think positively!" These were letters from people with bruised their spinal cords, twisted their spinal cords. The lucky ones.
I think their needs to be a better distinction in the media between the “not so badly damaged spinal cord” stories from the true miracle stories (like the man with paralysis who began walking again after 18 years after being bitten by a Brown Recluse spider), so the end-user knows what they’re swallowing.
But I guess if that happened - the people would be smarter, the media wouldn’t sell as many papers and those experiencing these “miracles” wouldn’t get the warm and fuzzies from all of the attention. Do I sound bitter? Nah…just annoyed. The media is the modern-day version of the story-tellers of olde.
I just wish they’d stop pretending to be something that they’re not, take off their suits and ties, and just paint their faces in tribal paint and get it over with already.
What’s your view on miracle recovery stories in the news? Do you notice, do you care, or do you think it‘s no big deal?
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1. Justine | Apr 01 12:21
Tiffiny, I am RIGHT there with you on this one!! These types of stories drive me completely batty after awhile!!! And while they're at it, they need to stop with the paralyzed brides/ grooms. I know how you feel about that, too! The updates on them are always turned into " no duh" stories IMO. Like, ie, mentioning that they're doing normal everyday things like driving. That's such a standard thing for us nowadays yet it's reported as a miraculous step in recovery!
2. Bob V | Apr 01 04:41
Hi Tiff, you hit a hot button with me! Especially when the news story also throughs "through hard work, determaination, and the will to walk" in the mix. Translation--anybody that is still paralyzed, is still using a chair just doesn't have the willpower, work ethic, or determination to walk.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.