I recently (as in 11/22 and 12/1) had cataract surgery. The procedures and their aftereffects have been much on my mind. One thought led to another. Given that illness, accidents, disease, and all that go with physical conditions and medical procedures are part of everyone’s life to some extent, they must be part of our writing, too.
Consider the possibilities; they are legion. Here is a representative and far-from-exhaustive list of possibilities: heart disease, pulmonary insufficiency, cancer; knee, hip or shoulder replacement; measles, mumps, hepatitis, or malaria; ulcers, colitis, diverticulitis, or gastritis; broken leg, back, or dominant arm; migraines, depression, or addiction; paralysis, deafness, or blindness; diabetes, severe burns, frostbite; psoriasis, skin pigmentation problems; cleft palate, microcephaly, or other birth defects; and so many more!
Each possibility carries the potential for wide-ranging effects. Some of these are chronic, others are more temporary.
—self concept and self-esteem
—the reactions of family, friends, strangers
—behavioral limits—ongoing or temporary
—pain and discomfort
—treatment (or not)
—communicability, and reactions to possibly “giving” it to others
—demands on the time, energy, emotions, and money of the person and/or family and friends
—career/job limitations or difficulties
—what hobbies or leisure activities are available with this condition
—and so many more!
Assignment for writers: Choose a health problem or disability, and write one or more scenes about how that would affect/limit holiday celebrations and enjoyment. Enjoy!