1. DystopianApocolypse
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    DystopianApocolypse Member

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    The impact of a miracle cure

    Discussion in 'Research' started by DystopianApocolypse, Apr 4, 2016.

    So I am trying to work out the plot for a story involving some final fantasy esc ideas. The main characters are all connected to a video game style world, and as such one of the girls in the group, who has been sick and bedridden all her life, is able to be cured of an incurable illness that weakens her bones and muscles as easily as a healer casts esuna or espoir. I'm trying to figure out the impact this will have on the girl, and how it will affect her.
    I see it affecting her some in that the girl will not know her limits and be overly reckless, but more so than that. If anyone wants to start up a conversation about it message me.
     
  2. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Well, firstly, keep in mind that most fictional portrayals of disability don't really portray the emotional impact properly. Most disabled people don't spend all their time thinking 'woe is me, I wish I was cured' unless they're the type to think like that anyway. People with congenital disabilities especially don't tend to be too upset about it, because it's something they take for granted, just like we take for granted not being able to fly.

    If it's something that causes pain or threatens your life, they'd gladly accept a cure, but they wouldn't let not getting a cure stop them from just being a kid and having fun. If it doesn't do either of those things, then they may or may not want a cure - it really depends on the person.

    A lot of disabilities end up being part of the person's identity. So it would feel almost like you've been turned into a different race or gender. They might feel on the inside like the same person they were before, but it feels really weird to them that other people now see them as someone totally different.

    On a practical level, meanwhile, you'd have to consider what her life was like and what experiences she's had or not had. You say she was bedridden - do you mean she was literally stuck in her bed all the time, or did she go out in a wheelchair or whatever? If she's never or rarely left her own bed, she'll probably have sensory processing issues due to lack of stimulation (eg getting overwhelmed, everything seems brighter/louder/more colorful to the point where she can't handle it, difficulty making sense of multiple things at once, etc), and she'll have missed out on a ton of knowledge other people take for granted.

    Also, keep in mind that she has never been able to move freely. Which means she missed out on the toddler stages of learning to sit up, crawl, walk, balance, etc, and she'll need to learn all of those now. She won't just be getting up out of her bed as soon as the spell is cast, unless the spell somehow teaches motor skills as well as curing the physical issues. She won't know how to tell where her body is in space while it's moving, so she'll be very clumsy until she's learnt that. She'll also need to learn what obstacles she can handle and which ones she can't - newly walking toddlers will just step off cliffs like a Looney Tunes character until they figure out that walking doesn't work that way. It's not about being fearless or reckless, though. It's simply not being able to predict that stepping off into empty space will make you fall.

    She's also had people dressing her, keeping her clean, etc. She won't have been able to go to the bathroom independently, so either she's been in diapers, been helped to the bathroom whenever she needs to go, or she's been using a bedpan. There's a pile of basic self-care that she'll need to learn. And even though she's seen other people do a lot of this stuff for her, it's totally different doing it yourself, and there are probably steps that she didn't pay attention to or wasn't in a position to see clearly. It'll be a long time before she's independent even in the most basic skills.

    I'm sure eventually she could be independent, though probably never particularly graceful. But it'll take many years and a lot of help to get there. And if she's not motivated enough or gives up too easily, or if others don't encourage her to learn and try, she might stay significantly disabled. Her family and herself might be satisfied just with her not being in pain and being able to move around a bit, and not really need or expect further improvement.
     

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