Tuesday, August 2, 2016
An English professor's new memoir of living with post-accident quadriplegia is important reading for the workers' comp professional.
A common theme in workers’ compensation disability literature is that injured workers should be expected to rehabilitate themselves and eventually return to work, regardless of the severity of disability. We look forward to workers’ recoveries. Advocates of rehabilitation and return to work routinely promote the examples of the actor Christopher Reeves, and of catastrophically-wounded soldiers, who show astonishing resiliency and are restored to productive lives.
These individuals are heroes. However, is everyone who is catastrophically injured expected to respond in this courageous manner? In a new memoir, A Body, Undone (NYU Press 2016), this expectation is questioned. The author, Wesleyan University Professor Christina Crosby, sustained a severe spinal cord injury at age 50. Now 61, she is paralyzed from the chest down and is wheel-chair bound, though she is able to move her arms and can grasp items like the pages of a book. Crosby knows all about the heroism narratives, but she is intent on setting aside that model and telling the reader what it is really like to live as a quadriplegic.
Read the complete book review, Is Heroism the Standard?, at www.davetorrey.info.