Something about the label “quadriplegic” and being considered a “quad” was something that never felt right. Not for any other reason than I felt it failed to give my ability proper description. In terms of I how used to view the term as a description of a disability more than anything.

When I think of a person who suffers from quadriplegia I tend to picture people I’ve shared time with in rehab. Individuals who, for the most part have a fair amount of difficulty moving most of their body below their neck. Not that I saw it as degrading or insulting. Honestly I just thought of myself not fitting into, what I perceived as the classification.

I realize how flawed my interpretation of the condition was, and yes I’ve rearranged the way in which I look upon it and myself.

To be fair in all my time spent in the hospital I was almost always described by a label that was slapped on me almost from the get go. I was “locked-in.” Meaning I suffered from another and somewhat related condition referred to as Locked-In Syndrome. Wikipedia does a surprisingly decent job of describing it, at least where I was concerned, early on, of course.

But I’m no longer considered “locked-in,” for rather apparent reasons, being I can move. So it would seem using the all encompassing moniker, “quadriplegic” does a much better job of describing my current status;

“Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is a symptom in which a human experiences paralysis affecting all four limbs, although not necessarily total paralysis or loss of function.”

Wikipedia’s entry above does seem slightly speciesist though. Only a “human” can suffer from such an infliction? What’s that about?

Anyway It took watching the 2005 documentary, Murderball to actually become motivated enough to actually look the definition of “quadriplegia” up. And I’ve since achieved comfort in using it to describe myself. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve actually seen the film. And aside from the supreme Douche Bag’s brief appearance, I do remember feeling quite “liberated” by the end.

Which now seems a little out of place after watching the movie’s preview on YouTube not five minutes ago. What with all the the American flag/pride/patriot references, the “macho” testosterone overload, and a comment about pity attracting women. But with all those flaws, I guess the message got through in spite of all that non-sense.