Love, Romance and Disabilities

heart in pieces
Sickness isn’t romantic. No one wants to start off wanting the worst in For Better or Worst.

But people get sick, they become injured, they change. Can you remember the last book or movie you watched where the hero and herione weren’t in perfect health, if not slightly superhuman?

Unless of course, you’ve watched a disease of the week movie, as one friend described them. And in that case the disability or injury IS the whole movie – or book. Sometimes – often for me – that’s not the type of book or movie I really want to watch.

And as both a reader and writer there’s a part of me that says so what? I read for entertainment, for escape and I like perfect, shiny people. I want to live vicariously in a perfect body. Sometimes escapism is just what the doctor ordered and I don’t have a problem with that.

Given how prevalent in our society these issues are though, it’s amazing I cant’t think of one where the main character has fibromyalgia for instance, or diabetes, arthritis or maybe asthma. And I can see where a character could have these diseases and still be highly functioning.

It could definitely throw a wrench into their crime-fighting abilities. What about a hero who has asthma that’s under control and he NEVER needs his rescue inhaler? And where is it? Not on him. Talk about ratcheting up the tension!

And if a romance heroine has chronic fatigue how is the hero going to react? She looks just like everyone else. Why can’t she do a simple little thing like stop by his place after work and walk the dog? How is she going to react? What will she tell him and when of her illness?

And when she does how will he react? If he dumps her I’m not going to like him. I just watched a Keith Urban video on FB with his wife, Nicole Kidman. Their love for each other shone through in his song The Fighter and a character who reacted the way he does would melt anyone’s heart, mine for sure.

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10 Replies to “Love, Romance and Disabilities”

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I’m an author who has more than a speaking acquaintance with disabilities and medical problems. Because of that, I don’t want to watch it, read it, or write about. I seem to live it far too often. I need the escape that fiction–writing and reading it–gives. However, I know that disease/disability of the week is a popular theme in every entertainment venue so there’s a huge market for it. Obviously, right? Or Lifetime channel wouldn’t exist! *LOL*

    • I am an avid reader. I suffer pain every day of my life. I do not want to read about it. I read to escape my physical self racked with pain. For those few precious moments I am whole and healthy again. So I would like to thank those authors who write happy and uplifting stories.

    • Good to know I haven’t been avoiding something just because I tend to want bright, shiny happy people. I definitely don’t want to do disease of the,week but maybe a supporting character.

  2. In my Christmas Babies that received more 150 reviews, the heroine discovers in ch. one that she has epilepsy. She is a pediatrician, specialized in Neonatology. At first she tried to hide her condition but her boss-the hero-finds out and helps. The story is light inspite of the difficult subject. I was inspired by the true story of my own cousin who had his first seizure the day he graduated from med school. With the right medicines and will-power he managed to overcome his problem. He is a successful surgeon with thirty years experience. When there is a will, there is a way.

    • I’m going to have to read it. I’m pretty sure I have it on my kindle and that’s just the type of example I want to see. It’s even better knowing it’s inspired by a true story.

    • It does make a difference. A zillion years ago I worked a summer in the human rights office of BC. They were putting together an ad campaign at one point and were very careful to have a mix of people. They not only knew this made a difference but there was a ton of research to back it up. More than one also made comments that hiring a blue eyed blonde for the office seemed wrong but that’s another story. Physical and mental differences would be the same although it’s harder if you’ve only got a 30 seconds to get your point across.

  3. As an author with Fibro and Chronic Fatigue, I’ve always wanted to write characters who live with medical problems but wondered if anyone would want to read them. You’ve now inspired me to write them. Thanks.

  4. Thank you. I love thinking I’ve inspired another writer. And actually I worked with someone who had fibro and chronic fatigue. She did miss more shifts than someone with no health problems but she did a great job when there. She got another job that was Monday to Friday in one of the clinics and given that she also had young and school age children a as well as a fiancé and new house that worked better for her.

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