I Have Cp. Cp Does Not Have Me.This was originally posted on my EP blog. Since my EP blog is set for friends only, I wanted to also share my story here so I can communicate with others affected by CP. I am also making some edits to this, prior to posting :)
I was born with moderate Cerebral Palsy. Was a preemie (Mother had just entered her 6 month). At birth, I weighed two lbs six oz. I had been a breech birth (feet first) and needed to be turned. During that process, I had loss of oxygen to my brain. The brain damage sustained, resulted in my CP.
After birth, I had stopped breathing three times during the "critical period." The doctors told my parents to inform their families in case they wanted to see me. I wasn't supposed to live. Shows what the hell doctors know, huh?
I have spastic diplegia CP. Tight muscle tone in both legs. My balance is affected. I used to have seizures. But at age 17, the EEG showed no other seizure activity. I was then weaned off my medication. Also have learning disabilities particularly in math and spatial recognition.
I had four related surgeries to improve my legs and to be able to walk, at all. The first was at age 4. Double heel cord lengthening and releases. The next two were at ages 8 and 9. At age 8, I had double hip rotations with hardware put in. Age 9, the "hardware" was removed. At 17, I had my last (so far) which was double hamstring lengthening and releases. I am grateful for all of them. They were incredibly painful and so was the Physical therapy afterwards, but it was worth it!
I only use a manual wheelchair on occasion (Far distances, standing for very long periods of time). I don't use any other aides while walking. I no longer have PT. Aside from PT after surgeries, I used to have PT during the week as well. However, I stopped doing my regularly scheduled PT when I was 14. They allowed me to do it on my own, because they were taking me out of classes in school for my PT and I was aggravated by that. I wanted to learn, not do the same repetative exercises I could do in my sleep and had been doing for years prior LOL
I am big on activism/advocacy for disabilities. Especially CP. Cerebral Palsy is THE MOST common disability endured during birth, but the one least known about or understood.
I have been with my one and only (I refer to him as "Moose," on here) since August 7, 1999. We live together. He is the Love of my Life and has never treated me any differently. He doesn't see me as "being disabled" at all. What really made me believe it (more than just hearing him say that to me), was when he told me and showed me that he was looking up about CP all on his own. He wanted to know if certain things applied to me. He asks questions. He wants to always know how he can help and what he can do to make things better for me, if I need it. He is my rock, my love, my best friend :)