CW: Pain & Depression
When I woke up this morning, I realized my spasticity was worse than usual. Ever since puberty, my spasticity has been harder to cope with. I can’t spend all day walking around the mall anymore. Doctors don’t tell you that Cerebral Palsy will change as you age. My muscles are tighter than most people’s. This can make movement difficult.
Botox injections can make moving around easier. However, for me, the effects only last a few months. I had a surgery known as a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy when I was a child. The results were noticeable, according to my parents. I even learned how to use forearm crutches after SDR.
I can no longer use forearm crutches. It is too painful. At 13, I decided that I needed a power wheelchair. Functional shifts were one of the contributing factors in the development of depression during my teenage years. I felt defeated when my power wheelchair arrived. It felt like I was giving up my ability to walk. I didn’t realize that I’d be more independent in my chair.
Sometimes people don’t understand how a 22-year-old can become fatigued after a trip to the grocery store. Believe me when I say I’d love to go grocery shopping without becoming tired. Everyday tasks are a challenge when you live with CP. According to the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, because CP affects how people move, people with cerebral palsy may have to expend 3 to 5 times as much energy to complete the same amount of work as their peers in terms of effort, persistence, muscular control, and concentration.
Living with Cerebral Palsy is hard no matter how old you are. People are just doing the best they can. I want people to understand that living with a disability is a daily challenge. Be patient with us, we are often living in a world where we don’t feel like we belong, and our bodies don’t cooperate.
“Cerebral Palsy AND Post-Impairment Syndrome.” Edited by Gina Jansheski, Cerebral Palsy Guidance, Cerebral Palsy Guidance, 19 Sept. 2020, http://www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/cerebral-palsy/associated-disorders/post-impairment-syndrome/.