Winter is my least favorite season. Cold temperatures make it difficult for me to move around. For me, one of the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy is spasticity. Spasticity is a motor condition characterized by a velocity-dependent increase in tonic stretch reflexes with excessive tendon jerks caused by stretch reflex hyperexcitability.
Spasticity makes it difficult to move around in the most ideal weather conditions. In the winter, however, it can make moving much harder than it already is. I don’t like to spend much time outside when it is cold. The same is true for the summer. Too much time outdoors in extreme temperatures can lead to increased pain. The amount of pain I experience has increased as I’ve gotten older as well.
Precipitation also makes it more difficult to move around. My walker doesn’t navigate snow very well. Trudging through the snow also tires me out more. My power wheelchair isn’t designed for wet weather. If it gets too wet, it could damage the batteries.
Regarding physical activity, I use much more energy than my nondisabled peers. According to the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, due to the way CP affects the way people move, people who have cerebral palsy may have to use 3 to 5 times more energy to perform the same amount of work as their peers in terms of effort, persistence, muscle control, and concentration.
Cerebral Palsy is a challenge to live with sometimes. Something as simple as the temperature outside can make the day more challenging. For disabled people any number of factors can affect our daily lives.
“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/.
Francisco, Gerard E., and John R. McGuire. “Poststroke spasticity management.” Stroke 43.11 (2012): 3132-3136.