First off, the question that I get asked the most is, “What the heck is cerebral palsy”? Cerebral palsy blankets a lot of medical disorders but it is the loss or impairment of motor functions. It boils down to the fact that I move around in some aspects like an 80-year-old body. When I get up from a chair, it takes me longer than an average male of my age. It is highly frustrating to have the energy of a young adult but have to wait for my body to catch up with mine. My legs, arms, back, face and body are always stiff from the stress that the muscles put on my body. I to this day still have not mastered the art of riding a bicycle because my balance will always be off. I have tried to learn how to swim in the past, but I just can’t relax my muscles enough, and I tend to sink in large pools of water.
Just the other day I was lying in bed, and I couldn’t get up, it was scary. Physically, I could not get off of my back to go to the bathroom. When I wake up in the morning, sometimes I can stay in bed for hours because my muscles don’t want to warm up, I know the pain is coming. I try to exercise, but I tend just to hurt myself if I try to. My least favorite comments are, “You don’t look like you have problems,” which tend to keep me down someday because how can I live in a society with this problem when a community doesn’t think it is an issue. I have a mild form of cerebral palsy which make me stiff; I can still walk, talk and function on the outside frequently. It is just excruciating for people like myself to try to participate.
In high school I ran track and field, I did below average for an athlete, but I still felt right when I was able to beat a healthy bodied kid in something. I have had troubles lately trying to cope with my muscle pain, I decided to hide the pain for some time, but it is difficult for me to overcome day to day. I cannot keep protecting from this illness. Cerebral palsy sucks, but that is okay. you can’t pray it away and can’t magically get rid of it. I have a condition; I need to accept it for what it is and move on. A positive to take out of the whole experience is that I am still alive and conquering life as a person with a disability!
Thanks for reading –
– Tommi Asylum