Old Blog from 2009..
When I turned 30 in May of last year, I had no idea at the time how much my life would change within those 12 months.
That day, May 10, 2009 was spent at my uncle’s house celebrating Mother’s Day. For me, the visit ended with a bang, or rather, a fall. You see, as I was heading to my parents’ van, my walker hit something on my uncle’s driveway which caused my walker to tip completely over. As I fell with the walker, I was sure I would bust my face, but thankfully, I just scraped my fingers.
I have always been terrified of falling, so for it to actually happen, I was sure I would never be comfortable on my walker again. I told my mother how scared I was to use the walker again, and she told me that I couldn’t let the fact that I fell stop me from using the walker. The following day I did get back on the walker to attend a program that my oldest nephew was in. I was so happy that I wasn’t nervous using it, because I was so sure I would be.
The following month, I was going to spend the weekend with my sister and her family. We went to a local swimming pool and I was talking with my sister, and I told her I was thinking of spending the summer with her. She loved having me over, so I knew she’d love the idea, especially since her husband was working out of town at the time.
So, I went to my house and got some things I would need during my stay. One night, I was sitting at the dining room table listening to music and working crosswords, and within a few minutes, I was clinging to the table. I was terrified that I was going to fall out of the chair. I had been having this feeling off and on for about a year and a half, but lately it had gotten worse. In order for me to be slightly comfortable, I had to put a chair on both sides of me.
I knew something had to be done.
I finally did something about the situation in November, when I went to my family doctor.
He asked me how I felt when the feeling of falling kicked in. I told him that it felt like the chair I was in was high in the air, and being afraid of heights, the feeling freaked me out. He prescribed Paxil to calm my anxiety, and it has helped me tremendously. I can now sit in any chair without feeling like I’m going to fall out of it.
During the same visit, we also talked about scheduling me for some physical therapy, because at the time I only used the walker when I absolutely had to. I know, it wasn’t very smart.
I went to therapy from November to March and out of all the times I’d done physical therapy, this was the best experience ever. I miss going to therapy, but I am thankful to know that because of it, I am more comfortable walking than I’ve ever been.
In March, while searching groups on Facebook, I learned that it was National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. I was so thrilled to see that the condition I’ve had since birth, was finally being recognized nationally. I knew I had to find a way to get involved. I sent friend requests to several people, and spoke with a few who have children that have the same type of CP that I have. They appreciated me for sharing my experience with them.
In April, I was searching Facebook again for information on a comedian named, Josh Blue, who also has CP. While I was looking at his page, I saw a picture of a man in a Navy uniform.
I clicked on the picture, and I found out that it was the cover of a book called, “Someone Like Me.” The man who wrote the book also has CP, and he spent 20 years in the Navy, all the while keeping his condition a secret. As soon as I finished reading about his story, I sent him a message, and was shocked when I got a reply a few minutes later. I totally didn’t think he’d respond, because I figured he was too busy with book signings and interviews.
For the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time spreading word of this man’s story, telling people to buy his book and join his Facebook pages.
I am so inspired by his story, that I would like to try to put my own journey with CP down on paper. I am also wanting to get involved, in some way, to spread the word of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. I want to see if I can get something done locally to celebrate this cause, and the people who deal with it from day to day.