Saturday, August 25, 2012

Advocating for Another: Betcha Didn't Know

Today’s post theme is all about the reveal. What’s something people would be surprised to know about your life as a  Health Activist, your community, or condition. Uncover it and elaborate upon in stream-of-consciousness-style.

This means this post won't be connected and might not make sense. It will just be my thoughts.

Contrary to  some misinformed people, cerebral palsy is not a progressive disability. Whatever grade brain bleed you had, is what it will remain. Also, it's not possible to pass it on to a baby should a woman with cerebral palsy choose to have children. Along those same lines, not everyone with cerebral palsy will struggle with learning. They could be like me and have a mild case that only affects the lower extremities, not the brain.

People with cerebral palsy can work. They are more productive than some able-bodied members of society. We might have to do things a little differently and a little slower than most people, but we get it done. Not walking on time as a child made me tough. I found a way to get to my toys, button my clothes even when my fingers fought me every step of the way. (Now, admittedly, necklaces are still a bit tricky.) We find joy in the journey. 

Change doesn't affect us like most people. It's all I've ever known. Between new doctors, hospital visits, and altering our schedules on any given day due to pain just becomes something we adapt to along the way. 
Love is much more than a feeling. It's something I actively give to those around me. I've seen how disabilities affect people's lives, and I'm determined to make the most of each day. 

I'm a goal-setter. Even today as I've slept most of this beautiful afternoon away, I did manage to read a chapter for my Mass Media class. That makes me feel content, even things didn't go exactly as I'd planned. 

Of the people I've met with disabilities, their personalities, dreams, goals, shine as we talk. I don't even notice a girl or boy with a disability... or maybe a wheelchair and oxygen tank. The parents look over approvingly as we talk like two young adults sharing and listening about life. Sure, maybe there's a bustle of patients in the background, but right then, at that moment we are not bound by disabilities or stereotypes of what doctors say we can and can't do. We are two young people with the whole world at our fingertips just waiting to be changed by us.


tam7777 said...

Awesome post. We all have something to share that we go through. If you can help one person see a different way about themselves it's worth it.