....or other mild physical disability?
I hope this belongs here; please move it if not. I am 41 and I have mild cerebral palsy (CP). that is an "umbrella" or to be a bit more cynical, "garbage can" as I have heard a doctor call it, term for damage to the brain at or before birth, or in the first few years of life, that affects posture, balance and muscle control. I was premature, 11 weeks early and under 3 pounds.
my "type" is somewhat odd in that I don't have either the spasticity (basically, stiffness) or low tone, at rest like most people do. however I do have muscle weakness that causes difficulty with many tasks. this affects my arms as well as my legs. I have a diagnosis of mild CP and while I can do most things, some of them take longer and or more difficult.
I do get stiff when anxious and under some other conditions.
I have been encouraged to focus on what I can do and not compare myself to other people. I don't need a wheelchair or crutches although I find myself wishing for a cane or something after walking a while.
the hardest, most difficult thing for me has been speech. I used to force myself to articulate clearly. I did not get therapy growing up b/c my parents really didn't want to see anything was wrong. but I had to work hard on speech to the point where I couldn't talk much and the effort to produce well-articulated syllables gave me a headache.
when I started speech therapy several years ago, my speech was very slow, soft (b/c it was produced w/effort) and slurred. now I am to the point where I can speak much more normally and it is a BIG relief. of everything that has been hard for me, speech has been the most upsetting thing by far. my speech is not up to "normal" yet but it is much improved and I hope to have further improvements.
some things that are difficult include: driving a car; walking properly; holding things (I drop them a lot); needing to hold onto walls while walking; fine motor stuff such as buttoning buttons; general clumsiness, and lifting my arms up which meant that having a family was not possible b/c I don't have the strength to hold a baby or infant.
the good things are: I can do most things; I've learned to work with muscle fatigue; although I don't use the right side of my body as well as the left, I've had improvement there; my husband is very supportive, and my speech is much improved which is a BIG relief; modern technology is great b/c I write very poorly but can type well, and the Net does not require speech.
I feel blessed to have the opportunities I have, especially when I realize I don't have to punish myself for not doing things "perfect."
I view myself as having some "impairments." I don't see myself as either able-bodied or disabled.
can anyone else relate to this?