Does anyone else have mild cerebral palsy?


#1

....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?

thanks.


#2

I don’t have cerbral palsy but I have a mishmash of learning disabilities. They’re more mental than physical I suppose but they do affect my motor skills

ADD-high moderate. I still cannot sit through a movie for instance. My mind tends to wander and bridge bizarre connections which makes learning tough. However it makes me great at vocabulary. For the most part I’m a living thethurus
Dyslexia-mildish I have it fairly under control in writing. Mostly because of spell check. (you wouldn’t want to see my unedited message) As far as reading…well…I’m a horrid reader. I still struggle with manual clock
Autitory processing disorder- this is probably the hardest becuase there is next to nothing I can do. Well I read lips. When there are two noise producers I can’t seperate the sounds. I rarely get the lyrics right in songs, for instance. I can’t understand people on the phone who i don’t know well.

But I’m furiously creative, I have a good laugh (well a cute boy told me) and I got through undergrad with a high “B” average.

I can understand on the driving part. AHH! It’s really tough, not motor function but paying attention to the road and not something off to the side. SO much to focus on in driving.

It helped me be a good and responsive nanny, I constantly look for context clues. So when it was quiet I knew something was wrong. Things like the 12yo feeding pixie sticks to the 2yo and dog.:rolleyes: I have come to accept that I won’t be wonder wife to a man someday…that my house will be messy and my shopping lists undreadable. But I think that allows for more room for growth and greater acceptance.


#3

I can relate to your post very well. I myself suffer from severe gout and have much difficulty in walking without a cane, and sometimes it is very painful. The symptoms are much like CP, but without the speech impediment. I am only 45, and suffer from depression and anxiety as well. I have had doctor after doctor attempt to help only to be very disappointed in the end.

It is natural at first to become self-conscious or even more depressed (if not already) and each "failure" or shortcoming seems like the end of the world. I struggled with this feeling for many years until I just had to let go and let God take care of what He would. I learned the great value of Redemptive Suffering in the course of time, and have been the better for it. It is a matter of accepting that which God has given us, be it good or bad. I actually would not want anything in the world in exchange for my pains, knowing what I know now.

In our modern society, we tend to turn too much to medications and doctors, who seem to do little to find a solution to our pains. We live in a world that offers instant relief and that can sometimes end up more a curse than a cure. As a result of my depression and physical pain, I drank very heavily for many years to ease the ailments, only to discover it was making it worst—it was just an escape that was destroying others’ and mine lives. It was only by the grace of God I survived some very bad episodes and violent social situations that could have proven very tragic.

I had but to turn to God for help, but He seen fit to continue my physical pains. Study St. Paul on this and you will get a deeper understanding of the situation of Redemptive Suffering. Many of the Saints have had great physical ailments and it brought them closer to God. Perhaps some other posters can give you some good works to study.

At any rate, you strike me as a cognitive and intelligent individual. I can tell by your writing style. It has always been my opinion that a fine writer need not speak much at all vocally, as their written word is usually more exceptional than those who speak too much—and often say little.
Remember no one was perfect on earth, or ever will be, except Our Lord. Don’t become angered with yourself and feel you are not as perfect as you should be. God has plans for each of us, using the talents He has given us and gives us the strength to carry out what He wants us to, even if we don’t really ever see it working in ourselves. You could be the next famous author who will write an inspiring book for others.

You appear to have a great attitude right off of the bat. Don’t worry if people may look at you differently, I often find myself in that situation in public, but sometimes they look weirder than me, and I am pretty weird looking, believe me. Don’t believe you could never have a family. Love is more powerful than any physical debilitation. Your child and wife will understand beyond the reasons you could ever imagine.

Carry on well, and may God Bless You and continue to enrich your life. You are in my prayers.
 
 
 


#4

I'm 16 and I've got mild CP that affects the right side of my body. I have a very high tone in my right leg and not quite as high in my left and I use a cane to assist in walking.


#5

I don't have cerebral palsy, but I wanted to say thank you for your post. One of my friends is a physical therapist, and you should know that individuals with barriers to functioning (which we all have in one way or another, really) can be an inspiration to others. In looking at some deep pains in my own life, it has been helpful to read "Abandonment to Divine Providence" by Fr. Jaun-Pierre de Caussade and "The Imitation of Christ" by St. Thomas a Kempis, as well as "On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering" by Pope John Paul II. Suffering can be a great teacher. Please know that you are not alone.


#6

Hello,

thanks to everyone who posted for the support and resources. I'd like to respond in more detail in the next day or so. I'll check out the resources that you all have suggested.

I should say that I have severe bipolar disorder in addition to the physical stuff. I've been (and still am) in treatment for that and on medication and it's much better than it used to be. I am not "recovered" but things have improved a lot. Now it is easier to focus on physical issues, b/c my moods are not such a a problem.

I think modern technology helps a lot in terms of what I can do these days.

thanks for your replies.


#7

I’ve heard gout is really painful. Also mental health issues are difficult. I’m going to think more about Redemptive Suffering. Thanks for your input. Letting go of self-consciousness is hard but it’s kind of like, God gave me this body so he can see me using it :slight_smile: - and as I stop focusing on other people’s thoughts, I start to feel better.

I’m 16 and I’ve got mild CP that affects the right side of my body. I have a very high tone in my right leg and not quite as high in my left and I use a cane to assist in walking.

I have trouble with the right hand side of my body too. I used to walk into walls and etc. b/c I just didn’t “see” them. I saw them but it didn’t register; I think that is called “visual neglect.” Sometimes I hold onto walls with my right hand while coming down stairs and I tend to drop things and bump into stuff more on that side. But I’m working on it. I’m trying to walk more evenly instead of pushed over to the LHS.

I am naturally left-handed (not as a result of these issues) and that helps. Although I can type pretty well w/both hands.

In looking at some deep pains in my own life, it has been helpful to read “Abandonment to Divine Providence” by Fr. Jaun-Pierre de Caussade and “The Imitation of Christ” by St. Thomas a Kempis, as well as “On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering” by Pope John Paul II. Suffering can be a great teacher. Please know that you are not alone.

Thanks. I’ll check out those resources. That helps. I appreciate the suggestions.


closed #8

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