It’s Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, and I haven’t talked about my disability recently. With all my new followers I wanted to talk about it and bring awareness during this month.
I have Mild Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy. I was born prematurely and had bleeding in my brain which caused me to have Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is an abnormality of motor function, the ability to move and control movements. Cerebral Palsy can develop in different ways it can be more severe and have different effects depending on the person.
For me, I have a mild case and it affects all the muscles on my left side making them tight. Before I had surgery, I walked differently than I do now. I walked on my tip-toes, my leg turned inwards, and I limped a bit.
In 6th grade, I had a surgery that lengthened my heal cord so I would walk flat-footed, and it didn’t work very well.
In 8th grade, I had major surgery to correct the appearance of having a disability, when I walked. I had 3 surgeries performed on me in one day it was a big surgery to go through. I had a Femur rotational osteotomy, Medial hamstring lengthening, and Tendo Achilles lengthening. Also, I had a plate and screws put into my femur.
This surgery did not take away my disability in any way. It just has normalized my walking so you can’t tell I have a disability. I have a limp sometimes, but just by looking at me you wouldn’t know that I have Cerebral Palsy.
After my surgery, I had a short leg cast (which went a little below my knee) and a knee brace that goes from my cast up to the top of my leg. I stayed in the ICU for under 48 hours then I was released to go home. I have a high pain tolerance, so I was never in a lot of pain during my recovery. I was just uncomfortable because I couldn’t move a lot.
During week 3 of recovery I went back to the hospital for a cast and brace change then I got measured for an AFO brace.
During week 6 of recovery, I went back to the hospital to have the cast removed and receive my AFO brace. I still had to wear my knee brace, but I was now allowed to take it off a few times a day and move my knee a bit to stretch it. As you can see from the picture I lost a lot of muscle.
I started physical therapy during week 7 of recovery. I had a morning and afternoon session of therapy for 5 days. During this week, I learned to walk all over again. I’m a very determined person, so I pushed myself to recover. After this week, I went back to school and started going to physical therapy two days a week. Whenever I had check-ups at my hospital, they told me that I was healing very well and faster than they expected.
In May of 2016, I had a surgery to remove the plate and screws in my leg because it did start to bug me. After this surgery, I lost some of the muscles I had gained back. I eventually did gain the muscle back.
Currently, I have lost a lot of the muscle I gained after my surgeries because I stopped working out. Currently, I am working on getting my muscle back so it will be easier to walk around during college. As I get older, I have noticed my muscles getting tighter. I try to stretch daily to keep them lose and to keep my mobility normal. I also were an AFO brace and use a cane when walking long distances for a few days in a row.
The hospital that I had my surgeries at was Shriners Children’s Hospital they specialize in burns and disabilities. The hospital and staff were amazing for the years that I was a patient there I was just recently released when I turned 18. I loved my nurses and doctors who have helped me all these years, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have been able to go there for most of my life.
I will do an update post when I get into college and I am walking more!
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