With Thanksgiving soon approaching, I tend to think about my family and how much I’m thankful for their support over the years of my journey with cerebral palsy. But I also wish they could understand these things about my life with cerebral palsy:
1. I don’t mean to be tired first thing in the morning. Having cerebral palsy can sometimes leave me with sleepless nights because of the spasms and the pain. So in the morning, I’m often tired, but I don’t mean to be.
2. I don’t like jumping at loud noises — it just happens. For as long as I can remember, loud noises and I don’t get along. I don’t like jumping at them because it hurts my body, and I’m embarrassed by that side effect, so please understand why I get emotional about it.
3. Cerebral palsy has a mind of its own. Sometimes my cerebral palsy has a mind of its own, and sometimes it causes me to second-guess the way I’m moving around or the task I’m doing.
4. Cerebral palsy isn’t all that bad. Some of my younger family members will say, “I feel so bad for you Ty, you always have to ask people to help you.” Little do they know having cerebral palsy has its perks. For example, I will always get to see the world from a unique perspective.
5. Cerebral palsy does not make me naive about certain things. Some of my family members tend to become shocked when I discuss certain things or have awareness about certain things. For example, when I was visiting my aunt and uncle in North Carolina and I decided to watch “Family Guy,” my aunt said, “Ty, I’m shocked you know what ‘Family Guy’ is. Because of your cerebral palsy, I wouldn’t think you would be aware of that show.”
Related: 7 Lessons My Disability Taught Me
6. Cerebral palsy can sometimes be too much for me to handle. Although I may have a tough girl attitude, sometimes it’s too much for me to handle. Sometimes I wish I could take a break from my body, just for a day or so. But I can’t, so I just keep going.
Although my family might not know certain things about my cerebral palsy, I love them and I wouldn’t be as strong as I am without them. I’m very thankful that I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with them.