I’d just thought I’d like to share my story about living with a disability because it just might comfort someone else.
I was born 12 weeks premature and was ventilated two months and I developed jaundice.
It all started when I was 18 months old and couldn’t sit up for myself, doctors thought I wasn’t being fed properly but, my mum stuck to her guns and begged for a brain scan. At two years old my mother received the news that I had been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy Quadraplegia and the doctors gave the prognosis that I wouldn’t be able to speak/walk. My mum panicked and originally thought she wouldn’t be able to care for me. (My sister and I joke that she pushed a button aged 2 and caused my CP.) When my mother rang my grandmother and told her the news she said ‘Is that all love? Corrie is on.’ We laugh about it now but I can’t imagine how my 21 year old mum felt… Then my dad left. (That’s another story.)
Thankfully, I proved doctors wrong and even went to a mainstream primary and myself and Emma, LSO got up to all sorts! Even then I favoured the company of adults to kids because I knew I was different and the kids knew it. This would be the start of the prejudice I would face. However, my mum treated me like any other kid. When I was naughty I was sat at the table and had to write stories and my mum remembers an incident with an old man in a supermarket;
‘What’s wrong with her then?’
‘Ask her yourself she’s right there.’
I piped up: ‘I have terrible pawsy’ and I think my mum knew I could stick up for myself.
I have had eight splints over the years and my mum is going to use them at my wedding as vases plus I’ve had my feet in plaster five times to keep my ankles straight. Not to mention the copious amounts of patronising physio, hydrotherapy and rebound. However one fond memory is my occupational therapy sessions with a lovely American lady called Claudia who taught me to write and how to use Zips and buttons.
When I was 15 I was given the headmasters award (a top honour) for fighting for my rights when the school amalgamated and I was placed on a campus that wasn’t suitable for me. I’ve been in many school productions however, an incident with a drama teacher in sixth form told me ‘I wouldn’t get anywhere in acting with my disability’ which turned my life upside down as that was my life.
That’s why I turned to writing. Not to mention being bullied by a support worker and only being able to use the bathroom on a timetable due to staff cuts. Needless to say, I have suffered with severe depression and at one point I didn’t want to live and felt like a burden. I couldn’t stay in the school much longer with everything going on and not coping with my back injury. So, made the descion to move to college a whole county
16 years later and here I am: 18, doing A levels and going to uni. Albeit, I am catheterised and I have back issues after being dropped off a tail lift at school four years ago on December 12th. Thankfully I have recently just had a double discectomy after waiting three years along with loads of painkillers, 24 injections in the back, sciatica with leg Botox and those three years were a long struggle, not just for me but for all involved. I lost the majority of my mobility and strength and we had to move needing hoists, an adapted bed etc.
But, I am happy having nit missed out on anything; I’ve been a netball coach, gone rock climbing, been carried up to a waterfall and travelled to turkey and carried up it’s crumbling castle steps, I’ve also been camping and to New York!
My next adventure is going to university and blossoming into a writer.
Don’t let someone judge you on what you can do just because you do something a little differently.
For more about life with a disability I’ll be writing a series of post called ‘CP and me’ on my blog. So sign up and keep up with my antics!