Cerebral palsy is one of the most diverse disabilities because each type is different than the other. The form of cerebral palsy I have is a complicated one. I’d love to find more people who have similar experiences as mine.
I have a mix of spastic cerebral palsy, in which muscles are stiff and rigid, and athetoid (or dyskinesia) cerebral palsy, in which my muscles move involuntarily.
Having cerebral palsy is an adventure because one never knows what the body will do next. At school, I realized that my body reacted to stress. I felt anxious when I was about to read aloud to a group and anticipated everyone looking at me. My body acted crazy when my turn came to speak. As I grew more comfortable with the group, my body relaxed.
I’ve learned that my cerebral palsy has triggers that set off spasms. Meeting new people, sad situations, angry arguments, or feeling hot or sick can cause my body to move more than usual. When I entered my teenage years and started liking boys, my spasticity increased. Can you imagine how embarrassing it was to know that my body would move uncontrollably because I was talking to someone I was attracted to? I hated it.
Over the years, I gained some control over my body. Muscle relaxers help me if I am able to plan for an uncomfortable situation. For example, I take medication if I have to attend a funeral. While I can’t predict every situation, I’ve learned to recognize my triggers, and having some level of control over my body is empowering.