The Mighty Logo

How Cerebral Palsy Affects My Energy Level

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

A friend of mine said something to me recently that almost literally stopped me in my tracks.

We met up about an hour or so beforehand, and after a wee donut and shop run, we were going back to his place. “It’s only a few minutes away,” he said. Well no, it was not. By the time we were close by, I was shattered and sore pretty much everywhere. Indeed, all that was holding me back from asking to be carried or something was my hatred of actually asking for assistance. All I wanted was to lie down and eat some food — preferably, exceedingly unhealthy and fed to me.

Obviously noticing my general state, he frowned and questioned how I’m not fat with how little exercise I do. The hell?

Exhausted as I was, I almost lost my cool.  However, I simply reminded him that my disability has a lot to do with my energy levels, and what takes minimal energy for him may take quite a lot of effort for me. Walking and general movement is exceedingly difficult. This serves as yet another example of someone who just can’t quite grasp the idea that a short walk for them is the equivalent of a huge walk for me. It’s as if I’m walking a marathon, not a quick wander somewhere or a short trip home. I exercise. I have to really, to stretch out the tense muscles in my body and give them some extra strength. But I take it very easy, otherwise I’ll want to spend the next day in bed and likely be in agony of some kind for a long time afterward. I hurt enough without that, thank you.

So to answer the question my friend posed, I probably “work out” a hell of a lot more than he does just by living my life as normally as possible. Also never ever get even close to calling someone fat. I have enough issues around eating without adding even the possibility of “fat” into the mix.

Originally published: August 26, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home