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What a Recent Surgery Taught Me About Life Goals With Cerebral Palsy

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It has been over three months since the last night my body was structured in the way I adapted to using it for 20 years. November 16, 2017 and the months following are days I will never forget. I was supposed to stay in the hospital one night with the ability to stand/walk as much as I was able in the days following. But I stayed a month and am still adjusting to “normal” life again. School started getting back to normal a few weeks ago, but my body and personal life have a ways to go.

I have scars I’ve lost count of and I am still accepting the way they look and are healing. I am able to stand, but am not able to walk or make transfers independently yet. I also need a stair lift because I can no longer move around on my knees. Not being able to move independently or conquer my dream of walking better and in the timeline I had for myself is stressing me out. I have always put a time limit on my goals because I always knew I could do better than what society thought I could. I believe that happens to everyone, but even more often for those with situations that may or may not change.

I continued to give myself a time limit on things until my best friend called me last night. I was all excited to run a race in memory of another friend and also walk across the stage at my next graduation with my new legs — to prove to myself and everyone that any goal and situation is possible to get through. At that time the race was 9 months away, so I thought I had plenty of time to heal. But as the days and months continue to tick away and my progress is still dragging on, I wish I could snap my fingers and make everything better.

Last night, my best friend made me realize that even though walking at big events such as this is a great goal, it doesn’t matter how I get there. Whether I walk or use my wheelchair, it’s about the fact that I made it there and I continue not to give up on my dreams. Cerebral palsy and my recent surgery have taught me that life shouldn’t be about the way in which you get things done, but rather that you got them done. Be proud of each of your accomplishments, and live life with joy and thankfulness in your heart, no matter your situation.

Photo provided by contributor.

Originally published: March 13, 2018
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