What?! A post on Sunday?! Yes, a break from my typical Tuesday publication, but with good reason. Happy National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day!

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day is about increasing the public’s education and better yet, understanding, of the diversity of people living Cerebral Palsy (CP).

I consider CP to be my life’s companion, alongside my husband. CP has and will always be with me and while I don’t have CP, I do live with it. On this day of celebrating CP and it affects lives, I thought I’d share some random personal facts about my life with CP.

I have to confess, sharing 10 personal facts about my CP seems a little indulgent to me, because although I tell many personal stories, I always try to connect it back to YOU and YOUR JOURNEY of life with a disability. But I thought sharing this might help you to get to know me better and more importantly, help you see how your disability is your companion and can be celebrated.

So here we go:

  1. I wasn’t diagnosed with CP until I was 16 months old, even though I was born with it from complications with my delivery.
  2. When the doctor informed my parents of my CP diagnosis, my dad asked how it would affect my life. The doctor wisely said that was up to my parents and how well they loved and supported me to reach my potential.
  3. I do attribute 90% of my success and happiness to how WELL my parents did love and support me as a child. The other 10%? My willful spirit!
  4. I actually don’t spend much time wishing I could do tasks physically that are beyond my abilities, but the task I wish I could do the most is put my hair back in ponytails and barrettes. (I know, of all the things…)
  5. I recently looked into getting Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery but did not qualify. (A separate post of that coming.)
  6. Still after decades of living with CP and having a very pronounced gait to my walk, I continue to be surprised when I catch glimpses of myself in a mirror walking. I think, “Oh yeah, I do have CP, don’t I?” I attribute this to when you live with a physical disability, the difference in your movements become so natural over time.
  7. I have physical therapy exercises that I should be doing way more frequently than I do to help me in maintaining balance and coordination as I age. (If we could only get that  25th hour in the day…)
  8. I do fall A LOT! I think more as I get older. It’s frustrating and my knees really take a beating, but I’ll keep getting back up.
  9. I have been blessed with many lifelong friends, all of who seem to just “get” that CP is a natural part of who I am. They tell me what drew them to me was how comfortable I was with myself.
  10. Yes, living with CP is my greatest teacher in life – so many lessons that I would had never had otherwise! :)

Now, what’s your 10? How has your disability shaped the many facets of your life?