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More Than My Diagnosis: Figuring Out Life As A Frequent Hospital Patient

If my memory serves me well, I’ve had about eight major surgeries in my lifetime. Based on that, one can assume I’m very well versed on what it’s like to be a patient. I have cerebral palsy. My diagnosis of cerebral palsy was explained to me like this: as a result of my condition there is an overflow of water to the brain that causes my brain to send the wrong signals to my muscles, consequently affecting movement and coordination. As a result, everything from the waist down was affected as well as my left arm.

There are very few memories I have as a child that don’t include me engaging with a medical professional in a clinical facility. If it wasn’t a doctor preparing me for surgery, it was a physiotherapist stretching my muscles in all directions or an occupational therapist trying to introduce me to some new equipment at home. There was always someone doing something to me and my body and as a child I had to get on board.