Living with CP now a days is usually pretty okay, I am happy with who I am, and I feel I get to use the CP and the experiences it has given me, to help people, especially on this website. I will admit however that I am noticing physically that I´ve lived with this condition for 28 years now (minus 5 days when I’m writing this). Seeing as everyone seemed to really like the top 5-list format of the last post, I see no reason to change a winning recipe. So here are the top 5 things that I am noticing have changed since I was younger.
1. Energy level and energy usage
There is no point in beating around the bush. This is by far the biggest change I noticed compared to when I was say, 15. I get tired way more easily, and when I get tired, I get really tired. I would describe it almost like influenza symptoms if I push it too far. My body starts to ache; I find it difficult to think straight, and in general to concentrate on anything. Thankfully, changing my job to working even more of a desk job than my previous job, has helped quite a bit. In my previous job as an IT technician I would tire a lot faster due to walking and lifting etc. at work. That resulted in me only being able to work a 50% position. Now I can work a lot more before I feel tiredness, and that is good. I need to do something and be productive to be happy. I’ve found this side of the CP to be difficult to communicate to others though. They see the obvious sings of the CP, they don’t see the fatigue and low energy. I remember that I used to be afraid of others thinking I was lazy, back when I first encountered problems with this during high school.
2. Lower mobility and increased stiffness.
Although I will still consider myself plenty mobile enough, since I can achieve what I want, I do notice a significant change in my mobility compared to when I was in my teens. My feet are usually stiffer; I notice that especially if I try to play soccer now, I’ve lost a lot of the “fine touch” I used to have in being able to control my feet. They don’t rotate as easily to either side, and they are generally tougher to control. I suspect also that my achilles tendons are “regressing” quite a bit, I can feel that they are shortening and fighting up. That is something to be expected though, and it reminds me that I really should get better at stretching a lot more often. Even though I’ve always found that quite boring I must admit.
Yep, simple as that. I can’t remember having cramps in my feet when I was younger, if I did it was most surely a rare occurrence. Now, I get instant cramps if I tense up my musculature, especially in my feet. That is not such a great combination when you consider my hypersensitive startle reflex. 🙂 I guess this one fits pretty well into overall increased tightness and spasticity though
4. Motion sickness.
Now, I can’t 100% say that this is due to my CP, but I have some reason to believe so. I used to have motion sickness a little when I was younger, but not as bad as it can get now. And its not just general motor sickness after a long car ride, I get physically disoriented and dizzy if I ride a bus for example. I have mentioned this to a few doctors and they say it can very well be related to the CP. They say since it is tied to balance issues, if my balance has worsened (spoiler alert, its the next point) that can increase the likelihood of me experiencing problems with motion sickness
5. Reduced balance.
As mention in number 4, my balance has decreased somewhat. I notice that I fall over more easily than I used to. Mind you I never had a stellar balance really, but it’s noticeably worse now. Living in icy Norway can sometimes be a challenge, but I was smart enough to invest in shoes with metal spikes underneath, so now I can walk on the ice without noticing much, which believe me, is a God send. I remember that I used to fall several times each winter; it’s really a wonder that I have never broken anything. I’m thankful I thought myself falling techniques though (karate is great for this).
This is my first little taster post on the late effects of CP. There will be more detailed ones to come in the future! As always, I´d greatly appreciate it if you share and like this post if you found it useful. As it really helps in making the site grow!