As a child, and not knowing I had cerebral palsy, I still continued to live with hope that with exercises, my physical disabilities would disappear and that whatever I had would right itself, if I persevered long enough.
How wrong I was. Now as I age, all I can hope for is a better quality of life. In general terms, treatment for cerebral palsy focuses on ways for us to maintain and improve our quality of life, our lifestyle and overall health. I was always aware that I needed to look at my lifestyle, and being born premature meant that would inevitably become an even bigger priority.
A baby who is born full term and who has cerebral palsy may not face the added complications of a baby who is premature and who is born with the condition. But it is important for everyone living with cerebral palsy to look at their lifestyle, so they may improve their quality of life.
Even though I was considered normal, my life was far from normal. Living with cerebral palsy means my central nervous system is affected and although I don’t have difficulties with eating or swallowing, I do have digestive problems, reflux and IBS, made worse because of cerebral palsy, and because I was born prematurely. Those difficulties continually interfere with my lifestyle.
The scary part is not knowing how I will age with the condition and what further complications I will have to deal with, as my brain cells deteriorate. It is also the reason why it’s even more important I concentrate on a healthier lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, but particularly for those of us who deal with cerebral palsy, because it is a condition that brings additional complications.