Thursday, August 3, 2017

Dragons, New Legs, and Complicated Feelings: A Letter to YOU

Before I continue with my hospital stay posts, I want to talk to you about something.

I want to talk to you about Complicated Feelings. My purpose in writing this blog is to help you feel less alone...to help you feel uplifted and understood and loved. I never want you to come to my blog and leave feeling alienated or less than or hurt.

When I write about my SDR experiences, I'm writing from a perspective that is deeply personal to me. I know that others with CP don't necessarily feel the same way about spasticity or cerebral palsy, and that's 100% okay. For me, spasticity did feel like a dragon, so Dr. Park's metaphor (i.e., SDR = slaying a dragon) resonates. For me, spasticity was wholly negative and separate from CP. It slowed me down and caused me a great deal of pain. And now that my spasticity is gone?? My body feels completely different, and it's a disorienting and extremely difficult yet extremely joyful experience for me...something that I need to write about. I do feel free - as if a literal weight has been lifted, not from my shoulders but from my legs.

You might feel differently. Maybe for you, spasticity is simply a part of having CP. Maybe for you, it doesn't cause suffering. Maybe for you, spasticity represents security, something you feel you need to get around. Maybe for you, it's not a dragon. I acknowledge you. I see you. I want you know that even though I write from my own perspective about my "new legs" and my new sense of freedom, I am not implying that you are not free.

For me, so far, SDR has been the right decision. For you (if you are reading this as another person with CP), it might not be. And that's okay.

And even though I've had SDR, I still have CP. That's not something I'd ever want to take away. As I've noted on this blog in the past, CP is a part of who I am, and I have grown to love that about myself. My goal in having this surgery is simply to move easier...to have less pain...to improve physically so that I can live a healthier life going forward.

I will continue to document my experiences honestly, sharing my triumphs and hardships as they come - I feel like I owe that to you, and I owe that to myself, too. But I also want you to know that I am here to talk if you ever come away from my blog feeling worse than you did when you arrived. I don't hear from the vast majority of my readers on a regular basis, so I don't know how you're feeling. I can only hope and pray that my blog is a source of comfort and solidarity for you. But if it isn't? Please...send me an email, or write me a comment.

Yes, I do feel as though my dragon has been slayed. I do feel freer, as if I have new legs. I am continuing to work hard in PT, and I am excited to make progress. For me, SDR seems like it was the right choice...the right path for me as I strive to be the healthiest, happiest version of myself that I can be. But for you? Maybe it's not. Maybe you embrace your spasticity in the same way that you embrace CP. And that's awesome.

Whichever path you choose...whether or not spasticity is a dragon for you, whether or not SDR represents freedom for you, just know that you are enough. We are enough. And we are in this together. <3

3 comments:

  1. K, While I know and respect that this is your blog and your story, it means a lot that you have taken the time to clarify these points. Thank you so much for writing this. It means a lot.

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  2. Thanks for writing in this post! But please,please,please, don't ever lose your honesty!

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  3. You are very in tune with the feelings of others. Glad you could share this, so that you can also freely continue to share your experiences! Love reading your posts!!!

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