One of the questions that I dread being asked most at a job interview or on any kind of application form is the one that asks me about my biggest achievement in life so far. You see, the thing is that I always think that I should pick something that isn’t related in some way to my Cerebral Palsy, and yet I can’t help it.
When someone presses me for this piece of information my instinct always goes to one of two answers: getting through my hip operations and the one that followed where the stretched all the muscles in my legs afterwards, or the fact that I managed to cope without the daily help of my folks when I went to uni. I know it’s wrong but I always feel like this isn’t quite what the interviewer is looking for, but to me they’re still big milestones nonetheless. I usually go for option one and tell them about the surgery.
Sometime this August, I don’t know the exact date anymore, marks six years since I had my first CP-related op at the age of 16. This was the bone bit, I was offered the operation because the way I stood at the time had caused both my kneecaps to twist inwards, so they wanted to break my hips and femurs bones so that they could be reset and face outwards again. Although I was nervous I’d agreed instantly. It would be worth all the pain that I was getting pretty much all over as a result of my posture. I knew that I wouldn’t be allowed to stand up even for six weeks after the first part and that things would still be slow going for ages after the muscle bit. It would be ages before I could walk unaided again without someone or something supporting me. It wasn’t going to be an easy ride, we all knew that.
At the time I had prepared myself for so many things, but I didn’t realise at the time that there was so much I hadn’t considered like the fact that I’d have to move my bedroom downstairs, use a commode instead of a toilet, and that sitting up would be way too much effort in the first few days. It seems strange that I didn’t think about all of this at the time, but I threw myself into passing my school exams that were happening beforehand and decided that I’d worry about the other stuff after that.
Over the course of this month, I’ll be doing a series of posts talking about how I felt during this time, the things we did as a family to get through it. These updates might take a more serious tone that I usually try and go for when I’m writing on here, but I’ll try and keep focus on the funny things that happened too – believe me there were many- although I’m more entirely I can share all of them here.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then tomorrow I’ll begin.