My Disability and I
I felt compelled to write on my experiences as a person with a disability that hasn’t affected my ability to live a normal life with a mild disability. For those who don’t know or didn’t realise I have cerebral palsy, it affects my left side and means I have to wear a leg brace until the day I die on my left leg.
It also means I do some things with my left hand that are a force of habit and I may also stagger when I have been standing for an extended period of time in one spot, It’s not drink related !!
It still amazes me that people don’t realise I have a disability or if they do they wait until I bring it up and then ask me questions about it. On one occasion I was walking past the Funeral home in Tarbert on the evening of a Funeral and there was a car waiting for the Funeral with two men in a car and one man wound down his window and asked about the Funeral and then as I answered and began to walk away he called after me and asked about my leg, I answered and called it an old war wound and walked on. Not bothering with the line of questioning from a person who didn’t know me from Adam.
People who know me have never asked about it unless I bring it up and when I do people seem more at ease speaking about it or other things. If you have a question and not just the usual line I get which is “I spotted you were walking funny alright, dragging your leg a small bit “please just ask instead of waiting for me to say something.
I have never let it get in the way of me living my life. It was suggested from early on that I may be better off in a special school but thankfully that suggestion was immediately turned down by my parents and thanks to the Enable Ireland Services in Tralee which I spent 18 years with and the work of all my teachers in National and Secondary School in particular Mrs. Coolahan and her husband Mikey Joe who along with my parents put extra time into me.
She also tells a story that I had the “Life of a Lord “because I had a unique ability to get others to do things I couldn’t do myself, namely Sean Considine , Andrew Flavin , Gareth O Connell and Shane Heffernan and even though we all left school 10 years ago I can still depend on these lads , which I appreciate more and more as the days go by. I still have that ability into my late 20s.
From a position where I was only given hours to live and was given the last rites due to complications during my birth which meant a shunt had to be put into my head to drain fluid from my brain and as I explained last night this machine no longer works and there was talk about 12 years ago to take it out but thankfully the decision was made not to do anything and I didn’t have to face another operation after a few in my early years.
To all who have helped in my 28 years on the planet thank you all so much, it is very much appreciated. I will continue to need assistance and I can be assured you’ll all continue to provide that much valued support. I’ll also try and find the mute button as well I promise…
I have never let my disability rule my life and I will continue not to let it dictate what I do in life……. And If you ever have a question about the way I walk or my mannerisms please just ask and I’ll happily explain my situation.