A Mile In My Wheelchair

For as long as I can remember, people have asked me what it’s like. What’s it like to limp around on crooked legs? Does it hurt? Don’t I wish I was normal?

I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I’ll spare you all of the scientific medical details and tell you that while my mind is fine, I have a lack of control in my muscles, mostly on the left side of my body. I have an obvious limp, which is what attracts most of the stares and questions.

I’ve gotten used to the staring. Friends and family (namely my husband) notice it a lot more than I do. When I do notice it I admit I do tense up a bit… which ironically makes the limping worse, but I usually just smile and keep walking. I prefer to use my disability as a good example of sorts, as opposed to turning in to that stereo typical bitter, angry-at-the-world, disabled girl. Don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days. But for the most part I try to inspire; not punish.

Let me introduce myself a little better. My name is Ali, I’m 27, and I’m married with two kids, ages 8 years and 5 months. Music is my passion, I’m a little OCD about fitness, and I’m addicted to chocolate. I try (but sometimes fail) to see the bright side of everything, and in spite of my relationship with a loving God Who’s mercies are new every morning, I’m way too hard on myself. That’s just because I’m constantly trying to improve. Some of you are gagging by now I realize, but I’m just trying to give you an honest portrayal.

And now for my intentions of this blog. I’m writing this blog to answer the question “What’s it like?”. To hopefully be an inspiration. Even to help myself realize that sometimes it’s okay if when I did such-and-such it didn’t turn out as well as So-and-So’s.

I’m not writing this blog to complain, or to throw myself a pity party (though I reserve the right to be upset and vent anonymously on occasion). I honestly believe that my handicap can be a blessing in disguise. I’ve lived it. I also believe there is a reason for everything. There is a purpose for this, even if I can’t see it. And if I’m being completely honest, I’m also writing this blog to try to put an end to some stereotypes and judgements about me and other disabled people. Before you can judge and say what I should do or you would do, you have to go a mile in my wheelchair.

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5 responses to “A Mile In My Wheelchair

  1. Good for you, Ali! I’m 34 and newly disabled (3 years ago) due to an auto-immune disease. Hopefully your blog will educate those who persist in viewing the handicapped as one-dimensional. We’re PEOPLE, just as complex, complicated and different from one another as any group of humans. Thanks for adding your (virtual) voice!

    • Thank you Erik! I had a tag as a kid from having surgeries, but when it expired (when I was 15) I didn’t renew it because I felt I didn’t really need it and I should leave the spaces for people who did. That’s not the case anymore, so I use it, but I get a lot of negative reactions – until people see me walk or get into my wheelchair.

    • Thank you Emily! It’s interesting you should mention that you are newly disabled. Before I started having all the pain and trouble walking like I do now (more about that later) when people asked me if it was hard to be disabled, I’d always tell them no because I didn’t know anything else, and that I thought it would be much harder for someone that, for example, lost a limb in their 20’s or something, and had to re-learn everything.

  2. Ashley, you are truely an inspiration..after all you have been through you continue to live ever day to the fullest…I appriciate the fact that you are so positive and are an amazing wife, mother, daughter and friend. I will ALWAYS have respect for you, with all you’ve been through….<3

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