So, last week I basically announced to the world that I was starting my own challenge. I have created this challenge to talk about disability topics in alphabetical order. Some will have a personal touch, like today’s post will discus my condition: Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. The others will be educational and/or opinion pieces. I wanted to give you a good mixture of different themes that everybody, whether you have a disability or not, would understand a little better.
Honestly, I just wanted to write this for people who are really curious about my condition, and who are maybe a little embarrassed or shy to ask me questions up front. This will hopefully help you understand a little more about what it is, what areas it affects, and some of the stuff I’ve had to learn to do, to adapt to my surroundings.
Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita is simply as a joint condition that can affect many areas of the body, but it is formed in the womb. Since my joints of my arms and legs are limited to movement, the muscles never really developed, thus why they are really skinny. My arms have always been bent at the elbow, I’ve had many therapy sessions to help lessen the tension in my arms. My elbows will never unlock and I’m okay with that. I’ve always had insecurities with the fact that my hands just lie there. I was never able to use my fingers, but there are a lot of people and young kids whose hands like mine and they can actually write and draw with them. I don’t know what actually possessed me to use my feet, but it was definitely a day to remember for my parents that’s for sure!
I am not able to walk like everybody else. I have two very different feet, and neither one are able to lay flat on the ground, so whenever I did experiment with walking, I usually walked on my tippy toes instead. I grew up rolling and eventually scooting around on my bottom. The only way I can explain for the rolling is because since I wasn’t able to move my arms on my own to get them out of the way, I think my family was afraid I’d get rug burn, so I just started rolling around. Thankfully, I was so small that I could fit through most doors and hallways. I can’t give you a definite age when I switched to scooting but it had been before I was four years old, because I was going to a special school and honestly I needed a better way to get around. I was pretty slow, but I didn’t care one bit. I use to chase my sister and cousins around my grandparent’s house all the time! Of course, for long distances, I was usually carried around but when I was four years of age, I got my first wheelchair and then the roles were reversed and everybody had to chase me!
As I continue to get older, I am in more and more pain. The majority of it is around my back, but the rest of it is in my hips and knees. I was very active as a child, but as an adult, I’m a pretty-stay-in-one-place for a long time. I can sit in the same position for close to three hours and power through the pain in the sides of my hips in order to get work done. Don’t worry, I was not in any pain while writing this post! I feel like I should be considered lucky with the pain in my knees, because I have family members with different types of arthritis, so I always know it could be worse. My nana goes old school and just rubs Vicks on the affected area, I’ve tried talking to my mom about going that route but I agree with her of the overwhelming smell, so I take painkillers to ease the pain away.
If you have any other questions, I will be doing a Q&A later on in the challenge, so just leave your questions below if you’re curious about anything.