I was born with Cerebral Palsy (CP), a neurological condition, which distorts muscle tone with spasticity and makes many basic body movements difficult. Spasticity can also affect other muscle activity, such as that in the digestive system and the eyes.
I have been, and continue to be, very fortunate to be looked after by medical, surgical and physiotherapy specialists and GPs, who make a great deal of effort to help me. Although CP is a life-long condition, I have always been assured that it is a stable one and it does not deteriorate.
In recent years, however, I have discovered the ‘sting in the tail’. Despite the condition itself remaining stable, the effect of the general wear-and-tear it causes can lead to the symptoms of unrelated conditions becoming more severe and harder to manage.
I have already had several Transient Ischaemic Attacks (mini strokes), Asthma, Sinus Tachycardia and various digestive problems, which were so severe that surgery was considered, despite the potential risks.
By the end of December 2005, I was taking a multitude of different prescription medications, which seemed less effective every day, and my friends were openly wondering how long I could continue to look after myself – and, reluctantly, I had begun to agree with them.
Not any more!