I was always picked last during athletic activities in school. Some days the stairs leading to my classroom seemed to be a challenge. I would get so easily exhausted just trying to climb it–as all the other children ran by me. Bending over to do my laundry and taking that large step onto the school bus were also an unusual obstacle for me. I would dismiss all these problems by telling myself that everything would become easier as I got older, stronger, taller or more athletic.
But that never happened. By my 18th birthday, I was still the girl who stumbled over on flat surfaces, walked the slowest and needed help getting into a bus and through a few other regular activities. With the obvious evidence, my family thought it was time for me to seek out a specialist. Despite numerous consultations and occupational therapy sessions and visits the diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy was the final answer that came five years later based on all my physical examinations and lack of progress.
The diagnosis came a few months before my graduations and dealing with the reality of the absence of a cure was a blow. However, being able to meet with other patients online bolstered me. With my undergraduate degree behind me, a teacher’s and driver’s license in hand, a career in the disability advocacy field–I feel the future can only get brighter.
With the environment becoming more accessible, stairs and buses are not a constant worry. If you’ve also been diagnosed with a muscle wasting condition like muscular dystrophy, don’t stress about what your muscles can do, focus on the things that you can do at that moment and smile your way into the future letting no-one tell you what you cannot achieve!
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