Normally Abnormal

Every so often something happens which reminds me that my normal isn’t everyone else’s normal. It usually involves a conversation with an able-bodied person, happens unexpectedly, and leaves me confused.

When I was a child it was watching people on stage in the theatre and wondering how they could do that. How could they stand there and not be scared of falling off? I have no real balance when standing and I didn’t understand that the falls which then were a fact of my life weren’t for able-bodied people.

And in the last week it was several people not understanding that I just fell over. I have no balance, I started slipping when transferring and I went.

Several people having been asking “was it low blood sugar, did my blood pressure drop? Was I dizzy, did I faint or feel ill?” and really struggling to understand that there is no reason for that fall other than “I’ve got Cerebral Palsy.”

I really don’t understand what’s so difficult to understand about that. I found that lack of understanding confusing and frustrating. Particularly when one of the carers basically decided for herself that I was dehydrated.

It was over two years since my last fall but it’s such a normal thing to me and my family. I was on the floor waiting for my brother to come be an extra pair of hands to get me up and my mum was tidying my bedroom, asking me what stuff she could put away or bin. Then once the decision was made I needed ambulance my brother and mum went home and my Dad went into my kitchen and started doing the washing up.

When the paramedics had me back in my chair, I told them that having to ask for help was worse than actually having fallen. We won’t go into how people have struggled to understand that.

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