I do everything that a normal kid does. I enjoy skiing, snowboarding, kayaking and swimming. I hang with friends regularly and go to school just like everyone else. There is one thing that a lot of people don’t know about me though. Even my closest friends didn’t find out until I told them. I was born with a disability.
It was July 24, 1992. My mother is being rushed to the hospital with a baby that is ready to come out after being two weeks late. The baby is almost 10 pounds the birthing is going to be a struggle. Then I came in to this world. In the process, something did not work out right. As I was coming out my shoulder got caught. Instead of easing the baby gently out, the doctor just decided to pull. The doctor realized afterwards that it was the wrong move.
The doctors told my parents that I would probably never be able to move my left-arm. What happened was that when the doctor pulled, he tore the fifth and sixth nerves in my arm, and my arm became paralyzed. For the first stages of my life I was not able to move my arm. In all the baby pictures my arm was pinned to my shirt by the sleeve. My parents never gave up on me, though. They were determined to make me better.
I went to months of therapy and slowly I achieved what the doctors said was almost impossible. My parents were thrilled to see that their son would not have to live with a paralyzed arm. My life could be more like a normal kid’s life. It is amazing is achieved when my parents and I set our minds to something.
To this day I still have difficulties with my arm, but I deal with it. I have a limited range of motion and it is much weaker than my other arm. Sometimes when I really push my arm physically it feels as though needles are pressing into my upper arm. I get through the pain and become frustrated with what is so easy for everyone else to do. Then I think back about how my arm used to be, and how it could have still been today without the help I received. When I think about that, the pain and frustration is lifted from by body and mind and I become grateful. Most people today would not even know that I have had a disability with my arm.
I still work on making it stronger and more flexible. Little by little, my arm gets better than it was before. It really just goes to show that when a mind is set to something it can do miraculous things. My parents are the reason my arm is not just hanging limp beside my body or possibly even amputated. The doctors told them impractical but they were determined. They believed in me, and in the end it worked. Having someone believe in you is life-changing. It has unquestionably changed my life.
I am just content that I am able to do what I can and that I can enjoy things that everyone else can. What could have been a dreadful disability has turned into something that is more of just an annoyance. The mind is very powerful and when it is set to something, not much can stop it.
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