I Believe in the Saying, “No Pain, No Gain.”

Amanda - Redlands, California
Entered on November 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I Believe in the Saying, “No Pain, No Gain.”

When I was born twenty-four years ago the doctor told my parents that I would never be able to walk like an “average” child. After running a series of tests, the professionals thought I had Cerebral Palsy, a neurological disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination. My parents were ready to prove them wrong. My dad would come home from work and immediately place my feet on top of his and walk me back and forth, side to side for hours. My mom said I would giggle and smile up at my daddy because I thought we were playing a game; a game that would eventually change my life.

In my junior year of high school; I remember sitting in class not feeling well. I was running a fever with a constant shooting pain running up and down my legs. Next thing I knew, I was confined to a wheelchair for the next six months. My parents and I were attending the doctor’s office constantly. When my pediatrician was not able to diagnose me, he referred me to the five best doctors in California. I was tested between Multiple Sclerosis to Tethered Spinal Cord. Numerous tests were conducted including M.R.I’s and two Spinal Taps.

About 3 days before I was scheduled to have exploratory surgery on my back, my parents explained to me that they had a terrible feeling, said it was “intuition”. After I realized what they were getting at, I called it “a load of crap!” I cried and begged my parents to let the doctor go through with the surgery. I promised that I would be a better kid and do my chores without being yelled at when I could walk again. They tried to explain to me that I had a big chance of never walking again and they wanted a second opinion.

I remember feeling so angry and betrayed by my parents, but they made the right choice. Their choice gave me motivation. With motivation comes determination; therefore, like the saying goes, “No Pain, No Gain.” I felt that I had two alternatives: either sit and wait to be cured or to figure out what was wrong with me. Every day I would force myself to stretch, at first it was hard because my legs were weak and absolutely not flexible, but I told myself one step at a time. Next, hold onto a chair and maintain my balance. Eventually, I was on my feet again.

Soon after all my hard work, my parents and I went to my doctor and showed him my progress. Shortly the doctor’s came to a conclusion, that I had an episode of a Neurological Virus. I fear that my nightmare is going to happen again. That’s why I stretch and stay active by going to the gym or playing sports continuously, to hopefully prevent those episodes from happening again.