What we do with it is down
As I look to explain and describe living with hemiplegia – one essence that always dominates how I get around things is the deep understanding of what each side of my body can do.
Physically, the biggest difference is the size and movement – in particular my hand – it is the most visible and striking element of the structure. However, it affects the whole of my left side (my hemi side) – the calf is smaller, I can just about wiggle my toes and as I noticed when training, my hip extends far more than your ‘average’ should apparently do.
Here’s the one takeaway that only a handful of folks know – when I was growing up (and I still do this to some extent now) I often felt my left side would have its own identity from my right – like a little brother, just a smaller version, constantly trying to catch up, wanting to do the things the right did but not quite getting there as quick, Using my right to pull my left along, get it into the angle to grip a knife when eating even if it was just for appearances at the table, I didn’t want to be ‘different’.
Mentally this took its toll – it’s confusing growing up, having to constantly explain what’s ‘wrong’ with my hand – I luckily had it from birth, so that’s all I knew, saying this I’m also lucky I have parents that pushed me – not allowing the disability to exclude me from activities, I loved rugby (Townhill Junior ‘Most Reliable Player, 1996’ I thank you 😀) I also managed to toe poke and limp my way through lunchtime footy, but I loved it all the same.
The thing is this, it was and is a challenge, and after years of battling not to be different, I have accepted and embraced the disability – it is different, it is unique, but aren’t we all? I few years ago I got over my stubbornness and passed my automatic driving license 👍 a couple of years ago, I wanted to get fit – I read and was inspired by how disabled bodybuilders stepped on stage.
A new battle is taking place as I see my body changing as I train – my right is getting bigger than left – it is only natural as the muscle fibres are bigger – there will be two sides to this journey and I will bring my best efforts to both my right and my left in preparation for a competition next year!
More soon folks,
All the best,