If my cerebral palsy were curable – or even treatable – with drug therapy, I would use the therapy. If it were as easy as taking medicine, I would do it in a heartbeat. That isn’t to say I’m not committed to the required physical therapy, but sometimes I wish it were simpler, like taking medicine for a headache or a cold. Sometimes I think about Luna Lovegood in the sixth Harry Potter film. She heals Harry’s broken nose with a simple spell from her wand. ‘Episkey!’
I have a friend who has debilitating arthritis. His stiffness and pain are clearly evident – even to a person with no medical knowledge or training – in his hands, back, and legs. He copes with the pain by taking codeine, but doesn’t see a physiotherapist, acupuncturist, reflexologist, or professional massage therapist to help with the pain he suffers. There was a point in time where I gave him therapeutic massages (and he felt loads better) but he doesn’t get treatments from me anymore. I suppose he has found his own way of dealing with his pain that doesn’t involve getting regular therapy from me. That in itself is stressful and worrying for me – especially since I know he didn’t ditch me in order to start seeing a professional – and it’s been hard for me to accept that there isn’t anything I can do if he doesn’t want my help or doesn’t want help, pain relief or stress relief from anyone who could give him natural medicine and other forms of treatment to deal with his pain. It actually hurts me knowing that he’s hurting and he doesn’t do much – or anything – to take care of himself (especially when he – unlike me – has the option of drug therapy).
The extent of the drug therapy I have had is botox injections in my legs to help reduce the spasticity in my muscles (when I was a little girl). But – again – this was more of a management technique than drug therapy used to fully heal me or help me overcome my cerebral palsy (because, at the time, my family and I did not know I could get better). As a child, all of the therapy I did concerned making me as functionally independent as possible rather than better. I understand what I need to do to make further progress – swim more, get over my fear of running and take up jogging, and summon the courage to commit to martial arts – but there are many times when I wish it just involved medicine or further corrective surgery rather than a lifelong commitment to health and improvement. That isn’t to say I’m unwilling to work. I’m more than willing. There are just some days where I wish for an easy (or at least easier) way out.