I have mild cerebral palsy, a physical disability that affects my movement and posture. For five years (and counting) I have been in physical rehabilitation therapy to overcome my disability. While others cope with it and manage it, I work with the intention of making my body as normal as possible. My regimen consists of pilates, bikram yoga, walking, swimming, and gym-going.


18 Responses to #thewriter

  1. jacksdavie says:

    Please be careful not to overdo the exercise- I have moderate cerebral palsy and walked and swam for years, and now a full time wheelchair user because I have destroyed my hip joints, ankle joints and have constant back pain, meaning I also have a serious medication regime.My rehab consult told me that some people with CP get to late 20’s/early 30’s and their symptoms get worse.. which is some of what also happened to me. I don’t mean to scare you or sound pessimistic… but it also scares me you want to ‘cure’ your cerebral palsy,

    • Norah says:

      why would it scare you that i want to cure it?

      • jacksdavie says:

        Because all that exercise might be doing damage to your body you can’t see.. and you might find yourself in my position in a few years. and… it’s a neurological disability – there is no ‘cure’.

      • Norah says:

        there is a cure. you can transform the way you move if you exercise correctly because you can rewire and repattern your brain. i wouldn’t blog about my journey to overcome my disability if i didn’t have proof that i could cure it.

      • jacksdavie says:

        I get that you can improve the situation with correct exercise. That happened to me, until I was 18, w hen things started to go downhill again. I’m not saying it will definitely happen to you, I’m just saying it happens. And if there was a ‘cure’ someone would have bottled it and sold it by now. You only have this choice because your CP is obviously mild enough.

      • Norah says:

        i have the choice because i have the correct information and neuroplasticity that can be applied to cerebral palsy. i’d like to stop this now, okay? i did not start this blog in order to fight with anyone. you can disagree with me or disbelieve me (many people do and have) but i don’t want to fight with you.

      • jacksdavie says:

        I’m not fighting, I’m having a conversation, which I had intended to stop before now. I’m only saying that I have been in your situation and overdone it doing less exercise than you, and was trying to be helpful. I sincerely hope you find the ‘cure’ you are looking for and it doesn’t come back to bite you on the bum years later like it did me. Just be thankful your CP is mild enough you have a choice. I still stand by my assertion that if there was a ‘cure’ more people with worse CP than you would be doing it. It’s the word ‘cure’ that worries me. conversation ended.

      • jacksdavie says:

        To me, you sound in complete denial. I fear for your mental health were you ever to be in my situation.

      • Norah says:

        you have your beliefs and practices and i have mine. i’m not in your situation.

  2. Holly Ryan says:

    I read an article about your progress on Karen Pape’s website and I am extremely interested in finding more about how you are overcoming the obstacles of CP and the treatments you’ve tried. Like you I also have mild spastic CP & use forearm crutches to walk. I briefly read through your blogs and plan on reading more, but was hoping you could possibly email me privately and give me some pointers? Like you I try to lead an active, normal life as possible. I drive, have a full time teaching job, go to the gym twice a week (one time with a trainer), the chiropractor and lead a semi normal social life. Right now I am trying to over come an injury due to an almost fall, but would really appreciate any advice seeing as you might be able to relate to me. I am also fairly young at 31. Hope to hear from you.

    • Norah says:

      I think you are already doing a really amazing job. I really admire that you are active and you work hard and are committed. It’s really wonderful. I will email you, certainly, but don’t discredit the work you have already done and continue to do.

  3. Erin says:

    Hi Norah,
    I’m really happy to find your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts. Especially #bringtheaction. I have a 2 and a half year old son who was very recently diagnosed with mild spastic diplegia. I’m having a personal struggle of how to frame his CP. Because it is mild there isn’t much he can’t do, but it is definitely something that he (and us as parents) are learning to cope and manage with him. You mentioned a couple ladies who were raised as ‘normal’ (despite their physical limitations) and yourself raised “in a bubble”. If you were to raise a child with a physical disability which approach would you take? I’m wondering when the day will come when he realizes there is something different about the way he walks or that he can’t quite keep up with the other kids.

    • Norah says:

      Hi Erin. I don’t feel I have any business telling you how to parent your child, but I do know that I would have benefited from more tough love growing up. I was very sheltered and very spoiled; I was able to get out of anything I didn’t like or want to do and I believed that the world could (and should) be modified for me. I wish I had grown up more independent, more self-reliant, and better equipped to handle hard knocks, criticism, rejection, and failure. There was always a safety net under me, and I think that’s ultimately a disservice. People used my disability to ‘explain away’ things they wouldn’t for other people (and people still do that for me). I understand that my parents were doing their best (and they still do) and I am hugely grateful for their support, but I have come into a certain amount of maturity later in life and that’s embarrassing for me. I feel like I am constantly ‘playing catch up’ physically and socially. I think, if I ever have children, I would raise them to be independent, to be able to handle and apply criticism, to rebound after hard knocks, and not to think that the world could be modified for them. But again: that’s my opinion. I hope this is helpful. I didn’t want to come off condescending. I would recommend you take a look at resources on karenpapemd.com.

  4. Erin says:

    Thank you Norah for your thoughtful response. We are getting connected with some great local resources for physio etc. and have already been reading through Dr. Karen Pape’s website.
    Thanks again, Erin

  5. Mel says:

    Hi Norah, I am an 18 year old girl with mild spastic CP. You wouldn’t be able to tell from the naked eye – I lead a relatively normal life. I have just been told that once I finish school in November I will have to have my 7th knee operation.
    I have just gotten out of a wheelchair after being in it full time for a year and I have just started to experience life. So I am not doing great and I want to say thank you.
    My myotherapist came across your post when doing research for me months ago and not only do I see what you do for treatment but it is so comforting knowing that I am not alone and someone understands it, you also make me realize that there are others out there who have it worse than us. Thank you so much.

    • Norah says:

      Hi Mel,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. You’re never alone. I can understand why you would feel alone (I do too) but you’re never alone. You’re right, too. So many people have it so much worse than we do. It’s important to realize that but it also doesn’t make what we go through insignificant or any less hard. I actually wrote a blog post about that (youtalksensebrookedavis). xx

  6. Rakhat says:

    Hi Norah,
    Your intention to overcome disability is inspiring. My son has mild Cerebral Palsy. He is 2,8 years old. I want to help my child to be cured even though doctors say it is not curable. I do believe that everything is possible. My son does yoga once a week, and 4 session of ABM once a month and Reiki healing everyday. Also stretching and exercise every morning .Planning to start swimming with him. Karenpape’s website gives so much info and gives hope for us.
    I will do all my best to help my child.
    Just want say Good Luck for you. Hope that one day people like you prove that determination and hard work can cure CP.

    • Norah says:

      Thank you so, so much. Karen’s work with me has helped so much. I admire your own strength and determination as a parent. I know that it must not be easy and that many people must doubt and disbelieve you, but stay as strong as you possibly can. Have compassion for yourself, get the support you need, and do your best. Thank you so much.

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