As I sat watching the girls swimming lessons last night, I heard the instructor saying, "Kick, kick, kick. Kick those legs." Hearing those words brought me back to being a little girl at the swimming pool with my mom.
In my elementary years, my mom would take me to the pool to work on my swimming. I was able to swim under water, but was never able to stand back up on my own. I would have to raise my hand and then my mom would assist me in getting my feet to the floor of the pool. Not being able to stand back up was not my only problem with swimming. I was never capable of using both my arm and legs at the same time. If I was kicking my legs, I was not able to paddle with my arms and vice versa. My mom would work with me and was so patient about it. I would swim away from the pool wall towards my mom, paddling my arms as hard as I could. Below the surface, I could hear her kind, enthusiastic words, "Kick, kick, kick." I would then begin kicking as hard as I could to only find out my arms had stopped. I would raise my hand and my mom would rescue me. As always, we'd give it yet another shot.
I'm not sure how my mom could stay so positive during these little swim experiences. She never gave up on me and always let me know that she thought I was doing a great job. I'll never be able to thank her enough for being such a supportive parent. I'm sure she was stressed and a bit sad that her daughter couldn't do the things that most kids my age could master, but she never let on. She was always proud of me and loved me, no matter what. Thanks Mom!
After living the first 33 years of my life thinking I had Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsey, I was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). I am on new medication and doing things that I never imagined possible. This has changed the lives of my husband and two daughters. I truly believe that I am living a miracle each and every day. Life can't get any better than this!