Over the last few months this blog has grown and in the process I have met wonderful people with stories of strength and determination not allowing a disability such as clubfoot limit the potential that each person has. I decided that I wanted to share with others what motivates and encourages me. "Motivational Monday's" are dedicated for a guest to write a blog describing their unique situations and how they live with a disability especially post clubfoot treatment.
Please welcome Sam!
Please bare with me, as not typed up a blog before. First time for everything. Let me tell you bit about me. My name's Samantha, i'm 28 years old nearly 29 and from the UK in a town called Watford. I was born 8 weeks prematurely with bilateral clubfeet. I also had breathing difficulties and a heart murmour. When I was born I had to be transferred to a different Hospital in London. This was because the hospital I was born in had no specialised baby care unit at the time.Around 5 months before I was born, my mum didn't know she was expecting me at the time. I had my very holiday abroad to Vancouver Canada :-). I had a very interesting begining of my journey.
I recovered well from my birth. When I was 6 months old I had my first operation on both feet to length my tendons. Then when I was still a baby, I then full castings on both legs. I didn't crawl as a baby just rolled a long. I was extremely lucky as when had one of the castings off, they accidently cut my foot. I had my first steps when I was 16 months old. The treatment still wasn't enough. When I was around
2 and a half. I had my tendons lengthened again. When I was 6 years old I had to wear Dennis Brown boots with the bar accross at night time. I also had to do daily exercises. Whilst growing up I was aware that I also had a hip condition and my knees were always knocked knees. My balance hasn't been 100%.
My diagnosis wasn't picked up til last year. I was misdiagnosed as a child. Surgen told me I had an ancepatuated hip. (more movement on one side). Not sure on correct spelling. Last year I found out I was born with Increased Anterversion on both hips and different leg lengths. Recently found my right ankle and my hips have created extra length on my right side. Also found out recently my right leg mussles aren't working how they should. Its my stronger leg and put all my weight on that side. My left leg mussles are working how they should. Both my ankles are still very stiff. My left foot is more of a normal shape, whereas my right ankle is more inwards and my foot is more deformed to more inside on the lower leg. Hard to describe. Mostly my right ankles causes me more pain when I walk.
Dispite all my walking difficulties, I mainly always tried putting a brave face and compensating since I was a small child. I had my sister to grow up with, she is just under 12 months younger than me. I had to face lots of outside difficulties too. I was bulled in the infants (5-8 years old roughly) I got bullied because I walked intoed and had a speach impairment. I become very shy, depressed and withdrawn. I joined the Brownies and Guides. Both improved my confidence. I have been camping, been on assult courses and pot holing once. When was in secondary school (High School, 11-16 years old) I was became very frustrated depressed, lost my confidence, I was bullied and felt very alone. I had a few good friends. School work took me hours, which couldn't understand as I was in the top groups in nearly all subjects and began having more problems with my sister and my parents at times. I have battled with anxiety and depression mostly and had my first panic attack when I was 17. I perserved and retook a couple of my GCSE'S at college over 3 years and achieved a higher grade.
I didn't find out til I was 22, I had dyslexia. This took me time getting used to it and made a lot of sense. Since then my written work has improved considerably. I have studied a lot of the years and gone on to university and graduated last year. I have had excellent support at my university. I didn't think I would graduate just over 5 years ago. I had a near death experience. I was involved in an hit and run accident head on. I broke both my shoulders badly and made them worse when I fell. Also fractured my pelvis and had some bumps, grazes and bruises. I lost all my full movement in both arms and had to learn to walk again. Surgen mended my shoulders well and had excellent physios.
After a few months after my accident, although I was still recovering and gaining my full movement in my arms, I was advised to go back to work. I was only there part time. I also started learning to drive again. it took me about a year to make a full recovery. I had two metal plates placed in my shoulders, left one seven inches and right eight inches. My nan although she is lovely, she is judgemental and she wouldn't let me have a wheelchair when left hospital, when was entitled to one. I also managed to cope with pain taking mild pain killers, should of took more stronger ones. They made me sick and more unwell. A few years ago I had my right plate removed and key hole.
I have also tough times living with relatives and been stressful at times and controlling and forgetting I was a fully grown woman. In addition to coping with studying and I have been harrassed and bullied in the workplace too and negative thoughts from peers and friends and family.
Although I am still suffering from all my physical and mental health and learning disability. I have managed to hang in there, coped just about when I had orthodontic treatment done in my late teen-early 20's. Achieved learning to drive after about 4 years of learning and with out having a long stable relationship before. I feel like that I have been given a second chance to improve myself and find happiness. I have wished to find love sooner to help me and keep me sane. I've accomplished many things, that may have seemed impossible and travalled around UK by myself too. I've have recently got a temporary starting this month. This is now start of my journey back in the workplace. I still have lots of goals I wish to achieve and hoping that the right man will come along soon to share my life with and no longer have to cope a lone anymore :-).
I forgot to add I got full movement in both my shoulders and had a long road trip to Dorset and Devon and mostly was on my own. Never again on my own. It was very stressful and an experience. I've done it. Big achievement.
Its important to stay true to yourself, achieve your goals and listen to your own instincts. Only you know whats best for you, know who you are, your limitations and knowing your feelings. Not take on too much that you can't cope with. Others can't tell you how you should feel. Know you shouldn't have regrets, I do wish i'd listened to myself more and not worry about others and everything else and not be controlled and freeze when things get too much.
I hope you find my blog interesting and inspiring. Sorry for such a long blog too.
All the best and take care