Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Snippets of the Story: Legs of an Erin

If you read the tagline of my blog, you'll discover that I have a physical challenge. To be clear, it's one diagnosis that creates many different difficulties. In this series of posts titled "Snippets of the Story," I hope to enlighten you on some of those things.

For today, we'll start with the legs. Oh, the legs. I'll break it down into parts of the leg to make it easier to digest.

You see, my quadriceps have a hard, hard life. Due to cerebral palsy, they pull most of the weight in my leg, and because I've been walking (for 15 years this November!) in such a distorted manner for so long, my quadriceps hurt. Like hell most days, but it's nothing I'm not well-accustomed to, so though I may let out a few "yelps" that resemble a hurting animal, I'm okay. Really, I swear I am. In addition to flat out hurting, my quadriceps are arguably the strongest part of my body. It's because those are the muscles you use most in your leg when you walk or when you use your leg in everyday life. If you're not a doctor, medical student, or haven't spent a large, long time in dealing with the anatomical make up and function of the human body, I'd be surprised if you ever thought about that. That's okay, though. That's why you have me.

My knees have taking a beating for the last fifteen years (well, really longer than that) that has caused the damage to become irreversible. For example, the lateral patellar retinaculum in both of my knees is inflamed. I think the patellar tendon might be as well, but I'd like to not think of my injuries anymore than I have to, thankyouverymuch. My knees sustained much of their current damage due to the fact that my gait causes my knees to shift inward, if that makes sense. So much so that some days, my knees even rub together when I'm standing still, also known as crouching. It's just because I have re-wired my brain to do things that my body wasn't meant to do or my brain wasn't meant to process. It's all my fault, and I admit that, but I wouldn't be where I am today had I not decided that walking was something I wanted to do at the ripe old age of five-and-a-half. I've always got painkillers on hand for my knees, as they are the one thing that bothers me the most, if anything, but I haven't taken "knee medicine" in about 5 weeks or so. Maybe longer than that!

My triceps (the three muscles that make up the area of your leg known as the "calf") are incredibly strong. Sometimes they like to tingle and make me think I'm about to faint, but most of the time they do well, and as mentioned, they are incredibly strong, so it take a lot to get them stirred up if there's something going on with my body. They also are the world's best stair climbers. It's sych a blessing to have them to be able to climb massive staircases (not that I have to, thanks to the invention of the elevator) that are sometimes unavoidable.

Last, but certainly not least, are my Achilles tendons. I've had a lengthening on the right side due to the fact that the heel wouldn't touch the ground, making it almost impossible to work. Though the right side does tend to have a little bit more soreness due to scar tissue from the surgery seven years ago, I really have no problems with them as a whole.

I hope you've enjoyed this snippet of my story, and I'll see you back here for more really soon!


  1. Great to read "Legs of an Erin".

    It was a good story and I learnt a lot as well.

    Those legs of yours have been strong to take you through 15 years!

    A lot of people with mobility difficulties have been counselled to avoid the stairs. Your experience is a useful counter.

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  3. I think instead of Tricep, you meant Gastrocnemius. Tricep is the back of your upper arm.

    Regardless, it's great to hear a bit of a break down as to just what your legs have been through!