I wrote a MyTake about this quite a while back. But since then, I have done some more research and I think the partial disability I have is not diplegia, I believe it's actually called hemiplegia.
See, with diplegia it would be both my legs affected however, both my legs are not affected. The left side of my body is affected, and what I believe is most affected is my left leg, and left arm. The whole left side of my body, however, is weaker, slower, and stiffer than my right side.
The exact definition of hemiplegia is:
"paralysis of one side of the body."
And some of the symptoms I face of it are:
Muscle stiffness or weakness on one half of the body - My left side is really weak for a girl my age. Sometimes I really feel it, because it feels like my body weight is too much for it to carry it weighs me down (no pun intended lol) and I get pains every now and then. But some days it's just fine and I feel completely normal.
Favoring one side of the body - I do almost everything with the right side of my body. I hate using my left because it's so weak.
Keeping one hand fisted. - I usually do this when walking are writing with a pen, basically, when I'm not using my left hand I always keep it fisted.
Difficulty balancing and walking. -Balancing is difficult for me. It was way more difficult when I was younger though, I had to wear a splint on my left leg. I don't need it anymore, which is a good thing. I still lack balance when I'm not wearing trainers, I'll stumble around the place more often and if I'm sat down for a long time and get up- I'll usually stumble around a bit before I gain balance. As for walking, I walk with a limp that makes me slower than everyone else.
Lack of fine motor skills. - My left leg isn't as flexible and the muscles are tighter than your average person's my age.
Developmental delays, especially with motor skills. -This isn't really now, but when I was younger I did learn to walk late, I don't remember how late, but it was pretty late. A lot of the time when I was a baby I just used to shuffle on my bum everywhere😂 When I wasn't walking when I should've been, that's when my parents took me to the doctors and I was referred to a hospital, the same hospital I've been visiting every now and then ever since I was a baby, and they diagnosed me with diplegia.
I show some diplegia symptoms, but I feel like what I have is closer to hemiplegia if anything. I remember my dad said the doctor did say it could change as I get older, so it could be that when I was younger I had diplegia but over time as I got older it developed into hemiplegia. Or I did have surgery when I was about 10-years-old, and I read somewhere that hemiplegia can develop in response to surgery- so it could be that. Or they could've just got it wrong from the beginning and I had hemiplegia all along.
Another thing my dad told me, is when I was younger he also did a lot of reading on the internet about diplegia, and he discovered I don't walk like someone with diplegia. And he tried to tell the doctors this, and that it could be something else but the doctors insisted it was diplegia, but he said that they did say it could change when I get older so I don't really know.
Another thing I'm unsure about- is whether I have Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). The definition of that is:
"are a group of rare inherited conditions that affect connective tissue."
And there are roughly 12 types and I believe I could possibly have hEDS. But I'm not entirely sure. Symptoms for hEDS are:
joint hypermobility - Yep I definitely have this one. I cannot put my hand straight at all, it's like my fingers lock into this weird position. I thought this was normal but I realised it wasn't when I started playing card games with my friends and I struggled to hold the cards in that fan way. My hands are like this:
Yeah, I know it's freaky, you don't need to tell me. Again, this is just my left hand. My right hand is double-jointed but I can still put it straight.
joint pain and clicking joints - Sometimes at night, I do get joint pain. I don't really tell anyone about it because there's nothing anyone can really do about it, so there's no point disturbing anyone's sleep over it. I usually just try my best to sleep it off, or lay awake and try and think about something funny to distract me from it. Clicking joints? Yep. I have that one too my knuckles click in and out of place all the time and dislocate. Again I know that's freaky.
extreme tiredness (fatigue) - I usually get this in my left shoulder, I stretch to try and make it feel better, but again, I don't really tell anyone about it because there's nothing anyone can do to fix it, so what is the point? It goes away eventually. It also happens when I carry something which is heavy for me.
skin that bruises easily - Yep I have bruises all the time which I can't explain. Even a shove could bruise me lol, but the bruises don't stay forever so that's a good thing.
digestive problems, such as heartburn and constipation. - I don't get this.
dizziness and an increased heart rate after standing up. - I don't get this one either.
Why I think being a girl has made it slightly easier for me.
I don't really know how to say this without sounding like a complete meanie. I don't want to say this in a sense, because I don't agree with it but at the same time I do because there is a lot of truth to it.
I think being a girl has made having a disability, easier for me.
Firstly, the disability makes me weaker, physically. And the majority of people don't mind a physically weak girl, some actually find it pretty cute. I don't get made fun of if I can't lift something, or if I need help physically with something. Kids have even brushed past me by mistake and apologised even though they barely touched me. If I had been a guy, society isn't as empathic or helpful to a physically weak guy. If a physically weak guy can't lift something a lot of people would call him things like "pussy" and tell him stuff like "man up" instead of helping him.
Or like I live in a city, which has a pretty shady city center so there's a good chance of me getting attacked on the way to college when I have to walk through there. As you can imagine it's pretty hard for me to defend myself. If a guy was to attack me, I feel like there's more of a chance that people will come to my aid and help me, because I'm a small girl. But if I was a guy I feel like more people would walk past expecting me to fight back, if I was getting attacked by another guy and say I was getting attacked by a woman and I was a guy, people would most likely laugh.
Then there's appearance. You can't exactly build lots of muscle mass with hemiplegia or hEDS. And because I'm a girl that isn't frowned upon. I can get away with having a soft skinny appearance. But if I was a guy, again, some people might view me as those derogatory terms I mentioned earlier. I've even seen questions on here stating that "real men" are men who look like Chris Hemsworth, basically muscular and super ripped. But when you have hemiplegia and/or hEDS you can't exactly look like Chris Hemsworth.
Then there's just the whole "masculinity" thing in general. Guys are encouraged to take up sports like boxing and other martial arts because it improves their "masculinity" but anyone who has hemiplegia or any form of EDS is advised to stay away from weight lifting and combat sports.
So in a sense, I'm really thankful that I was born a girl because I personally believe a guy with hemiplegia and/or any form of EDS has it so much harder than I do.
And if you're thinking: "Well, if a guy had hemiplegia and/or a form of EDS wouldn't you be able to see it?"
Not always. Hemiplegia and EDS are described as "invisible disabilities", a lot of people think I just have a limp. Because you can't see all the symptoms people don't always know until you tell them and explain it to them. And sometimes you don't want to explain or tell them because of two reasons: pity or they might just think you're making up excuses and both can get really frustrating.
Now before you go saying things I mentioned above, are sexist- I agree with you. It's incredibly sexist and I don't agree with it.
See many people look down on a weaker guy, who doesn't have a strong figure like Chris Hemsworth, who can get beaten up by a woman, and some will even go as far as saying he isn't a "real man" and then complain about his "masculinity". But people who do that in my eyes are sick. Because you don't know why some guys might be like that.
They could have a disability. Something could have happened to them. Or it might just be not for them.
But some people don't care about reasoning. The way they see it he's a dude, so he should be this way. And it shouldn't be like that.
I've talked about sexism against women a lot since I was 11 I became aware of sexism against women, but as I've grown older I've seen it happens to guys in different ways too.
Sexism can happen to men or women so let's come together and help each other stop it from both sides.
I hope you learned something from this MyTake and I hope it was an interesting read for you, and if it wasn't then at least it was free.
Thank you for reading. :)
BTW: I don't know why this is in the "sexuality" section, I meant to put it in the "Health and Fitness" section.