Where do I begin? I’ve been on this chronic pain journey for the longest time. At least it seems like it to me. My journey with chronic pain has been an ongoing roller coaster and I can’t seem to get off of it.
I guess I should begin my story by telling you guys that I have a condition called Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is a condition that affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance.
I have very low muscle tone which has caused me to need a wheelchair. Actually, I have been in a wheelchair my entire life. I have never been able to walk despite my desire to do so.
One of the effects that comes with Cerebral Palsy chronic pain. Although there are days my pain runs throughout my entire body (even my teeth are in severe pain sometimes), I mostly get pain in my left hip.
I didn’t always have chronic pain in my hip. When I was about eight years old, my left hip dislocated. I needed surgery to fix it. I have had chronic and worsening pain in that hip ever since the surgery meant to fix it. And there have been more than one.
The first surgery to fix my hip was when I got a metal plate put in my hip to help hold it in place. I noticed that afterwards, I wasn’t as free of pain as thought I would be. In fact, I had more pain than I did before I even had the surgery.
And I wasn’t as flexible either. I couldn’t open up my legs anymore without feeling pain in that hip. I also couldn’t sit on my knees or sit cross-legged anymore.
In my next surgery, they removed the metal plate. But my pain only got worse. Over time, it got to the point where I was in so much pain, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I didn’t know what to do.
When I asked the doctors, they all told me the same answer over and over again: that there was nothing they could do except give me a shot that would help relieve the pain for six months. I eventually decided to go with the shot. I have been receiving the shot on and off since the age of 14. It seems to be the only thing that helps me every six months.
Along with the chronic hip pain, I have also been dealing with pain throughout the entire left side of my body. That is where the Cerebral Palsy has affected me the most. It often feels like my toes are tingling and are numb and that someone took a torch to my body and lit it on fire.
It’s not easy living with chronic pain and as I’ve gotten older it has caused me to have anxiety and problems with becoming severely depressed at times at my situation. People have asked me ‘how do you always manage to keep a smile on your face’ through all the pain that I go through each and every day. My answer has always been the support of my friends, family, and my passion for writing.
Also, writing has always been my outlet to help me through my chronic pain and all the struggles I have faced in my life and has led to advocating for Cerebral Palsy, inspiring others, and sharing my story by publishing a book while in my teens.
SO, I’m sharing my story in the hopes that it gives hope to others. Hope to never give up regardless of the obstacles that they face and hope in dealing with their chronic pain.
I hope you guys enjoy my story.
Tylia Flores is a 22-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world. In doing so, she hopes to help others with disabilities realize that they, too, have the potential to make their dreams come true.