Spastic Cerebral Palsy is the most common type of Cerebral Palsy. I have mild spastic CP where my left side is weaker then my right side of my body. I’ve always had stiff muscles and stretches have always helped, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that spasms started to effect me on a daily basis.
I remember the first time they happened vividly. Margaret and I were on our first vacation together in Boston in September of 2019. It was early in the morning and out of nowhere my legs just started flying up uncontrollably. Margaret woke up with me and went down to her car to get a heating pad and Advil to see if it would help because the pain was excruciating. She made a pit stop to grab food from the buffet but ended up dropping the entire bowl of cereal in the elevator, while the maid was in the elevator with her. I will never let her forget it. Anyways, after a few minutes the heating pad and an Advil worked and my spasms went away.
Following that vacation, spasms became a daily thing when my body is falling asleep, waking up, (especially during the winter and stormy weather). How do we deal with them you must be asking. Well honestly they are apart of our nightly routine now. Margaret does an amazing job keeping pressure on my legs often moving with me throughout the night so I can stay comfortable.
Margaret is not an angel, saint, or whatever else you want to call her for getting me through my spasms. It’s something that has become second nature to her and she wakes up with me each and every night to simply remind me she’s right here and that it’s only a few minutes of pain each time and it is not going to last past those few minutes. To be honest, not many people would be built for that, but Margaret has always been.
For those of you that may not be aware, or those of you who do not follow our personal instagram pages which you totally should (@cmoerler93 and @ivegotthemaggic). We are engaged!!
We recently went to Disney, there will be another blog about our trip soon, and by recently I mean two months ago. But since then we have been enjoying the engaged life. We have set a date for our wedding and put a deposit down on a venue, which to me made it feel real that we are actually going to be married and spend our lives together. We have also had the opportunity to celebrate our engagement with our families, and apparently the place that we had our engagement dinner at, was the restaurant that my dad proposed to my mom. When he told me this it made everything more special since my mom passed only a few months ago. I had no idea that it was the same place until feet the fact, and it made it feel as though that was her being there.
The day that Charlie proposed, there was a rainstorm, as there is most days in central Florida and of course we continued to walk around in the rain because it felt good in the Orlando heat. As we were walking around in Epcot, there was a rainbow over the lagoon. And normally I would just smile at it and say “cool” but something told me that this was my mom telling me that she knew I was engaged and that she was happy for me.
Like I mentioned before, we cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together. Keep an eye on our blog and social medias for wedding updates and there will be more blogs about our experience with planning our interabled and accessible wedding.
There is a myth that surrounds interabled relationships, and it revolves around care. Some people might believe that the care in an interabled relationship is one way, meaning that the able-bodied person is the sole person giving care. From the outside it looks that way, and sometimes it can actually be like that. Yes I do take more physical care of Charlie but he takes care of me too.
There is this notion that just because someone is disabled, that they cannot take care of someone and this is far from the truth. If I don’t feel good, Charlie instantly knows what to do. He is the most supportive and caring person in the world.
Taking care of someone in a mental way can be even more important that taking care of someone physically. I would argue that it is more difficult. Maybe that’s just me haha. So I think Charlie has the harder job between the two of us.
There has been so much going on in both of our lives the last two years, it has been a mental roller coaster for me and if it was not for Charlie, I would have been lost. He takes such good care of me.
Recently I saw a post in Instagram of an interabled relationship. The first picture was of the couple with stereotypes of what people think about interabled relationships. The second picture changed the caption to “interdependent.” This post resonated with me. There have been times when I’ve been looked at like I am a saint for being with Charlie and I don’t know what to say. Charlie is just someone I fell in love with who happens to be disabled. People need to start looking past the physical care aspect of interabled relationships. Just because someone needs physical care, does not mean that they are not capable of caring for their partner.
Hey all, long time no blog. Life has been keeping us pretty busy. But now we have time to dedicate to our blog. Thank you for being patient with us. Our name has changed but will the content is going to be along the same lines, just more frequent and thought out. We have a lot of exciting stuff coming up that we cannot wait to share with you.
As we are sitting here during quarantine, we are both sitting here thinking about the days when we were able to leave the house and go places, not unlike everyone else. But Charlie had written a few thoughts about our trip to Boston back in September 2019.
How Boston came to be:
Margaret and I started planning the trip in the middle of July. I just threw out the idea and she loved it. We used TripAdvisor to find the activities to do and Facebook recommendations for the places to eat. We then wrote an outline of each day as a guide, (we kind of used it.)
First trip without parents:
It’s something I thought would never happen, but when we got the okay it was a surreal feeling. Margaret texted me “STOP, NO WAY?! The day of the trip time stood still, but when we were finally off I felt a great sense of freedom and independence. It didn’t really set in until we got into the room, I couldn’t stop smiling.
Our first trip together:
Boston was my first trip without my parents ever, but I wasn’t nervous at all. I trust Margaret with my life and our comfort level with each other is very high. We didn’t get to Boston until 10:30 and we were exhausted. That night was the first time we slept together and it was arguably the best nights sleep I’ve ever had. The next three days were pure happiness from the activities to dinners and everything in between. We can’t wait to do another trip one day soon.
So here I am sitting in my bed watching videos on my phone and texting Charlie(what else is new haha). He sent me a link to an article and said “THIS IS YOU.” The article was from the mighty.com and it was titled “What It Means to Love Someone with Cerebral Palsy” which was written by a girl named Ashley Burnside back in February of 2017. “The Mighty” is a website that has created a community of support for people who are facing health challenges as well as the people in their lives. They are partnered with companies such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Down Syndrome Society, The Ehlers Danlos Society, National Organization for Rare Disorders, National Alliance for Caregiving and of course the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
Not going to lie, when I first opened the article I thought it was going to be some sappy article from a mom of a child with Cerebral Palsy and how their child is their little hero. But to my surprise, the article was not that at all. It was a young girl that wrote it like I mentioned before. She started with a childhood memory about knowing at the age of four that according to society, people with disabilities are not likely to get a fairytale ending. She was convinced that her disability would always hold her back.
She says “Loving someone with cerebral palsy does not mean you overlook their limitations. It does not mean you ignore the imperfections that make their body unique and different. Loving someone with a physical disability means you love them with their disability. It means you know every aspect of their disability, and it only makes you want to be that much closer to them.” This paragraph is exactly what I want people who question interabled relationships to understand.
I love each and every part of Charlie, from helping him get dressed, cutting food, walking behind him on uneven surfaces, to waking up with him during spasms at the wee hours of the morning. His disability is a huge part of his life, it affects him everyday. How could I not love it? It would be like not loving someone because they can’t grow a beard.
I wouldn’t trade the nights that I haven’t slept because of was holding him during spasms for the world. I will always be his voice when people have a hard time understanding what he is saying. I have no problem telling strangers to move out of the way before I run them over with his wheelchair and they don’t hear the first time either of us say “excuse me” or “watch your back.”
Thank you Ashley for this incredibly insightful article. You said all the things that Charlie and I could not find the words to do so. I highly recommend that you all check out the article, here’s the link: