Thank you Elly, that is very kind. I really don't know about 'immense', but I do try to live my life as best as I can and get the most out of it, although I could always do more. I really need to get off my backside, figuratively speaking, and get out a bit more, but I have to say that within certain boundaries, I am more independent now than I've ever been, which has done my confidence and self-esteem the world of good. It's funny, but the world is not such a scary place when you know you can do things for yourself, even quite basic things. It wasn't always that way, my parents were quite protective of me in a way, but since their deaths I have been independent, although I have the love and support of family, but they don't hold me back. I live on my own, something I suspect my parents would have thought I wouldn't deal with, and I love it to death. I mean, I can eat when I want, sleep when I want, play my music loud and scream abuse at tennis matches on the TV! It's not a bad old life lol.
I'm not sure I have ever said what my disability is. I have a condition called Spina Bifida. In 'posh' terms it is a neural tube defect. In common terms, i.e. the way I understand it lol, it is a birth defect that means I am paralysed from the waist down and I use a wheelchair to get around - my chair is a pretty good electric one, so I can be independent. I also have a condition called hydrocephalus, which translates as water on the brain, so I have a shunt (or valve) in my head to drain the fluid away. My hydrocephalus doesn't trouble me really, so I tend to forget about it. I think I've already mentioned that I have scoliosis of the spine too. That's no bother either, although I am led to believe it can restrict lung capacity eventually, but I'll cross that particular bridge when I come to it.
I think in my case my disability is just one of those things. If I'd had an accident and ended up in a wheelchair there would be something to come to terms with, but there isn't for me as such. It's the way I am, the way I have always been. Also, I really do mean it when I say that my Dad used to say 'don't let the buggers drag you down kid', and he instilled in me the idea that if you can keep some sense of humour about life you can deal with anything. It's funny though, in weird ways my disability does have a bearing on my view of things. Take the tennis for example. I know it's strange to say, but I have no concept of how people stand up on their feet and stay up. I know about gravity, that sort of thing, but the idea of standing, walking around, running, means nothing in my head, because I can't do it and never have done. So, can you imagine how remarkable it is to me to watch someone like Andy doing what he does on the tennis court? I mean, he's so quick, so agile. It's not just the speed either, but it's putting himself in the right place at the right time, and then hitting the ball in the right way to get the result he wants. To me that is amazing, really incredible.
Yes - I agree about Andy's agility, it sometimes beggars belief. As for you? Immense doesn't even cut it. I think many people should take a wee leaf out of your book - able bodied or not. x