When your neurologist tells you, at 14,
that you have cerebral palsy,
thank her for giving you the long-awaited answer
to the problem you couldn’t name.
When you later realize that the diagnosis came 13 years too late,
do not spend all of your sixth period advanced algebra math class
wondering why you weren’t sick enough to detect wrongness earlier.
It wasn’t until early college, or late high school,
that the topic of driving came up.
Specifically, the details around the conversation
of whether or not it was actually possible.
When your neurologist tells you
that she has “concerns” about the possibility
of you learning how to drive because of the tremors
in your body that you can’t control, like miniature earthquakes
that threaten your way of life, take her seriously.
Do not think yourself invincible because you have no need to drive yet.
Do not let the anxiety of being chauffeured for the foreseeable future
prevent you from taking life-giving breaths in a room
full of white-washed walls and foreign terminology.
Do not let the annual MRIs, CAT scans, and EKGs
rob you of your humanity, your presentness.
Do not let cerebral palsy be an excuse not to reach for higher,
even if you have to use a step ladder or cradle
momentarily in the arms of friends and strangers to get there.
Written: May 8, 2017