DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Kreations By Kittles: Left-Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy

Kaitlin

Occupational therapy kindergarten style

Kreations by Kittles Diagnosis: Left-hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy Right now, I have to concentrate extremely hard anytime I use any part of the left side of my body so using it is very tiring physically and extremely tiring mentally. Before I started getting Botox (last year) my left hand only felt comfortable in a fist or when it was barely in use. Although the Botox procedure is painful, the benefits have been life changing. My doctor wanted me to work on being able to use my left hand and arm without having to think about it. My hand and arm haven't really gotten a lot of attention over the years because everybody focused on me being able to walk. Many people might be shocked to know that I’ve played sports ever since I can remember (you name the sport, I probably tried it)... Being physically active is something my parents always pushed (if my sisters were doing it, my CP wasn’t going to stop me)...

Later in life, I realized that playing sports gave me the ability to be able to walk as well as I do now. My parents always made me appreciate and feel incredibly blessed that I have four limbs (even though two of them are not 100%). That is one of the reasons why for so many years, I never complained/talked about my struggles publicly. I started VERY intense constraint induced movement therapy for fine motor coordination and strengthening In August.... Which basically means, I have to use only my left hand and arm for tasks... I was (and still am) terrified of this new journey because it's not an easy one. In 27 years, I've hardly ever used my left hand for anything at all... So when something is extremely challenging, what do you do? You bring it back to the basics.

My Occupational Therapist suggested using kindergarten items to help make therapy a little bit easier... I started making kindergarten style crafts for family and friends with my left hand (my CP side)... I decided to call it KreationsByKittles. I always hated painting (with my right hand) and I guess it was because my right hand was busy doing so much of the work that I saw art as a waste of time because everything else was hard for me... so I didn’t have the time to appreciate art... But Occupational Therapy gave me a new found love (and confidence) for making and viewing art. I debated on whether I should make an Instagram account or not but if the account helps one person it was worth it... I've gotten extremely frustrated with myself and my left hand because there are just certain things I'm not used to doing in 27 years. So I have to remind myself that my right hand is 27 but my left hand is basically in kindergarten... I know I just have to keep trying and move forward in this process, I won't give up!

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