It May Be Hard to Swallow…

It May Be Hard to Swallow…

It May Be Hard to Swallow… 500 334 Janus Education

In association with the Spastic Children’s Association of Singapore (SCAS), YRC Magazine brings a series of stories from the children and their teachers from SCAS to give everyone an idea of how it is like to live a challenging life with cerebral palsy.

Text from the SCAS

You can call me Paul*. I have Cerebral Palsy, which is a condition that affects a person’s mobility. It can occur before or during birth, when a baby is in the mother’s womb, or from an illness or injury to the child early in life. My condition makes me wheelchair bound. I can see and hear but I cannot speak or control my head, hands and leg movements. During lessons at school, my mother will sit outside the class and will come in during snack time. I cannot eat through my mouth; I eat through my nose. To elaborate further, I need to use a feeding tube to eat, which I am well aware of, is rather unconventional. But that is the only way I can eat.

Sometimes when I see my friends eat normally, I wish I could eat just like them. I want to chew and taste the food that my mother has dutifully prepared for me, but I cannot. I hope to eat without the feeding tube, then I can know what it is like – that tingling sensation you must feel when you experience the taste, the texture, even of burnt food! I wish I could taste the hot chilli that makes my friends’ faces turn red and then drink lots of water to cool it down. How I crave for such fun and interesting experiences!

When I am being tube-fed, I experience pain and discomfort, since the food travels through my nose and then to my stomach. If I have a wish and only one wish, I will wish for a chance to know why some people like me cannot eat like how other people do. I used to be haunted with such depressing and sorrowful thoughts, but I came to a conclusion that self-pity is not going to help. Things always happen for a reason, even if I may not know what the reason may be. I am certain that one fine day, I will find it.

know that all my friends in Spastic Children’s Association School hope to lead normal lives. I will try my best to lead an ordinary life like a normal boy, even though it is not easy. I am happy that my family cares for me and loves me. They send me to school for me to learn and to nurture myself, which shows in my Math and English test results. I am also grateful to have friends who help me whenever I am in need. For my future, well, I am not sure what it will bring, but I will manage, and I am sure I will do just fine.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy. This story is provided by Spastic Children’s Association of Singapore.