My Legs: recent publications

When a Store Employee Judged Me Because of the Casts on My Legs

To the store employee who chose to judge a book by its cover,

I was walking with my family in Home Depot to get some supplies. I had just finished another round of Botox injections and my physical therapist decided I needed to be casted. (One of the worst experiences.) The casts were supposed to “support” the Botox injections by ensuring that my legs would continue to be loose. I was re-casted every week for about two months.

The sandals I had to wear to school, the stares and the casting process itself were pretty uncomfortable, though I was no stranger to most of those things. AFOs, which I wore until last year, need to have a mold. I get stared at a decent amount, both with AFOs and without, and I’ve pretty much given up on stylish footwear, but the sandals let in dewy grass when we went outside for recess.

Some kids at school thought I had broken my legs, though obviously, I was walking without crutches with the casts on. But no one really said anything about it. I got tons of questions, but it wasn’t really a big thing whether my legs were “broken” or not.

In the store, I was holding my dad’s hand. I tend to hold hands with someone in public places because I feel overwhelmed if I don’t, and I’m also more of a fall risk if I don’t hold on to someone or something.

As we passed by an aisle, a female employee was arranging a display. As we passed by, she said rather loudly, “Gee, you broke both of them? Good gracious, be more careful.”

I was so embarrassed. I was mortified. The casts were out of my control completely. The casts and Botox were not what I wanted. It’s not my fault that I was born with cerebral palsy, and a mild version at that. I was and am not an attention-seeking child, so to be called out like that was

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