Thursday, 21 July 2011

My Blog

My name is Christina Martins, and I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida when I was born, myelomeningocele to be more specific. Myelomeningocele is a congenital defect of the central nervous system in which a sac containing part of the spinal cord and its meninges protrude through a gap in the vertebral column; frequently accompanied by hydrocephalus and development delay. Not many people know about this type of disability.
              I also have scoliosis (from Greek: skoliƍsis meaning from skolios, "crooked") is a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side. Although it is a complex three-dimensional deformity, on an X-ray, viewed from the rear, the spine of an individual with scoliosis may look more like an "S" or a "C" than a straight line. Scoliosis is typically classified as either congenital (caused by vertebral anomalies present at birth), idiopathic (cause unknown, subclassified as infantile, juvenile, adolescent, or adult, according to when onset occurred), or neuromuscular (having developed as a secondary symptom of another condition, such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, or physical trauma). This condition affects approximately 7 million people in the United States.

            Having this type of disability caused me to have an emergency surgery when I was born.  My own mother could not hold me right away. I also had to stay in the hospital longer than the average newborn. I am very lucky to actually survive my birth, if I did not get that surgery, I would not be walking and breathing on this earth right now. This was not the only surgery I had to get as I got older I had a lot more.

            Growing up was very difficult, not really knowing what my own disability was, looking at the people around me wondering why they weren't like me, having A.F.Os (ankle-foot orthoses) or leg braces, a walker etc. I was also wondering why they were staring at me as like they never seen a person with a walker before, it never really clicked in that I thought they could just be wondering what was wrong with me.

            I was very young when I got my first pair of A.F.Os, I think I was only 3 years old and my first walker at 4 years old. When I started school I always felt I had to be like I had to be like the other kids to fit in, but of course with my disability I couldn't really anyways, back than it meant a lot to me if I could. When I got to grade 5, that's when people started to tease me and I didn't really have any friends.

            In 2003, a tragic thing happened in my family. I lost my mother from a brain aneurysm; this is when I knew I had depression. Not from just losing her but knowing have a physical disability to worry about the rest of my life. I didn't really get help for it until high school where I had to talk with the child youth worker and an actual mental health nurse. I always thought my depression was a sign of weakness but it wasn't. It was a cry for help and a sign to show I was strong for a long time.

            I just want to show the world how much of a strong young woman I have become, after all the surgeries I had and maybe more in the future, I'll still be standing strong and keeping my head held high. Nothing will break me. My name is Christina Martins, love me or hate me. This is me. Put yourself in my shoes, before you judge me. I want to make my mother proud.

How to submit your story.

If there is something you would like to share about yourself, your journey or perhaps you have been here and want to share the experience you had here with us in one of our programs. Please email and I will upload it. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Coming to this blog site soon we will have monthly installment regarding Employment from our Jobs Team and  an update from our Youth Project.