Friday, November 1, 2013

My Childhood with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy

When I was first diagnosed with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy I was just 10 years old. Years before my diagnosis even as a child I always wondered why I was having so much trouble keeping up with other kids my age. Thinking back even though I faced a few challenges related to living with BMD for some reason it never really bothered me. Even after my diagnosis I simply just went on living my life after all being a child my only goal at that time was to have fun and play with my friends. Like many children who grew up in the 80’s I enjoyed riding my bike and most times I had just as much fun as the other kid’s in my neighbourhood. The main thing I enjoyed most about riding my bike is the fact that it gave me my first taste of freedom. It also resulted in getting me and my brother in trouble one time when we a little further than we should. It was from that point on I was limited to just riding my bike in my local neighbourhood. Physically at this point in my life I didn’t face much difficulty related to Becker Muscular Dystrophy. Actually when I was growing up it was hard for my parents to keep me inside. Most days I wouldn’t return home until the street lights came on. Then in the morning once the sun would come out my first priority was to run outside to ride my bike. It didn’t matter if I was joined by my friends or not it was all about having fun. That was until the first
After crashing my bike
time I crashed my bike after hitting some loose gravel. At the time I was riding the black and yellow BMX pro thunder sports bike you see pictured above. When this happened I left my bike behind and I ran home crying with a small stone lodged in my forehead - it was at that point I realized I had to be a little more careful. But I didn’t allow this to keep me from riding the same way as a child I didn’t allow a diagnosis of Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy to slow me down. Now I did end up with a few stitches but like anything in life you learn your lesson and keep on living your life. That is why I continued riding my bike and even though I struggled climbing even the smallest hill there was really nothing I could do about it so I didn't allow it to bother me. As a child I was always focussed on having fun and this still continues even today. 

There’s no doubt that I enjoyed growing up in the 80’s a time in my life when physically there were many things I could still do. Sure at time’s I ended up learning the hard way when it came to the few things I couldn’t do but that’s just a part of life. Now when it came to the first time that I noticed I was a little weaker than other children my age was at the time when climbing trees and fences became the popular thing to do. While the other children my age were able to grab on to a tree limb to pull them self-up I simply didn’t have the strength to get off the ground. It frustrated me at first but eventually I just added to the list of the few things I just couldn’t do. To be honest there were a few times when having Muscular Dystrophy did affect my ability to join in and have fun but thankfully I had a great imagination which came in handy more than a few times. Thankfully in the 80’s there was so much to keep a child occupied such the very popular AFX slot car tracks and even something known as the Rubik's cube. Another popular thing for me to do as a child was riding my bike to the local convenience store to buy a package of O-Pee-Chee brand hockey cards which came with a pink stick of bubble gum inside. At the time I believe I was more interested in the bubble gum then collecting hockey cards. Sadly some of these hockey cards were used to play a game where they were all lined up in a row against the wall and we would throw the remaining cards at them to try and knock them over. Even worse some were even put in our bicycle spokes all in an effort to make them sound a bit like a motor bike. Obviously we ended up damaging what turned out to be some of today’s most sought after and valuable collector cards. Being children I am guessing at the time we simply didn’t know any better. Thankfully my brother was able to keep Wayne Gretzky Rookie card out of harm’s way and luckily still has it today. As you can see my childhood was spent focussed on having fun and this resulted in taking my focus off the fact that I had Muscular Dystrophy. Sure I face a few challenges along the way but at this point in my progression it didn’t end up ruining my childhood.

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