Behind the scene…
I think I’ve been writing this piece since I was born. Happy holidays guys, I hope we all had fun. I dedicate this post to my mom. This post is not really tech related, it is for everyone struggling with one thing or the other, something that makes you fill like you don’t fit in, the post is for everyone. My name is Oscar and I have Erb’s palsy. Something I don’t say often.
Erb’s palsy is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the upper group of the arm’s main nerves, specifically the severing of the upper trunk C5-C6 nerves. These form part of the brachial plexus, comprising the ventral rami of spinal nerves C5–C8 and thoracic nerve T1. These injuries arise most commonly, but not exclusively, from shoulder dystocia during a difficult birth.
So I had to memorize this definition as a kid (I’m joking). so basically my birth was a difficult one and the dislocated my shoulder and cut some serious nerves causing paralysis. Childhood wasn’t the sweetest. Especially in the south-eastern part of Nigeria where doing something with your left hand is almost a crime. Please help me with my shoe laces, Please help me iron, Please help me do this or help me do that, Then you get things like when I was your age I was doing all those myself or why can’t you it yourself ? Then those that will ask, Is it because of your hand? Nah, it is because of my leg.
Sometimes I felt I didn’t deserve the inconvenience, The eyes on me when I go out, people just saying sorry then there are the dramatic ones that just scream. Things like this i had to get use to with time. I remember parents holding back their kids when I’m passing. I wanted to be normal like every other kid. I remember watching my sister give birth to my niece. I was literally in tears the next day when I saw her(the little baby), my sister wondered why, I was happy she was going to grow up like a normal child. I just had this joy and for a second thought that mine could’ve just gone like that and maybe things will be perfect.
People that meet me always come to me with different questions about how I survive, they question my past, present and my future and I always give confident answers. I used to sit and question some things too, i was not very confident. Is this a hindrance? Will it slow me down? How will I catch up with others? Am I considered weak and useless? Questions like this were always in my head growing up. It was a major factor in many decisions.
My greatest decision was in Senior secondary school when I chose to be a science student instead of an art student. Everyone was shocked, he could barely draw a line with a ruler, he needed assistance with drawing graphs and doing his construction, why would he do that? An examiner turned me down when I asked for assistance in one of my exams and said I should write, “I can’t do it” that the person grading will understand. I just decided to loose the mark and leave the answer sheet empty. Before I decided to become a science student I had a conversation with my mom. I told her that I wanted to become an art student and she asked why not science?, I think she knew what scared me. I was doing well in both, that was my defense. She said you have always been into Science stuff and I replied that I’m not sure how I’ll be able to do all the practicals with one hand then she told me that when we get there we will figure it out. I wondered if she had plans to come and hold the ruler, but I will say she held the ruler for me to draw my lines all through not literally but in one way or the other.
It really wasn’t the easiest, I had to get ways to make things work and try not to lag. I was always conscious of the fact that something that takes an average person an hour to complete could take me two. So I have to be ahead in order to meet up, something I always apply to everything I do. I have to start the work before it’s even given and I have to go to bed last. Getting better has always been my key. “There is no sky, there is no limit”.
I remember growing up, we went to the churches and pastors laid hands on me asking my mom and ask things like do you believe God can heal this hand? We always chorused Amen oh! not like I didn’t have faith or I don’t but I know something has changed. A short story, sometime in 2018 a lady saw me and saw my hand and asked if I’m a Christian and I replied yes, I am. She asked do you believe God can heal you? Then I replied, I know he has plans for all of us. I didn’t plan this reply but after I said this I realized I had moved past a lot of stuff. That is when I sensed Growth.
Growth doesn’t just come in height and age. I knew something had awakened in me, I was ready to face life with just one arm. I have been doing that and I just found out. Living with Erb’s palsy has taught me a lot. It taught me patience, tolerance and basically how to deal with situations. I view life from every angle. As a kid I really tried not to be identified as the one-handed kid, so I started working hard trying to be smart so at least i could be the smart kid and that was my motivation.
I want to thank everybody that has contributed to this Oscar, every experience has forged me into this person, especially my Mother and Siblings, I love you guys. The series will continue and I’ll be in-depth in subsequent posts. we will talk about Erb’s palsy and family, friends, education including being in the Tech field. How it has affected or contributed.
Let’s do this some other time 🙂