I was born with spina bifida and can tell you, at 47 I'm in the best shape of my life. The severity of spina bifida, a neuromuscular disorder, depends on the location of the lesion on the back. The higher the lesion, the higher the risk of effects. My lesion was down low. I still have been confronted with significant health issues over the years. But I can walk unaided, and have since I was about 16 years old. Before that, I used leg braces, a wheel chair, crutches and other assistive devices. Every case of spina bifida is different. Even two people with the same level can experience different health issues. Those born with spina bifida can expect to have a regular lifespan, but in severe cases death can occur. I was lucky. My family has been supportive, the medical professionals I've encountered have been skilled and compassionate, and I've had some very good friends who have made a world of difference in my life. Spina bifida doesn't have to be a death sentence. It doesn't have to limit you. Seek out quality care and surround yourself with positive, nurturing, active people who will help you live and thrive with spina bifida.
- Q What learning problems do children with spina bifida have?
- Q What is spina bifida?
- Q How does spina bifida affect the body?
- Q How many people are affected by spina bifida?
- Q If I have spina bifida, should I avoid having children?
- Q What research is being done on spina bifida?