Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cerebral Palsy

My son has cerebral palsy. But, what exactly is cp or cerebral palsy?

CP is such a broad diagnosis meaning a disorder of movement, muscle tone and posture.....
RIGHT?!?! That can be so many things! It's such a broad diagnosis encompassing so many things it's hard to compare one CP case to another. One thing I know for sure is once you have cerebral palsy there is no cure, no remedy, no medications to make that diagnosis go away. It's a forever sentence.

Cerebral Palsy has so many different types, functions, disabilities....that the diagnosis alone gives a 'planner' like me anxiety to the max! I want to know will my child walk, what will his cognitive level be, will he do this, will he understand that.....but Cerebral Palsy is not the same from one person to the other. What's physical and cognitive for one is just physical for the other. What one child does the other child may not...and so on and so on. Blake will have days where his muscles are loose as a goose (I've never really understood that saying- are geese loose?) anyway, back to my point and then with a swift change in the hour Blake's muscles may tense up and become as tight as can be. Where one day Blake may stand tall, and straight the next day his right knee may bend inward. From day to day it changes, and from year to year we see his disability show.

Although cerebral palsy has no cure, with treatment, therapy and plenty of exercising and stretching on a daily basis we can improve Blake's capabilities. We began therapy Occupational, physical and speech with Blake starting as early as 6 months old right after getting home from the NICU in hopes to see him thrive and have the best chance at a 'normal' life.

Blake's disabilities stem from a brain bleed he had as a preemie and primarily affect the left side of his body. His left arm and leg are very tight and rigid at times but he has learned to use his tone to his advantage by helping with stability and grounding himself. His hips and hamstrings have some weakness that others my not have. It's because of this change in tone that we see that as an almost three year old he is still unable to walk unassisted, sit balanced by himself without being in that dreadful "w" or frog like sitting, and he does not speak as much as a normal child.

You may see Blake at times "scissor" his gait, or drag his left leg behind but for a child that was thought to probably NEVER walk or talk or eat unassisted id say we are doing pretty good!

Blake is able to pull up to furniture and walk the length of our couch. He is a monkey through and through climbing on top of a toy box only to climb onto our sofa. He can yell out momma and dada and oooooohhhh- he communicates what he needs and surely let's us know what he doesn't want!

Blake can play on iPads, with toys, choo choos and cars, and puzzles, looks at books and is all and all a normal crazy, loud, playful happy two year old about to turn three. However, he has cerebral palsy- we don't know what this means for his future or what or if there will be any cognitive disabilities. We don't know if he will eventually learn to walk alone without a walker or cane, or if we will eventually need a wheelchair. What we know is that cerebral palsy does not define's just something he has. Anyone who knows Blake doesn't recognize him for his disability but instead as a strong, playful, and an AMAZING child!

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