As a mom, it’s a given that at some point your child will get injured. For my son Trace it’s almost inevitable. Trace has cerebral palsy. And although no mother likes to see her child in pain, when you are a special needs mom, you are on double alert duty when it comes to watching your kids to make sure they don’t suffer.
For those of you who don’t know, cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that affects muscle coordination and body movement. It’s usually caused by a traumatic birth.
CP falls under an umbrella term for several symptoms. Unlike a disability such as down syndrome, it does not have a singular cause. It is a brain injury that can occur either during pregnancy, during delivery, or shortly thereafter. In Trace’s case, it was the cause of being untreated for a bacteria many women have during pregnancy called called Group-B Strep.
I had GBS with my first child, Jake, but we were both treated after giving birth to him vaginally which is where GBS lives and can be transferred to baby. Trace’s condition was different. His hospital records clearly indicate he was born with GBS and left untreated which we believe is the leading cause of his special needs today.
→ Many women suffer with horrible stories giving birth to children left untreated with Group B Strep!
At three weeks Trace became lifeless and unable to move. He began having problems eating, breathing, seeing. We spent the next several months going back and forth to Children’s Hospital, unknowing that it was the GBS untreated affecting his body.
What is Mild Cerebral Palsy?
There are several different types of cerebral palsy, each classified by the way in which they affect the individual. In Trace’s case, his condition is mild if not noticeable at all to everyone around him, except for doctors and us. He is a walking miracle. They told us at 15 months he wouldn’t walk, talk or do anything normal kids can do because of the damage done to his brain.
Trace is extremely smart. He’s only five years old but has a great memory for some things and a deficit for others. He sometimes has trouble finding his feelings, and one of the most major things he faces is pain management for his legs and feet.
Trace often suffers from extreme pain in his legs which can be upsetting for him. He comes inside after playing, crying and breaking down because the pain is throbbing from his hip to his ankle, and there is only so much I can do for managing his pain.
- Medication can be given – such as Tylenol and Advil often helping to alleviate the symptoms.
- Baths with Epsom salts each night (sometimes twice) to soothe his aching body
- Massage at home to help keep the circulation in his legs and joints going.
And that’s it.
As a mother, it is hard watching your child suffer. I watch Trace limp down the stairs because his legs hurt but I don’t want to discourage the fire inside of him. I watch him push through the pain, never allowing it to stop him. I watch in amazement as he knows what he’s capable of. Still, it’s difficult to witness and be unable to do anything more to help him with his suffering.
Here is my Dilemma right now. Mild cerebral palsy can be more severe than other cases of cerebral palsy, in the sense that some won’t get the benefit of treatment. Some children with mild cerebral palsy are affected by physical limitations, but their intelligence is not affected at all. Because they are not educationally deficient they will not qualify to receive occupational or physical therapy through their respective school.JS
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So how can kids with mild cerebral palsy be more mobile independent without having to deal with tremendous amounts of pain? Well that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it?
I want my son to have a full life. One in which he doesn’t miss out on things because of feeling a mass amount of pain. I don’t want to treat him like a baby with kid gloves, so I push on.
I tell him he can push through and we keep on doing what we are with medication, massage, and whatever therapies we can discover from other parents with children who have mild CP.
Do you have a child with mild Cerebral Palsy? How do you cope?
( Photos by Just Jodi / created with Adobe Spark )