Cerebral palsy and pain management

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 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, usually caused by a traumatic birth.

Trace’s knees after falling down continuously because of his legs not working while playing.

CP falls under an umbrella term for several symptoms because unlike down syndrome, it does not have a singular cause. It’s 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 I had called Group-B Strep

There are several different types of cerebral palsy, each classified by the way in which they affect the individual.

What is Mild Cerebral Palsy?

In Trace’s case, his condition is mild if not noticeable at all to everyone around him, except for doctors and us. He 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.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.

But it’s not enough.

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. He pushes through the pain, never allowing it to stop him. He knows what he’s capable of. Still, it’s difficult to witness and be unable to do anything more than I can about it.

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.

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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? What programs in Canada do you find work the best for your child?