The Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy
When you first become a parent, you look for all those first milestones. First smile, first word, first steps. This is what we have been taught to do. We wait patiently, eagerly and excitedly for all those moments to arrive. But sometimes Life has another plan, you have a child and few months later you discover that your little nugget has Brain damage. You hear the words coming out of the doctor’s mouth but somehow your own body shuts down. It feels like someone has thrown you down a very high cliff and wants you to fly. You want to fly, but no one has taught you how, you have not seen anybody do it. You fall, and fall, and burn, and then you Rise like a Phoenix.
My daughter has Cerebral Palsy. Doctors predicted she might walk with aids, or not walk at all. Today she walks without aid, jumps and does whatever she is told she couldn’t. When you become a parent to special needs child you become this fierce and powerful energy that your child needs you to be. You fight for services, push for appointments, learn all the jargons, and make sure there isn’t any stone that’s left unturned.
I was devastated. I had to learn a lot and very fast. I had to come out of darkness and be there for her. I had very little time to grieve the loss. When others cheered their kids for walking, I was cheering because she was trying to walk, and when others were sleeping at night, I was watching my daughter so she wouldn’t have a seizure alone, even my breaks were filled with constant search on internet on ways to help my daughter.
Admits all this, I forgot to take care of me. I broke down like a machine that was overused. I couldn’t get out of bed. Reality hit me hard that day. My daughter still needed me, but I needed myself more. I had to prioritize. I had to put myself first however selfish that seemed to me. The guilt was eating me alive. I made a choice to give myself 2 hrs a day where I am not talking about her, reading about her conditions, searching internet for ways to help her. I suddenly realized I had very little left in life that wasn’t about my daughter and her condition.
And Finally Moving On
I started going out more, making new friends, talking to people. It felt good, like I too have a life. I started a blog to help other parents in my situation and that felt liberating. Today I receive messages from moms all over the world, in similar situations like I was few years ago and it feels good to be there for them the way I needed someone.
Today we are happy and have adapted in this Imperfectly Perfect Life of ours. We laugh, play, giggle all day and are thankful for this life every day.