What is Cerebral Palsy and how it effects me
Cerebral Palsy is caused by brain damage before, durning or immediately after birth. Cerebral Palsy effects body movements, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. I got Cerebral Palsy because I was born three months early. I live with Spastic Triplegic Cerebral Palsy. Primarily, this effects my left arm, hand and leg. It effects my right leg a little bit. I wear a leg brace that straps above my knee on my left leg, and an insert in my right shoe. I take medication daily to help with tone and every three months, (more on this in a later post) I go to a neurologist and get botox in my left arm and leg. I see an orthotist for my braces, a neurologist and primary care doctors. Cerebral Palsy can be very difficult and frustrating, at times. It’s hard to have a body that doesn’t always do the things you ask it to or to have tight muscles that cramp or to fall when you’re just trying to walk across campus.
Tip #1: Early intervention
Due to the fact that doctors were prepared for my Mom to deliver early, they were prepared for the possibility of diagnosing me with a form of CP. Due to their quick actions, I was able to get treatment very early. I was able to have/continue to have treatment. The earlier you can get treatment for yourself/your child, the better.
Tip #2: involve yourself/your child in groups/clubs/organizations where there are others who have the same/similar disabilities.
I grew up going to summer camps that had kids from all around with CP. This gave us a way to instantly connect and remind us that we aren't alone. This made a positive impact in my childhood and I still keep in contact with some of those friends today.
Tip #3: Trust what your parent gut says/your child's body is saying
Everyone who has CP is effected by it differently. After seeing one neurologist for my entire life, she moved to another state. The first doctor that I had after her, wasn't the right fit. I asked one of my childhood pt's and found a doctor that fits. If a doctor, therapist or approach doesn't feel beneficial to you, trust that and ask to try something else. You know yourself/your child's body and what it needs best.