Friday, April 04, 2008

The hardest post ever...

As I mentioned a few days ago Owen had an appointment with the pediatric neurologist on Wednesday. The appointment went well, even the 45 minute wait. I'm thinking of sending them a bill. There really should be a service charge to doctors who make parents and toddlers wait. Everyone knows toddlers don't wait! They had a fish tank in the waiting room though and it entertained Owen quite nicely. So did the toys of another little boy. His mom was very nice to share with us.

On to the hard part. Owen was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Specifically spastic hemiplegia cerebral palsy. Which means it affects one side of his body, the right side, and causes abnormally stiff muscles. The ischemia (similar to a stroke) occurred on the left side of his brain in the motor cortex, an area that controls movements in specific parts of the body. There are a variety of things that can cause cerebral palsy but it is often not determined. We know the ischemia caused the CP however, we don't know the cause of the ischemia.

Thankfully, and I cannot tell you how thankful I am for this, Owen's CP is mild. So mild that most people probably wouldn't be able to tell that he has CP. CP is not a degenerative condition but if not treated can cause difficulty with growth and development. There was no damage to any cognitive areas of his brain and the neurologist told me he seems to be doing well with his language development which at Owen's age is a large indicator of cognitive functioning.

In May we meet with a physiatrist who is a specialist in rehabilitation therapy. This person will assess Owen's current functioning and I presume prescribe what occupational and physical therapies are needed at this time. We are fortunate to live close to Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare centers which has a center for Cerebral Palsy and will be able to treat Owen throughout his childhood and into adulthood.

When we initially took Owen to the doctor it was my fear that it would be CP. My mom asked me why I thought this and I really can't put my finger on it. Perhaps the way his difficulties were isolated to one side of his body, or how he held his arm. I'm not sure. But eventually I put it out of my mind. Especially after the results of the MRI came back and it appeared to be something that had happened but was not causing anymore harm. I'm still in a bit of shock at the diagnosis. I don't feel like Owen has a disability. I don't want him to suffer any ridicule for having this, which he cannot control and isn't his fault. Children can be awful to each other and I don't want him to experience any of that. I have to just keep remembering that he has lots of people who love and care for him and this doesn't change that and we will do everything we can to continue to love and care for him.

On to other more lighthearted things! The other day JP bestowed a little award to me and then Lynn did too. (And maybe I got it before that too but I can't remember for certain!)
The rules for the *you make my day award* are to re-present it to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blog land. Let them know through email or by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times yourself, and if you do, consider yourself really, really loved.

I have to say it is an honor to know that I am making someone else's day better by writing here. Since some of what I write about is pretty boring! Or sometimes yucky since I am the mother to a toddler! It's also hard to give this away to others because I don't want to leave anyone out! But here goes:

My Sister (because she's great and she babysits two days a week and doesn't care if we pay her!)
Noelia (because she is my sista from another motha). Is that how you said it Noelia??
Lynn (she makes me laugh and she's a mom with experience and every new mom needs those kinds of friends!)
JP (She's got cats and I don't so I get my cat fix at her blog! Her random musings on Tuesday are great!)
Aimeslee (another mom with experience. She's also original and real and a great artist. She's also from Texas so I'm afraid not to like her! (I'm teasing Aimes!))
Alli (I find Alli so inspiring. She's an awesome photographer and scrapper!)
Alyssa (She's a great artist too and a fabulous mom! She's so creative in the mom dept!)
Gina (Another great mom and artist!)
Dana (She's makes me laugh!)
Sarah C. (There is always something nice to look at on Sarah's blog! She's got a ton of creativity!)
Wyanne (She is a fabulous artist. Her blog is like a mini art lesson.)
Jill (When I read her blog I need to be prepared to read or see anything! I may just pee my pants!)
Jill C. (She's very creative and I want to be able to run like she does!)
Miss M( She's makes cake, decorates it, and then posts the pictures. Who wouldn't love her!? She's also funny!)
Sabrina (I have to confess I've always been a little jealous of Sabrina. She has a horse. I have always wanted a horse. But she's sweet and funny so I can't be mad at her about the horse!)
Maureen (She keeps the pea thread going and is very creative!)

And I know that's more than 10. But like I said, I didn't want to leave anyone out. And I'm sure I did. There are tons more people who inspire me and whose blogs I read it's just taken me a really long time to do all that writing, and linking and such! And now I'm supposed to let them know I've awarded them the award. But I think it's time for a nap! Or some reading!


Noelia said...

Heather, I'm at a loss of words after reading your post. I can't even imagine how you must feel after hearing the diagnosis. I'm sure it's a relief that Owen's CP is mild and he will have a healthy and normal life loved and supported by those around him. I'm so proud of you for taking the initiative of doing the testings and all that and for trusting your mommy instincts even though it was the hardest thing at the time. Owen is going to be just fine because he has you and Morgan to care for him and I know you're the best mommy he could ever have and no one will care better for him than you.

You know where I'm at if you need me, I'm home if you want to ichat.


Aimeslee said...

oh sweetie, you are being so brave, you are so in shock and so am I a little. it's gonna be okay. noelia said everything so well and she's 100% right. thank god you are his mommy and he has you to get to work for him. give the little pistol a hug for me and one for you too.

Aimeslee said...

omgosh, i forgot to add, thank you for the blog award. i gave it to you in the comments of the preceding post. we are cross-pollinated, lol. anyway, wanted to thank you!

:: gingerkitty :: said...

Remaining thankful is the best medicine.

Lida said...

Sending u hugs and know that I´m here for anything u might need, your little boy is simply perfect!

It's Not Easy Being Green said...

All I can say is that Owen is lucky to have a mother like you. Someone who took the initiative to have him checked out when something didn't look quite right. Someone who helped him to be diagnosed early. Someone who will be there for him and love him no matter what. I am sure that is a hard time for you all, but I have faith that Owen will be just fine. He is in good hands!

Rising Rainbow said...

I know what it's like to have a child diagnosed with a neurological disorder. You are lucky that it is mild and he will be able to live a normal life with proper treatment. love and support. It sounds like he's got all of those things with you. That makes him one lucky little boy as well. Good luck on your journey.

emily said...

Sending you thoughts...your baby is beautiful and is lucky that he is obviously surrounded by love and good instincts. Kids are amazingly are thier moms!

Patter Cross said...

I know how hard it is to hear your child have such a diagnosis. I have a dd with special needs, and at age 13 now, I can tell you the kids can be so cruel to her. We have had counselors help at school to explain what my dd has and why God made her special. Hang in there. I am sure he will be a light to many! Hugs!

Sarah C. said...

Heather, prayers for your little boy! I'm glad to know that the diagnosis was a mild form of CP and that you all are able to get him treatment so early in life. I can't imagine how scary this has been. He's so blessed that you followed up on your concerns.

Thank you for listing me as one of your "make my day" people. I really appreciate that and the kind words you wrote. :) You definitely make my day too! Enjoy checking your blog and seeing what you are up too. Wish I was half as good of a photographer.

Alli said...

I know it is not what you wanted to hear but now you know you can start your journey together. I know about this journey and together you will be the best and do the best for Owen.. and I am humbled to think I have inspired you instead of ticking you off LOL

jp said...

Just catching up on blogs tonight and read your post. {BIG HUGS} to you. You have surely had a very difficult few days. Owen is one lucky little boy to have you for a mom.

Thanks for listing me in your post! I'm so glad to bring a smile to someone's face.

Thinking of you!! Janet