Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cerebral Palsy 101

What She Wore: Long-sleeve, gray LSU shirt; blue jeans; tennis shoes.

What She Ate: Red beans and rice made by yours truly!

I realize that I may have been a little simplistic when I discussed cerebral palsy earlier. I think I should try to explain it a little bit better. Basically, cerebral palsy is the physical manifestation of a brain injury. The brain injury usually occurs before, during, or right after birth. For this reason, it affects a child's achievement of normal developmental milestones. There are two basic effects--hypertonia, which means muscles are too tight, and hypotonia which means that muscles are too loose.

Now that I'm through with the lesson, I'll tell you about Charlie's issues more specifically. Charlie is tight all over. I never really noticed until I saw other babies. His hamstrings in particular are very tight, and this is pretty common. He also has a weak neck, which is also very common. He couldn't pick up his head at all until he four months old--man, did we celebrate that milestone!

Where I'm headed with all this is to say that Charlie is doing really wonderful. He's working hard at mastering the sit, we've begun working on crawling positions (long-term planning, you know?), and now we're really working on getting him to play more with his hands. So far, he only thinks that they're good for chewing on, but last night he had some good times with dad pressing this board that makes noise.

Despite the amazing amount of work that it takes, Charlie is a living, breathing testament to the human spirit. This is a child that they told me was "most likely brain dead." Now, the Hub and I have real faith that he may walk. There is simply no telling what a person will do--we are all an untold story and it would serve us well not to forget that.

If you're around during the weekend, please stop by--I'm stressing over the ole hallway and will be looking for opinions/advice.