Tomorrow My Daughter Gets Labelled With Cerebral Palsy
Tomorrow my daughter gets a label. My girl is going to get labelled as having cerebral palsy (CP).
This is not a surprise to us. These two words have been in my head ever since a developmental pediatrician finally said it looked like she had CP. This was after I said in frustration that no one had told us a reason our baby girl wasn’t walking or pulling up or sitting like other 18-month-olds. We still didn’t know why, even after she was in physiotherapy and being monitored regularly. When the doctor said CP, I felt like someone punched me in the gut. Even though these words have been with me since that appointment with the pediatrician last year, it won’t stop the gut wrenching feeling when I hear our family doctor tomorrow confirm the MRI results and say she has cerebral palsy.
I worry this label will hurt her. I worry people will think of her as the girl with the leg braces or “that girl with CP.” I worry this label could prevent her from taking risks, having opportunities, feeling included and just being happy. I worry this label will hurt her self-esteem. I worry she will hate shopping for shoes or going to dances. I worry she won’t feel like she is enough. I worry she will become CP.
But when I really take a step back and look at my daughter and think of everything she has overcome in such a short amount of time, I have to remind myself I shouldn’t worry so much. My daughter is able to walk. She learned to walk with orthotics (AFOs) and now has the ability to walk without them. She has had multiple and painful injections into her legs to help with her tightness and was a lot braver then her Mommy for those needles. My daughter rocks an eye patch and recovered after eye surgery like a champ. My daughter looks out for her baby brother and showers him with love every day. My daughter’s laugh is so adorable and infectious I want it as my ring tone so the whole world can hear the pure joy in her giggle when someone calls. My daughter’s smile lights up a room. My daughter’s imagination is incredible. When my daughter tells me “thank you” or out of nowhere that she loves me, it melts my heart and warms my soul.
My daughter is more than cerebral palsy. When we get that diagnosis tomorrow, it means cerebral palsy is something that is part of my daughter but it is not who she is.
She is amazing.
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