After my birth, I stayed in the hospital for a few days longer than expected. My parents said it was just a precaution measure since my lungs didn’t open right away. After I went home, I was growing normally.
My parents said the hardest thing was feeding me. I was not sucking so my mom couldn’t breast feed me so she bought every nipple she could. Small nipples, big nipples, nipples with small holes, nipples with big holes. Nothing was working. Every time my mom took me to the doctor, she asked why can’t Chris suck? The doctor said the same thing which was Chris is developing slow so don’t worry.
One of my cousins, Brian, is just three weeks younger than me. Between nine and twelve months, Brian was starting to crawl and push up. During that period of time, I was not holding my head up. This worried my parents a lot. If you were in this similar situation, you would say what the heck is going on with my son?
The next time my mom took me to the doctor, she wanted some answers. She laid me on the table and the doctor checked me out. After he checked me out, he asked if she and dad could meet him in his office the following evening. She said sure.
Imagine how difficult it was to wait over 24 hours to find out what is wrong with your baby boy. That night must have been torture in sleeping. What is wrong with our son must have ran through their minds all night long. Dad had to work all day long with this worry on his mind. I can’t imagine the agony they were going through.
Finally Learned About My CP
It was the time to finally see the doctor. The doctor said that I had Cerebral Palsy and advised them to take me to a specialist to take more tests on me. So on the way home, mom started to cry. If you don’t know my dad, he dropped out of high school and what the doctor told them didn’t register in his head. He asked mom why was she crying. She said Chris has Cerebral Palsy. His following comment was so, Chris will be OK. Right? He had no idea of what he was saying.
A World Known Pathologist
My parents took me to many doctors and I want to talk about one of them because he turned our lives up side down within a few seconds. He worked at Northwestern in Chicago and was a world known speech pathologist. Where I was on the floor, he looked at me and said that Chris will never talk. He didn’t say Chris may never talk or have a slim chance of talking.
Imagine how my parents felt like when he said that. What my parents have told me was that he walked in, looked at me, said that I would never talk, and walked out. His assistants handled the rest of the visits. But, he was right. I never could talk.
How would you handle this shocking news? I bet you would say this doctor does not know what he is saying. I think my dad didn’t believe him. I remember one story that my parents told me. One visit at Northwestern, they had me to point to different pictures while I was laying on the floor. My mom was watching through a one-way window. She knew I was trying to point to the right picture, but they didn’t understand me. After the session, she told them what she was seeing. Basically, they thought that my mom could not handle that I was disabled and I was not smart.
Looking at my Records
When I was in high school, the law was changed to allow parents to look at their child’s records. My parents looked at my records and saw a report from Northwestern. It said Mrs. Lenart needs some counseling because she is not dealing well with Chris’ Cerebral Palsy. As this series goes on, you will see that she was handling my Cerebral Palsy very well. They were narrow-minded and could not look past what their text books said. To me, that is very sad.