Shortly after G was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy his doctors and therapists gradually started preparing us for possible/probable issues we would have to face. Surgery was one of those things. We were told that somewhere between 6 and 8 years old G would most likely need to have tendon lengthening surgery.
G has Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy. That means that he has significant increased muscle tone (tension) in both his legs and is also more mildly affected in his upper body. Typically muscles work in combination to provide mobility. One muscle group relaxes when another muscle group contracts. In G it doesn’t work that way. It is very difficult for him to isolate one muscle from all the others. The things our bodies do naturally without a thought are very difficult for G.
While Sweet G was still in his birth mother’s womb he sustained brain damage caused by lack of oxygen. Could all this have been avoided? In G’s case, yes, it absolutely could have been prevented. You see, his birth mother chose to let Sweet G pay for her own short lived pleasure with the cost of a lifetime of limitations and difficulties. Her pleasure became his lifelong struggle. She had no prenatal care and she chose drugs over the health and well being of her unborn child. Does this make me angry? Yes and no. Yes when I have seen him struggle with the most basic task I have been angry. When I cuddle him and realize that if she hadn’t been so self consumed I wouldn’t have him in my life now how can I be angry?
Sometimes I feel as selfish as his birth mother was. Could I give him up if it meant that he would not have CP? No, I most definitely wouldn’t. He has captivated me and has me totally under his spell. I would not want to see what my life would be like without him in it. He is the reason that I get up in the morning and most days he is the only person that can make me feel completely loved. His charisma is a poultice for my damaged soul. He possesses a contagious love for life that is not lost on even me in the deepest depth of my depression. He brings love and light to those around him even in the darkest times of our lives. His disability sets him apart and becomes an open door into the lives of countless people.
In late February or early March Sweet G will have his tendon lengthening surgery. They will make six rather small incisions in his legs. He will have his hamstrings, his hip adductors, and his heel cords (achilles tendons) all lengthened to accomodate for his growth and to release the contractures those muscles have developed. That is the bad news. The good news is that he will not require an additional hip surgery that many times comes along with the tendon lengthening.
The new year will bring many challenges to our family; surgery requiring six weeks of total leg casting followed by months of intensive physical therapy several times a week to strengthen the muscle weakness the surgery will leave him with. Things will be chaotic here for a while but we will survive it and be better because of the journey through it. I am getting better at trusting God without asking so many questions. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”