Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.
Friday, September 14, 2007
The End of Another Diagnosis Journey
Today was Gracie's initial physiatrist appointment. For those of you who don't know, a physiatrist is a physical medicine doctor. Gracie was referred to the physical medicine doctor by her neurologist. Her neurologist felt that none of her symptoms were indicative of a neurological disorder but did feel they should be monitored by a physical medicine doctor to ensure that the most appropriate approach is being taken for her orthopaedic needs.
Gracie's physiatrist was very kind and listened very well. The end result today was a diagnosis of mild CP, or mild cerebral palsy. We will follow up with her physiatrist twice a year from here on out, but other than that, he does not have any recommendations. Her doctor told us that her CP qualifies as a movement disorder based upon hypotonia (low muscle tone) combined with joint laxity.
Gracie has progressed so far and gained so much strength, especially on her right side, since beginning physical therapy. Her physical therapy, as of today, will be discontinued, because of that fact. We will continue to use her Theratogs for up to three years, and as she grows the type of ankle and foot brace she uses will change to fit her needs.
Cerebral Palsy sounds like such a big thing, such a big terrible thing. For some people it really is, but for Gracie, it isn't. CP is the name for all of the muscle and joint oddities in her we've observed since birth. And really, most aren't very noticeable anymore. Nothing changes for her because of this diagnosis, except for an availability of more services should she need them.
A small part of me wants to shed a tear or two today. But then, an even bigger part of me feels that would be foolish. I pushed for a diagnosis because I knew, in my heart, that there was a diagnosis that fit her. I knew that everything put together had a name. And I was right. That name is cerebral palsy. And nothing, nothing much, changes because of it.