Today Emma had a new alphabet soup added to her already growing list... CP.
I called the cardiac surgeon to request (again) a copy of the MRI results from the brain scan Emma had done after her T&A back in June. We knew that there was 'something' but that it wasn't active and honestly were more worried about the surgery and getting her through that than the idea of brain damage or what that might mean for her.
I received the report in just a few minutes via e-mail and read through it. Though I couldn't make heads or tails of a lot of it, I understood a good portion and googled a few pieces as well. I put in a call to our pediatrician and offered to fax the paperwork to her when I picked up the kids at the church. In talking to the ped when she called me later on she suggested referral to the neurologist for follow up. I asked her thoughts on Cerebral Palsy and she said, it's brain damage in the white matter and this is what the report shows so yes, it's "likely" CP.
So, unofficially, we've been given a diagnosis of CP. It will probably be months before Emma sees the neurologist and gets any formal diagnosis where we're able to start figuring out why she has the brain damage or whether it's a condition that needs to be monitored that caused it.
There was some good news squeezed in though... the report clearly states that she does NOT have AAI or AOI which are the instabilities of the neck that we've been concerned about! And, she does NOT have a tethered cord which was another thing we were questioning to rule out.
The cause of the CP could be trauma from birth, could be TIA's ('mini strokes') caused by high blood pressure, could be full blown strokes, could be any number of things... and I have no idea how they would attempt find out how or why it happened... or if it might happen again.
She's still the same sweetheart we brought home to love forever, and we now know that the challenges she faces are not all just a result of her environment and nutrition in the orphanage. It means more obstacles for her to overcome in life, but knowing is a good thing.
Emma's alphabet letters are DS, AVSD or CAVC, PH, PFO, PDA, FTT, and now... CP
Down syndrome, AtrioVentricular Septal Defect (or Complete AV Canal), pulmonary hypertension, Patent Foramen Ovale (heart), Patent Ductus Arteriosis (heart), Failure To Thrive... Cerebral Palsy...
God has blessed us abundantly and we know this is another perfect piece of Emma that didn't have a name before today. Now that it has a name we can help her to overcome the difficulties it might bring her way. But He's never let us down before and we know He's holding us up even now.