Today we had a cast put on Henry’s “good” arm to force him to use his “affected” arm. Constraint Induced Movement Therapy. He was ready for it, we had been talking about it for a couple of weeks before it happened. He understood that he’d get a cast and we’d let “lefty” rest while his “helper hand” worked for a little bit. We weren’t even out of the office before he said he was done and asked to have it taken off. Then he said something that just made me stop in my tracks… “Mama, it’s ok, I don’t want to be fixed.”
I’m certain we’ve never said anything about CIMT “fixing” his affected arm, but we’re not the only people in his life… whether it was from his teacher, or a grandparent or maybe even his sister, somewhere along the line someone associated CIMT with “fixing” him, and now I’m heartbroken that my little man thinks he’s broken. Or that he thinks I think that he’s not perfect just the way he is.
I’m walking that line again, balancing all of my baggage to the best of my ability. Now it’s weighing the treatment plan against my own insecurity that I’m screwing it all up. We’re dedicated to CIMT, to trying it, to giving it our all for the two weeks we’ve committed, but at what cost? I don’t want Henry to think that he needs fixing, that I don’t think he’s perfect just the way he is, but I also want him to be as capable as possible and I recognize that CIMT could improve his abilities long term. And somehow, I’m the mom, and it’s my decision to make. So, here I am. Fixing my son. Whether he likes it or not.
Article written by Beth. Beth is a mom of two, Charlotte (7) and Henry (3) in a small town in rural America. Henry had a stroke in utero and as a result has Cerebral Palsy and Right sided hemiplegia. Beth still regularly Googles how to correctly spell Cerebral Palsy. She would describe her parenting style as somewhere in between desperately hopeful and cautiously optimistic, and is tremendously excited to blog about her parenting adventure on CHASA.