Since I was never told that I had Cerebral Palsy it would always be up to me to try to put the pieces of the jigsaw together, through my experiences, consultations with one or two Neurologists and from obtaining copies of my childhood medical records.
Yesterday I was re-looking over my medical records so that I could gain a better insight into my medical history. I know from the correspondence between my Consultant and General Practitioner at the time, my Cerebral Palsy was brought on from a stroke around birth.
The MRI scan that I organised in my late 40’s, shows an old stroke in the distribution of the right anterior Cerebral Artery and there is extensive damage to the right Frontal Lobe and a part of the right Parietal Lobe. The Consultant confirmed these to be the cause of my early hemiplegia and persisting hemiparesis and why I was also slow to learn in school and this ties in with what I know about my learning difficulties.
Although I was originally diagnosed with Spastic Monoparesis at the age of 2, but never knew, I would later go on to find out in my 40’s that I had Spastic Hemiparesis, (two limbs) and a drop foot. I also have a tight Achilles tendon with a shortening of ¾” on my left side and muscle wasting on my left side, also.
Oddly there is a Spina Bifida diagnosis in my notes, but the initial diagnosis from the age of two, is Cerebral Palsy. There is also mention of Scoliosis being a secondary symptom arising from the difference in leg length. I remember thinking how curved my back was, but would constantly brush it off, as there was never any mention in any of my medical records, until I was diagnosed at the age of 25.
Although this blog seems a little bit of a mouthful, lots to think about and work through, I felt it important it got written. As an inquisitive child always looking for answers from family members, I felt it important and needed to know what was wrong with me. I’ll be doing another blog on the fuller picture of my symptoms in due course.
Whilst I have since come to understand why I was never told, this is something I will continue to live with for the rest of my life.