Richard Tocci

Richard Tocci
Just when you thought it was safe, I show up...

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hayden's Challenge

Today we confirmed that our youngest son, Hayden, as spastic cerebral palsey. It explains his slow development in all aspects.

My wife and I visited a pediatric neurologist in Austin to investigate the problem. As you know, he's 14 months old now, and is not yet crawling, and walking has not even been attempted.

He went through an MRI, which is the only way to find cerebral palsey. Children have to be sedated for this procedure because they need to be still on their own, and in a toddler, that's impossible. It was a very strange thing, seeing Hayden lying on the MRI table, completely knocked out with the mobility of a ragdoll. It was the calmest we ever saw the boy. The sedative was chloral hydrate and it knocked him out in less than 5 minutes. The MRI took about 45 minutes to complete.

After the procedure we had to wake him up. On top of the fact that he had to fast to get this procedure done, we were relatively mean. We tried tickling him, carefully moving him, but none of that worked. One of the MRI nurses broke out an instant cold pack, and that did it. One well placed cold pack on Hayden's back woke him up, complaining in a drugged state. He was still in a sedated state several hours later, and we are told he should sleep VERY well tonight.

So now we know what's wrong with him, but the prognosis is excellent. He is cognitive -- he responds to stimuli very well, such as his name, to tickling, to playing, etc -- and his physical skill has increased since beginning physical therapy several months ago. The condition is NOT degenerative, which we are extremely thankful for. This means his condition will NOT erode and get worse over time, and he has an excellent outlook for a normal life. We may have an issue with seizures, but both my wife and I are experienced with handling seizures.

Hayden's Challenge is to live his life, and with his parents help, deal with this setback positively. Now we know what to expect and can do what's best to help him.

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