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Hidden Treasure

October 1, 2010

Hair Salons

 “When the doctor gave us the news that our son would suffer seizures and have a learning disorder, we started to sob. Through the tears, my husband told me we were not going to give up on him. At that time, hope was all we had.”

The impact of dealing with Anderson’s cerebral palsy was very hard for Carol. “My son is spastic quadriplegic,” she said, “which means all four limbs are affected. Anderson is unable to walk or do anything for himself.  He also has to be fed intravenously.”   

Sometimes, she didn’t know how she would persevere.  “I grieved, at first, like a person grieves for a person who has died. I was just not prepared… for the first years of his life. I couldn’t understand it. My life was at a stand still. I would envy my friends’ children whenever I would go around them because my child never did the things their kids did.” 

After her son’s birth, Carol quit her full-time job in favor of full-time motherhood.  She kept teaching fitness because it helped her cope with her life with her son.

 “Occupational, speech, and physical therapists visited us daily, then three to four times a week.” The tears began to flow from the memory of those early days.  “I’m sorry,” she said, dabbing her eyes. “I still get a little emotional when I think about it.”  Taking a moment to gather her composure, she continued. “It was very hard to bond with my son. I mean, he never smiled at me.  He never gave me any eye contact, so I didn’t smile or give him any eye contact.” Carol recalls that she actually cried every day for a year. “I can remember one day calling my son’s nurse and I was crying. She told me I could continue crying or pull up my boot straps and help my son have a good quality life.” “Treat him normal as if nothing ever happened.”

Carol decided she would dry up the tears, keep hope alive, and do something to help her son. “In spite of the sadness, and hurt inside, I started smiling at my son and giving him eye contact and he started smiling and giving me eye contact. My son’s doctor told me the reason he didn’t smile or give me eye contact is because I never did it first. Children normally emulate their parents.” 


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