Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Diagnosis Day?

Happy Diagnosis Day?  I am typically a fan of celebrating every inch stone, milestone, Sonzee-stone, what have you, so it only seems fitting to somehow adorn our house with balloons and give thanks to CDKL5 being placed into our lives two years ago today.  Since I am not quite ready for that after only two years, I suppose the all-out celebration will have to be placed on a brief hold and reconsidered next year (or the year after?).  Regardless, today marks an important day in our family's life, and so today I am going to explain to every person who reads this blog post and for those of you who share the information written on this blog that CDKL5 does NOT mean your child has a worthless, unmeaningful, depressing, insert any negative connotation type of life.

CDKL5 has brought many challenges for Sonzee and our family.  The diagnosis made our worst fears become a reality in a matter of seconds.  However, two years in and our daughter is still alive and has not given up, so we will not either.  There are many people who pity the life that Sonzee lives.  There are those who decide that her quality of life is not "quality".  There are those who think she would be or that we would be better off without her here.  Yes, having a CDKL5 mutation is not ideal, no, I would never have chosen for my child to have a CDKL5 mutation, but this is how she was given to us and we love her the way she is.  She may be a little girl trapped inside her body, but she is smart and she is aware and she knows what is going on (it only takes one minute of actually being present with her to know all of this).

I pity people who think that having a disability defines a person.  I actually despise people who think that because a child is nonverbal that means they have no idea what is going on.  I feel sorry for people who do not take the time to get to know the child and learn to communicate with them in a different manner.  Every person has a story to tell and it may not be told verbally, and if you do not give a person the chance to tell it in his/her own way, that is not reflective of their cognitive capabilities.  If you meet a child or a person with CDKL5 I challenge you to spend time really getting to know him/her, not just petting their heads, or looking through their eyes.  I promise you will see the light in their eyes and their individual personality shine through, along with their obvious likes and dislikes made abundantly clear.

Having a CDKL5 diagnosis for Sonzee did not give us the answers we wanted, it did not give us closure and it did not give us any specific path to take.  It continues to give us speedbumps, hurdles, and roadblocks that we must creatively maneuver around.  It brings many nights of tears and a lifetime of fears as a parent.  CDKL5 means a life of challenges for Sonzee and a life of defending her capabilities to others who are too blind and closeminded to see them.  CDKL5 has given me various new perspectives, many great friendships, and an extended family that I will forever be grateful for. 

After only two years, the diagnosis is still too raw for me to embrace with open arms, but the strength, perseverance, and bearlike qualities it has given to Sonzee and honestly every other person in our immediate family is helping me to accept it a little more every day.  

So... I guess happy CDKL5 diagnosis day?

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