Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive, developmental physical disability. CP is caused by damage to a baby's developing brain, either before, during or shortly after birth. This damage may be due to infection, sustained injury or a flawed process in the brain's development. In many cases, the cause of the damage is unknown.
CP is described as a physical impairment involving limitation or loss of function and mobility in the body affected by damage to the brain.
Cerebral refers to the brain, and palsy refers to weakness or lack of muscle control leading to altered movement patterns and posture. For people with CP, the damage can affect one or several motor control parts in the brain. Other areas can be impacted, causing additional disabilities such as impairments in learning, vision, hearing, speech, or epilepsy.
My form of CP is called Spastic Quadriplegia. This means that my bodily movements (including in both my arms and legs) are reduced due to muscle spasticity, which in my case causes increased stiffness.
This makes it difficult for me to move my limbs or speak. Specifically, the right side of my body is impacted more than the left, meaning the left side of my brain sustained more damage.
Further, I have a curved spine, a condition called scoliosis caused by one side of my body being significantly tighter than the other.
In 2010 I began experiencing pain in my right shoulder due to muscle spasticity, so I decided to get a implanted. A baclofen pump stops the pain by releasing baclofen very slowly and consistently into my bloodstream. It has other benefits; for instance, my legs no longer stiffen up and kick out when I experience heightened emotions.