Yesterday, Friday, I found myself giving a lecture on different types of cerebral palsy. I have said that defining cp is usually not simple , especially around here as it does not yet have a local language definition. Thus when someone wants to know about cp, and that someone is not “schooled” enough that you could easily run away by saying “just put it in google”, you have to do some explanations. For me, I usually find myself using imageries. It is often easier if the person being “educated/informed” is in the CpCenter. So it was when Mr G came visiting yesterday, Friday.
P, whose child I talked of here had visited on Thursday. She came to request that she brings her son daily to the center. She used to take him to a day care center close to her office, it was very convinient, the owner was kind enough to accept him as they usually do not. She says, and I agree that the son, B, needs more than what a regular day care offers. At India, she was given a series of activities to help the child achieve some functions including some activities for “eye rehabilitation” to be done a number of times daily at regular intervals. She has to work. So, she asked; could she bring the child daily to us and teach us his activities? Why not, bring him over. The other issue was transportation. She lives a bit far from the center, at Yaba, works in Ogudu and the husband works in Lagos. To bring the child over daily here before going to work means she will be late daily and that would be giving credence to people in her office who already is questioning her ability to handle her job efficiently with a child with disability. We decided that it may be better if we engage the services of a taxi driver, the child will be accompanied by her nephew that lives with them. I remembered a taxi driver, Mr G who assisted Ziim and I one day we were stranded and had since became our friend. Whenever someone I know needs a taxi, I usually call him. He drives one of these new taxis. I told her I will talk with Mr G and get back to her. I called Mr G, he said he would come to the center.
Friday started on a bit worrisome note for me. I had woken up a bit late, about 5a.m, I was contemplating whether to skip Ziim’s therapy or not, there was so much in my mind, all the things I needed to still do for the event, I need to follow up on a number of things. I was lying beside Ziim and feeling guilty that I was thinking of not doing her exercises, then I heard her breathing fast. First I was not sure I heard a change in the sound of her breathing. I listened hard, felt for my phone to use as touch light. Haba, you know that there is no electricity, is it only in my area that those power holders have been holding electricity for heavens knows how long. Oh, distraction. Anyway, I watched my daughter and noticed that her eyes were open, but she was not seeing me, one eye was dancing and that side of her moth was moving too, her breathing was fast. Now my lamp was on, yes I have a solar lamp. I put her properly on her right side for it was the left that was doing the movement. I call her, Ziim, Ziim baby, Ziim O, she was not with me. I noted one jerk on the arm, she is going into grand mal, I made for my bullet. I had removed her diaper when she woke up at about 3a.m and I put her on the potty to wee. So I just pulled down her jammy ( that’s what my American niece and nephew call pynjamas) and put in the
bullet rectal diaziparm and attacked the silly siezure. Of course that deleted anything that would take me out of the center that day.
We got to the center about 9.45a.m, she was still feeling woozy woozy from the effect of the diaziparm, and I had given her the morning dose of her epilim, which inretrospect I should have skipped, anyway, I put her on the mat and told the staff to just let her be. I went into my office and was just wondering what could have triggered off the siezure, then my mind went to P and her son and I remembered that I have not heard from the taxi driver. I called him and he said he had a problem the previous day that’s why he did not come, but he was on his way. Shortly after, he was at the center.
He came in; Happy new year my sister. haba Mr G, how I go be your sister, you don forget us, see you never call us since the year. No be sooo, I dey think of una, how my baby. She is fine, she is in there in the therapy room. Aunty Nonye, it is true that I think of you people, it is just that there has been so much going on with me. Yesterday, there was this program on the radio, they were talking of autism and I remembered you and your daughter. That is the thing that she has abi? I even told a friend that I know a child with autism. But Ziim does not have autism, I said to him. Hmm. that thing wey dey do am, no bi autism? No Mr G, autism is different, what Ziim has is cerebral palsy. Sho, no be the same thing? Not really, but in a way, you could say they are as they are all developmental disabilities. He tried to process that. But wetin be the difference? I made an effort to explain, cp’s main (physical/visual) difference is the muscle issues which make the child often not to do things like “carry the head” use the hand, sit unsupported etc. but autism is not like that. I tried to explain autism, its manifestations, child’s inability to learn social skills, often may not develop speech etc. He tries to process that. I took him to the therapy room, “showed” him cp in some of its different variaties albeit not exhaustive.
As I explained, he said, somehow in frustration; why daes God allow such children? Couldn’t he just have healed them or not send allow them at all. Hm.. Mr G, if He does that, then He won’t be God. How? All children with disabilities, whether autism, downs syndrom, cerebral palsy etc are angels. Now what do angels do? There are different types, guadian angels, archangels, those that bear message e.g archangel Rapheal, those that defend us e.g archangel Micheal.. all types. Now when God wants to send a message to someone, depending on the type, He knows exactly which angel to send. Take for instance, when He needed to send a message on nativity of His son, He knew that such a message could not be borne by a man, that even if He sent a man, such a massage may be difficult if not impossible to believe, so He sent an angel. Look through the holy book, examples abound, so He still does the samething today. Depending on the message He wants delivered and to whom He wants it delivered to, He sends the type of angel that will most appropriately deliver the message. But all are usually special messages, borne by special angels delivered to special parents all over the world. Of course you know that the message borne by an angel, though delivered to an individual, directly affects the person it is delivered to, but invariable affects a large number of people.
So see all children with disabilities as different types of angels bearing different messages for the mankind through individuals, did I add special individuals? An angel could actually perform different fuctions or bring different messages to a person on different days. Hm?? Yes, take angel Ziim, some days she carries a message of love, some PATIENCE, some “mummy slow down, some Hope etc..
What message is your angel bearing today? I better go see what mine has, she is sitting there on the potty right now. Meanwhile see her pics earlier in the day.