Friday, June 10, 2011

Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy Update

Right arm Brachial Plexus injury
A couple of months ago our soccer coach, who is also our Physical Therapist, told me he noticed that Tater Tot's arm (the right one) was drawing in a little more lately.  Our coach, Jeff, always works with TT during soccer and he said it looked as if his elbow was getting stuck in the joint, not allowing him to straighten it as much as he could.  

See, my son can't straighten his arm.  It stays in the slightly bent position due to nerve damage to his shoulder (brachial plexus) caused by a birth injury.

This nerve damage caused my baby to be paralyzed at birth and begin a heartbreaking journey for us. 

His right arm was completely dead with no movement from damage to the nerves running from his spinal cord during the birth process.  He was born cupping his face, which resulted in his being stuck in the birth canal.  It was an emergency situation and we both are lucky to be alive today.

At 5 months old, he was put on a prayer chain and in an absolute miracle, raised his arm the next morning.  You can read about it here.

Anyway, after the soccer coach mentioned this slight difference in Tator, we made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor that looked at him during the sports physicals at school.

We went to see the doctor yesterday and he told us that the radial bone in his forearm was not aligned with the ball of his elbow (I hope I explained that right).  He mentioned that there is a new pediatric orthopedist that's coming to Tulsa in the next couple of months and he would be a great doctor to see for TT.  He said there might be a tendon release surgery that could be performed on TT's arm and it might release those tight tendons, allowing him to straighten his arm more.   I looked at TT when he was saying this and he was trying not to look worried, but I knew he was.  He was having a hard time in the car when we left the appointment. 

Tater Tot turned to me and said, "My arm will never be better."

That broke my heart for him.  You a mother...all I've ever wanted is for him to never feel pain, suffering or any anguish from this injury.  At 12 though, Tater Tot is starting to really figure out what's going on with his arm and that makes me so sad.  Granted, I'm so thankful that he has as much movement as he currently does, but I still hurt for him. 

We'll start intensive physical therapy in the next week or so and then see the new pediatric orthopedist at the end of the summer to see what they can do for Tater's arm.  I honestly just hope and pray that the therapy helps and he doesn't have to have surgery.  That is my prayer for this summer.  I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner Blog in hopes that people will pray for my sweet son.  We could really use it right now.


AMY J said...

My teenager is going through this EXACT same thing. She is 16 now and it is her right arm too. She too had the same injury at birth. I can say that this hasn't really limited her in life, but she is doing intensive PT now and has seen progress. Contact me if you want to chat about it!

The 5 C's said...

Lots of hugs to your TT. I'm an adult with LOBPI & I understand his feelings. They'll never go away. Let him know that it's ok to feel that way but to also use those feelings to his advantage to be strong & prevail through all struggles.

dione woods said...

Hi, I am a mother of a girl with LOBPI. I am trying to join this site and/or chat with you guys but I'm having a hard time getting in. My email is maybe someone can advise me. Thanks.

dione woods said...

I too have a daughter with LOBPI. I would like to join your group