The past few days have been tough on Olivia. Reflux pain, vomiting and many sleepless nights has drained her completely. We never see these flare ups coming and when they do, it could be a day or days before she is over it. Craig and I will take turns, sleeping with her to make sure she doesn’t choke from vomiting in her sleep, positioning her throughout the night to lessen the pain and giving her meds around the clock, hoping to relieve some of the pain she’s feeling.
One of the many linked conditions to Cerebral Palsy is poor digestion. Because CP affects all muscle function and control, the digestive system which is made up of soft muscle tissue is highly affected; leaving Olivia with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other issues surrounding her entire digestive system.
It’s during times like this I wish it were possible to switch places with her. It kills me watching her go through this.
Medications offer little relief; instead excessive vomiting caused by mucus from her nasal passages that pools into her throat and chest, continue this unending vomit cycle. When I see her go through all of this I can’t help but wonder, will she ever know what a pain free day is like?
And yet, despite it all, she still smiles and although completely exhausted, wants to play! She is a child who was born never knowing a life without pain and discomfort. Her tenacious spirit serves her well; pushing through the hellishness of this condition and striving to be a kid.
With everything this little munchkin has endured in her five years, she keeps persevering. Sitting here rocking her in my lap, listening to her finally sleeping peacefully, and tears in my eyes; I know that tomorrow could be a better day. I know that despite these last few difficult, completely exhausting days; it won’t last forever. The medications will eventually begin to work and Olivia will be her vibrant, happy and funny self again, but I do know there will be more days like this that lie ahead. So try as I may to search for positivity in this moment, the harsh reality is Cerebral Palsy will continue to wage war on my daughter. We will make it through this battle, but there will be more to fight in the days, months and years to come.