In the name of Allah; the entirely merciful; the especially merciful - بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Cerebral Palsy

In the name of Allah; the Merciful; the Compassionate - بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you - السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Taken from here.

Cerebral Palsy

If your baby has trouble learning to roll over, sit, crawl or walk, see your pediatrician. Delays in development and problems controlling movement or posture may be early signs of cerebral palsy (CP), a group of chronic disorders that stem from abnormalities or damage to the brain.

Cerebral palsy begins before, during, or after birth in the first years of life. Premature babies and others with low birth weight are at greater risk for it. Infection, head injury and other factors can cause CP, but most of the time no one knows why it happens.


Doctors may use physical examination, medical history and diagnostic imaging tools to determine if your child has cerebral palsy.

Physical Examination

The doctor evaluates your child's muscle tone and reflexes and may want to watch him or her walk, crawl, sit and lie down. Sometimes if the child is less than one year old, the doctor may want to wait a few months and see if specific problems with movement start to happen. The doctor may also check for other conditions linked to CP (i.e., mental impairment, seizures, vision problems, etc.)

Medical History

Give the doctor your child's complete medical history. This helps rule out other disorders that can cause movement problems (i.e., genetic or muscle diseases, metabolism disorders and tumors of the nervous system).

Diagnostic Imaging Tools

The doctor may want to use a specialized test know as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to see a picture of your child's brain. There is no specific blood test or imaging study that can make the diagnosis of cerebral palsy.


Cerebral palsy affects the central nervous system and changes the tone of muscles. It takes mild, moderate and severe forms and generally does not get progressively worse. Symptoms vary and may include:

* Tight muscles (increased tone), causing spasms and rigidity.
* Loose muscles (low tone), making limbs weak and floppy.
* Impaired reflexes, coordination and balance.

Some people with CP also have mental impairment (i.e., retardation or learning disabilities); seizures; vision difficulties; shortened limbs; curvature of the spine (scoliosis); dental problems; complete or partial hearing loss; or problems with joints (i.e., contracture). There is no cure for CP, but with early treatment, most children improve their capabilities significantly.

When a child is about 2 years old, the doctor may be able to diagnose the type of CP he or she has. There are four main types:

* Spastic:
In spastic CP, the most common form, there is increased muscle tone/tightness. Legs, arms and back are stiff and contracted, making movement difficult. If both legs are affected (spastic diplegia), tight muscles in the hips and legs cause legs to turn inward and cross at the knees when walking. If only one side of the body is affected (spastic hemiplegia), the arm is often more severely affected than the leg. If all four limbs and the trunk are affected (spastic quadriplegia or total body involved), the muscles of the mouth and tongue may also be affected.
* Athetoid:
(dyskinetic): In athetoid CP there is low muscle tone/looseness, leading to uncontrolled movements of the entire body. It may be difficult to sit straight or walk.
* Ataxic:
A rare form, ataxic CP affects balance and depth perception. There is poor coordination, unsteady walking and difficulty with precise movements such as using a pen or buttoning a shirt.
* Mixed:
In mixed CP, there are symptoms of both spastic and athetoid CP. Some muscles are tight and others are loose. There is both stiffness and involuntary movements.


Sometimes people with cerebral palsy need help from their families throughout their lives. If your child has CP, you may want to work with a treatment team of health care professionals to identify and meet the child's individual needs. The goal is to help your child reach his or her potential and maximize independence. Treatment teams often include:

* Orthopaedic surgeons to treat problems with bones, muscles, tendons, nerves or joints.
* Physical therapists to improve movement and strength.
* Occupational therapists to teach skills required for daily living (i.e., eating and dressing).
* Speech and language specialists to treat communication problems.
* Social workers to help locate community assistance and education programs.
* Psychologists to help patients and families cope with stress and/or behavioral therapists to foster social and emotional development.
* Other medical specialists such as eye doctors, neurologists and nutritionists.

Nonsurgical Treatment

* Physical therapy.
Physical therapy (PT) may begin immediately after diagnosis to help your child learn skills like sitting, walking or using a wheelchair. It may also help improve muscle strength, balance and coordination; and prevent muscles from shortening. Stretching muscles may help prevent contracture. Sometimes PT may involve activities like swimming and horseback riding to tone muscles.
* Braces, splints, and casts.
Using braces, splints or casts may improve joint mobility and stability, prevent contracture and improve hand or leg function. Braces can compensate for muscle imbalance.
* Botox.
This drug can be injected into spastic muscles to loosen them up. It is especially helpful in children younger than 5 and when used together with casting.
* Medications.
Medications may control or prevent seizures or muscle spasms, ease muscle stiffness or reduce abnormal movements.
* Mechanical aids.
Special machines like computerized communication devices or simple aids like velcro-fastened shoes or crutches may help a child overcome impairments.

Coping Strategies

Parents of children with cerebral palsy or other disabilities often feel guilt and/or grief about the child's condition. Some tips to help parents cope:

* Learn all you can about CP. You may want to join a family support group or get help from professionals. Stay informed about new treatments and technologies.
* Work with professionals at your child's school to develop an individualized plan that meets his or her needs and abilities.
* Love and encourage your child. Family support and personal determination are important factors in achieving long term goals. Treat your child like a normal kid. Go places and have fun. Be patient, and keep hoping for improvement.
* Get help from family and friends. Caring for a child with CP is hard work. Teach others how to do it so you can take breaks.

Surgical Treatment

If contractures are severe, a child with CP may need surgery to lengthen affected muscles. Surgery may also help if tightly contracted muscles cause stress to joints and lead to deformities or dislocations. Some children with CP need surgery to correctly position their arms or legs, or to correct curvature of the spine. Other surgical options for spasticity management include selective dorsal rhizotomy and intrathecal baclofen pumps. These procedures are usually done by neurosurgeons.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Muja needs soft tissue surgery for her dislocated hips.

In the name of Allah; the Merciful; the Compassionate - بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you - السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

On Wednesday I took Muja to PMH to see an orthopedic to review her dislocating hips as a result of her tight and stiff muscles. Previously in the hips surveillance clinic she attended on March showed that her right hip migrated to 38%, while her left hip was stable at 28%. Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal - Praise be to Allah in all circumstances.

The muscles of people with Cerebral Plasy like Muja can be so stiff or tight. Muja has Spastic cerebral palsy. Spasticity means stiffness or tightness of muscles. The muscles are stiff because the message to the muscles is sent incorrectly through the damaged part of the brain.

When people without cerebral palsy perform a movement, some groups of muscles become tighter and some groups of muscles relax. In people with spastic cerebral palsy, both groups of muscles may become tighter. This makes movement difficult or even impossible and also pull her femur away from its hips sockets.

Muja receives Botox injection which is a therapeutic muscle-relaxing agent that reduces the rigidity of muscles or unwanted spasms in her hamstring and abductor muscles. It begins to take effect by blocking transmission between the nerves and the affected muscles. Usually it's effect last for four months.

The injection stops the signal between the nerve and the muscle, relaxing the muscle and reducing stiffness. Botox only affects the muscles that are injected and once the muscles are relaxed, therapists are able to stretch the muscles and stimulate normal growth.

Masha Allah, apparently the tightness of her muscle is so severe even Botox injection could not prevent her hips from dislocation and pain.

I was praying that Muja won't need any surgery to fix her dislocated hips. I was hoping that there is other option than surgery. I was shocked when the doctor mentioned about hips reposition surgery. Not another surgery for Muja. Allahu Akbar! There is no power and no strength except with Allah.

Muja had her hips x-ray again. Alhamdulillah her hips was the same like the one she had on March. Her right hip migration is still at 38%. Alhamdulillah it does not get worse. After looking at the new x-ray the doctors were discussing whether to do the hips surgery or not. Alhamdulillah, there is another way which sound less painful and concern or dread. Instead of doing hips surgery, it will be soft tissues surgery. The aim of this surgery is to reduce subluxation/dislocation and to relieve pain, improve symmetry and aid management.

So what is soft tissues surgery? Alhamdulillah, the procedure does not require cutting into the hip. The surgeon makes an incision and cuts tight tendons to help increase the hip's mobility. The hip is then externally manipulated to bring the head of the femur back into the acetabulum(The cup-shaped hollow in the hipbone into which the head of the femur fits to form a ball-and-socket joint).

A spica cast is applied to stabilize the hip. The spica cast prevent the joint from moving and allows the bones and tendons to heal. The cast is made out of plaster or fiberglass and usually has a cotton liner for comfort.

After the operation the pain and spasm were managed by intravenous midazolam and epidural anaesthesia for two to four days. At six weeks, the spica cast will be removed. Then continued to have daily community physiotherapy for one month.

I am worrying about how I am going to manage her in that spica cast. I have looked at the image online and its not comfortable at all. How am I going to carry her around? Will she be comfortable with that? How about nappy change? What position will she be in when sleeping and sitting?

I guess I have too much concern about this surgery because I don't know what to expect. I don't know what to do except asking Allah to guide me. Poor my child. She just had her PEG surgery last month and now she need soft tissues surgery. Insha Allah more decision to make and more istikharah prayer to perform but hopefully no stress for me. I pray to Allah to guide me in making the best decision for Muja beneficial.

May Allah help us, Ameen. Please make doa for us.

References: Bilateral hip surgery in severe cerebral palsy

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Are you intending to perform Hajj this year?

In the name of Allah; the Merciful; the Compassionate - بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you - السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Now is a great time to decide or make intention, if you haven't, whether you want to perform Hajj this year. I would like to encourage young Muslims especially to please consider this if not now but in the near future while you are still young and have change to live in this world before our age come to the end.

Alhamdulillah, Hajj is the best thing that happened in my life and I hope I could share my amazing experience with you. Insha Allah, maybe in the near future, I will write an entry about my hajj experience.

I am giving the links here to the experiences of sisters and brothers who had perform their Hajj previously to motivate and inspire those who are not performing their Hajj yet. Masha Allah they are beautiful life journeys and great to read.

Before I went to Hajj in 1429H/2007 I read a beautiful journey of a brother who live in Scotland, Masha Allah. You could read it through the link I posted here. I learnt a lot from his experience, Alhamdulillah.

Recently I found another motivation post on Hajj by Sister Zabrina, My Hajj Journey 1429H/2008 in her blog ~ Life Storyteller : Motivational and Inspirational Stories for You and Me ~ What I like about this post is that there are hundreds of pictures of Hajj which she took when she performs her Hajj. Looking at those pictures brings back my Hajj memory.

I wish I could write better like this sister so I could write my Hajj Journey. I just love hearing and reading about other Muslims Hajj experience. It gives me a boost and goose bumps. My Hajj Experience are written by Mujrimah in her blog Tea & a Think
Part 1,
Part 2,
Part 3,
Part 4,
Part 5,
Part 6,
Part 7,
Part 8,
Concluding Remarks

Here is more Hajj life journey written by The Imam's Daughter MY HAJJ 2003 JOURNAL

Monday, 15 June 2009

Muja and her wheelchair restraints system

Muja is ready to go out.

Remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about finding a restraints system for Muja's wheelchair. Alhamdulillah, we managed to get enough fund to install it into the van with the support of friends and loved ones. I am so grateful to Allah. Muja's father and I decided to install the AMF Bruns Protektor Restraints System into our vehicle.

Alhmdulillah getting Muja in the van is not so hustle and bustle any more. There are some minor things though like pushing and pulling the wheelchair through a ramp, in and out of the van, folding the ramps and not to mention the buckling up of the safety belts.

Pushing Muja into the van through a fold able ramp.

Muja is almost into the van. Just have to push a little bit harder.

Can you believe how many restrains there are? Let's count them together. When Muja on her wheelchair there are six belts to support and control her sitting. There are two pelvic straps, a tight belt and a chest strap with two shoulder straps. There are two safety belts to hold her custom made seat to the base of her fold able wheelchair base. There are four restrains to hold the wheelchair into the van. Last but not lease a lap belt to restrain Muja and the wheelchair into the van. If you are the best in Mathematics you could have count the total of thirteen belts to restrains Muja while she is travelling in her vehicle. WOW. Masha Allah.

Restraints for Muja's wheelchair. Making sure they are secure.

Now can you imagine what a hard time I have to go through each time to take Muja out? Some times it makes me think twice to take her out. Not because I feel ashamed or something else like that, it's because of the hustle and bustle. But then sometime I don't have a choice, I have to do it for her benefit like taking her out for treatments and school. I don't believe in hiding my child at home. I love to take her out so that people can see that having a disability child is not too bad or something that is to be ashamed of. It is part of every one's normal life but mine is just a little bit of challenge, alhamdulillah.

Muja in the van ready and looking outside. She looks happy to go out.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Making calendula lotion for psoriasis.

I went to see my doctor yesterday and she noticed marks on my skin. She asked me what that was. I told her that I was itchy so I scratched. That leaves quite a few spotted marks. She suspected that it was bugs bite and not a skin disease, psoriasis, and asked me to show her senior doctor for advised. Alhamdulillah when he looked at them, he said it is psoriasis. My doctor prescribed Cortisone for it.

What make my psoriasis come back? Maybe stress? Lately I have been in a lot of pressure of decision making. That make's me stress a bit I guess. Then I remember maybe by using perfumes and commercial soaps caused it to come back. I also use perfume when I make my own shampoo and conditioner recently, instead of using essential oils. Now I remember. I am sure those chemicals in the perfume irritate and cause allergic reaction to my skin.

Alhamdulillah I take homeopathic Silica 6c. I also take Apis 6c for the skin inflammation and it helped stop me from scratching.

I have psoriasis since I was young. Six years ago my psoriasis was gone after I stopped using commercial body care and made my own body care from natural raw ingredients. It has been awhile since I got psoriasis. You know what I think? I think it is time for me to make a special lotion for psoriasis.

Here I am in my kitchen's lab, finding the ingredients for making calendula lotion especially for my psoriasis. One by one I took the ingredients out of my lab's cupboard, the calendula infused oil (relief irritation, healing wound), rosehip oil (rejuvenate skin), avocado oil (emollient), wheatgerm oil (sooth irritated skin), emulsifying wax, vegetable glycerine, preservative, vitamin E (nourish skin), essential oils and rosemary extract (anti-oxidant).

I measured the ingredients and put the oil mixture in a Pyrex measuring jug, and the water mixture in another jug. I heat the oil and water mixture in the microwave. Then I mixed the oil into the water using a stick blender. I blended it a few times until it got thick. Then I added preservative, vitamin E and essential oils. I used Lavender, Tea Tree, Sandalwood, Roman Chamomile and Geranium essential oils.

So this is the lotion I made in my lab today. It is light yellow or gold because it takes the colour of the infused calendula oil. I wish I could described the smell of the lotion but I don't have a word for it except it smells sweet, woody and yet flowery. Its texture is smooth and it absorbs quickly into my skin. My skin feels smooth, soft and soothing. When it cooled down I poured it into a pump bottle and labelled it with Calendula Lotion.

Monday, 8 June 2009

How to remove your earwax naturally?

In the name of Allah; the Merciful; the Compassionate - بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you - السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Muja has moderate hearing loss at birth as a result of her brain injuries. People who suffer from moderate hearing loss have difficulty keeping up with conversations when not using a hearing aid. Alhamdulillah she has been using hearing aids since she was one.

Last Thursday Muja had her hearing review at Australian Hearing. Last review was on February and the next review will be in October. Her audiologist, Michael, checked her ears. Alhamdulillah her ears are excellence without any infection or water but her right ear has some wax deep inside it. Alhamdulillah there were nothing wrong to her middle ears.

I asked Muja's audiologist how to clean the wax. He said that I can buy a drop at the chemist. He also said that I can use sodium bicarbonate. He gave me the recipe. Mixed 1/4 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in 10 mls of water. Then drops it into the ear. I am so glad that there is a natural way to clean the ears without any harmful chemicals and dangerous tools.

After that Muja's hearing were test in a sound proof room. There, sounds are made. She did not respond well to the sounds like her previous test she had at PMH, for ENT appointment. Occasionally her eyes blinked. I am sure she can hear but her physical condition makes it difficult for her to turn to any sounds. Masha Allah, I know she can hear me because when I call her name she responds with a smile.

During the review he also made sure that the hearing aids is working soundly. He also cleaned it and made a new mould for Muja's ears because its getting loose. Using loose hearing aids cause them to make a whistling sound. There is also a great chance for them to get lost because they can get off the ears easily.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Homeopathic remedies for special needs

Muja is not well. After she came back from school on Friday, I noticed her restlessness, runny nose, nausea and her body is cold. I gave her Arcenicum 30c before sleep and she slept better that night. On Saturday afternoon her symptoms still the same so I gave the same remedies. Before she went to sleep I gave her Arcenicum 30c again and she fall asleep right after I gave it, alhamdulillah. Since flu season is just around the corner this is a great link to homoeopathic remedies for influenza

Masha Allah, I have been using homeopathic remedies for almost four years and I am quite confident with them. I started using homeopathic remedies for Muja when she was 9 months old. At that time she was on convention medication for epilepsy, reflux and insomnia. My friend recommends me to seek consultation with Dr Ismail who is a qualified Practitioner and also Herbalist in Perth. The first time I saw him he commented that my daughter was like a drug addict. Those drugs affect her internal organ and their side effects scared me. With his help we reduced Muja convention drug and changed them with Dr Ismail's prescribed herbs. Alhamdulillah her condition got better when we stopped all the drugs. Alhamdulillah, Muja got less epilepsy attacked and her reflux gone. But her sleeping was still a problem. She is nocturnal or like an owl, who sleep all day and stay awake all night. Then I started looking for different alternative medicine and got stuck with homeopathic.

If homeopathic is a new thing for you, this is a short introduction to it. At the end of the article there is also a list of common homoeopathic remedies for reference.

I usually take Muja to Homeopath for consultation if I am not sure what is going on with her or what remedies will suit her at certain time. Muja used to be consulted by Owen from Owen Homeopathic before she referred her to Kate from Arnica Montana. Kath has experience with special needs She is also very nice to us. She offered me to call her any time if I am not sure what to give to Muja if she is unwell. Then I take her to Natureco because it is close to my house. There we seek consultation with Andrea who is a Naturopath and also Homeopath. If you are interested in this treatment I would recommend you to get consultation from Homeopath first.

Just for my record this is a link for the top 100 homoeopathic remedies Alhamdulillah, I have most of the remedies. In Perth I bought the remedies from Owen Homoeopathic and Natureco Health Centre.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Ever wonder why your life is full of hardships?

Ever wonder why your life is full of hardship? Or some time you wonder when will the hardship ever end?

I have to go through all sort of hardships like any other mother, alhamdulillah. The trial that I face through my special needs child can be more severe but not necessarily. There are some trials that I feel are more severe like the fact that my child could not walk nor talk. She could not understand me and I cannot understand her or an epilepsy attacked.

These trials remind me of what Allah says in the Quran that

إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise). Al Quran 64:15.

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَنَبْلُوكُمْ بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ
Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned. Al Quran 21:35

From the above verses I learnt that I am not special but just like any other mothers or human, being tested in this world through my wealth and children. And sometime Allah send me a good trial but other times with an evil one.

Then I question why does Allah want to test me? I found an answer in Surah Al Mulk verse 2. It is because He wants to see, through the trials, which one of us is best in deed.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving;- Al Quran 67:2.

Masha Allah once my child just cried all night and stayed awake all day. I got so tired and almost lost my patient. She wanted me to hold her. When I put her down she screamed, cried and became stiff. But then I realised that was my test to see if I have patience or not.

The following verse clearly note that the test of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, live and fruits are to give a glad news to the one who has patient.

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ
And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).

What is the great news for those who has patient? It is a great reward which is paradise and Allah forgivenes. Allahu Akbar, what more could anyone wish for!

Allah says in the Quran
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ
Not so do those who show patience and constancy, and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward. Al Quran 11:11

and also in Quran Allah says that

وَالَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنْفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ
Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; Establish regular prayers; spend, out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (eternal) home,- AL Quran 13: 22

Subhana Allah, for every trial that we face, we should try our best to be patient so that we will get Allah's forgiveness and reward of paradise.

I would like to share a beautiful story from a hadith about a woman who has epilepsy.

Narrated 'Ata bin Abi Rabah May Allah be pleased with him Ibn 'Abbas said to me, "Shall I show you a woman of the people of Paradise?" I said, "Yes." He said, "This black lady came to the Prophet and said, 'I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered; please invoke Allah for me.' The Prophet May Allah's peace and praise be on him said (to her), 'If you wish, be patient and you will have (enter) Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah to cure you.' She said, 'I will remain patient,' and added, 'but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allah for me that I may not become uncovered.' So he invoked Allah for her." Hadith - Bukhari 7:555.

Sometime I wonder why would Allah allow us to get sick? He allows us to get sick because He wants to test us of course and also to remove our sins as describe in the following hadith

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri r.a. reported that the Prophet May Allah's peace and praise be on him said: Whenever a Muslim is afflicted with a hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression --even a thorn's prick, Allah expiates his sins because of it. Hadith - Muslim & Bukhari

Alhamdulillah, after all the hardship we have been through there will always be the end or a relief because that what Allah explains in the following verses

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Al Quran 94:5

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
Verily, with every difficulty there is relief. Al Quran 94:6