On this page you will find links to articles from Current Magazine on a wide variety of topics. They are samples of what you can read in every issue of CURRENT for FREE if you decide to join SB&H.
Each issue is filled with interesting and useful articles including personal stories of individuals living with the challenges posed by hydrocephalus and/or spina bifida. We also offer information that is useful to parents, siblings, relatives, caregivers and health care professionals.
By Dr. James Wright (formerly of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto)
Parents of children with spina bifida are overwhelmed at birth with multiple health concerns. Unfortunately those concerns never go away. The initial focus is usually on the closure of the spina bifida and the possible need for a shunt. However as those issues resolve, inevitably at some point parents want to understand how their child will function in their environment; will they walk, run, or play sports? Every child is different and we never want to extinguish hope but there are some general expectations based largely on the function of the nerves to the legs.
Jordan Sarraf is your typical 15-year-old boy.
He loves his Nintendo DS, eats like a champ and knows how to push his mothers buttons. You may even say he’s more active than the average teenage boy. He’s a competitive 10-pin bowler, swims weekly, enjoys cooking and is a visual artist whose work has been featured in a charitable calendar. He was even excited to get back to school after summer break. What does not make Jordan a typical teenager is the fact that he is a teenager at all.
Since I was a child I was encouraged to be as independent as possible. My family, teachers, doctors and therapists would all tell me to not let my spina bifida diagnosis prevent me from living a ‘normal’ life and for the most part, I had a relatively normal childhood. I was integrated into public school system in Brampton from the time I was in junior kindergarten and in my mind I was just like any other kid, but I happened to use a wheelchair.
My husband Frank’s journey began in the Spring of 2011. We had been retired by then for nearly 19 years...I started to notice a difference in my husband’s walking, but just thought maybe he had bumped his leg, or slept the wrong way on it the night before, and so I didn’t mention anything to him. But it didn’t improve any at all. He was not walking his normal long stride, but taking smaller steps and dragging his feet, especially the right one, and leaning to that side. I would ask him why he was walking that way he would say “I don’t know”. I asked if his legs were hurting, and he said “No, I just can’t move them”. That was the only way he could describe it. And that was always the answer when I would mention it.
I was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1961. My
parents were overseas while my father
was stationed with the Air Force. As
the story goes, my father was the first to note
the swelling of my skull’s fontanels when I was only 3 weeks old. This was a problem. According to my parents, once I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, this began a 3 year procession of surgeries and doctor appointments. Read more...
It’s Victoria Day and I’m standing on the front steps of the Chandler home. Annette swings open the door before I can knock and warmly welcomes me in. Her husband Troy is standing behind her smiling, his hands clasped together. This is the first time we’ve all met. Troy has lived with hydrocephalus for his entire life but wasn’t diagnosed with the condition until he was 28 yrs. old. That was almost 20 years ago. Read more...
Omigosh, after 10 long years of waiting to have our “dream” family and the fertility treatments, the little white stick in my hand had 2 lines on it, we were expecting!! I was overjoyed finally it is our time. We had a long time to think about this prior too, and did research that I was on the phone booking my first midwife appointment. During my appointment I expressed I wanted to have a water birth at the office, pain free, just natural. A couple of weeks later, that all changed. We were at the fertility clinic every couple of days to do blood work, the levels were very high, indicating that there is a possible multiple pregnancy. A very early ultrasound detected two heart beats! Read more...
Each summer, hundreds of thousands of children and youth go to summer camp. As anyone working in youth development or therapeutic recreation will tell you, the best thing you can ever do for your child is to send them to camp. It’s an amazing & magical time spent with other kids & teens, forming long-lasting friendships; gaining independence; developing new skills & interests; discovering the wonders of nature; and having A LOT of fun!As the experts at camps.ca state: “Camp provides a safe environment where kids can establish their independence and get a taste of what it’s like to do things on their own.” Camps provide the place to discover freedom, friendship, variety, nature, new interests and future opportunities for success. Read more...
By: Jordan Cullum
I believe everything happens for a reason and through this logic I had to be born with spina bifida in order to have the life I am living now.
From the time that I was born, I was brought up as being told I was no different than anyone else. My parents were the driving force behind this belief. Even though I had a “disability”, didn’t mean that I was dis – abled. Because of this mentality, at least for the majority of my life, I have not felt disabled. Read more...