What I am about to say makes me feel like shit, but I hope you know what I mean: I am disappointed that the doctor found nothing wrong with W today. Obviously, yes, let’s high-five and woo hoo and mop our brows in total relief. OBVIOUSLY. But after the relief I am left with this residual feeling of…ok, so what’s going on then?
Now is when I can back up and bring you into the fold of what is going on. I know it was a bit unfair of me to just write about a small bit of without telling you the larger picture, but I was terrified about the larger picture and until this day was behind me I knew I could not comfortably talk about it.
W goes to an awesome preschool and they happen to have early intervention people as regular drop bys for the upper-school. Several months ago one of these people was observing another student on the playground and she kept noticing W fall. And fall. And fall. She brought it up to the teacher and the teacher said that yes, he does seem to tumble more than the other kids in class. I am asked at pickup that day if W falls a lot at home and am unclear what to say. Yes he falls, but don’t toddlers toddle? I wasn’t defensive, just felt kind of like a loser for not thinking anything was wrong.
A week or so passes and it is observed that W is doing unusual posturing with his head. He is observed in the classroom doing this over several days and then I am notified. I am told that they suspect that W may have some vision problems and that if it’s ok they will have someone from their early intervention team see him. Of course I’m like, “YES. PLEASE!” And am again incredibly thankful that these people are readily available to us.
The next week I am told that yes, they certainly think it is a vision issue, possibly a nerve or nuero issue and maybe that it is all connected. I am told that he doesn’t seem to have the ability to move his eyes up to look at something. I am given the name of a specialist to take W too.
I freak out.
Bottom line- you say “neuro” to me and reference my kid and I will crumble. I spent 7 years battling the banshees of nuero as Millie and I dealt with her Alzheimer’s every day. Dear God I could not stand to think what this could mean.
Thanks to a dear friend I swiftly got W an appointment to see a specialist at a great hospital closer to our house. And then I tried to not panic or worry or stress. It was all going to be ok. I figured it was probably an eye muscle thing and that we would come up with games to help make it stronger- bionic even!
Last week I was given the letter to bring to the specialist and this is where, in addition to the very detailed description of his tumbling and head posturing, and not moving his eyes was a paragraph about his language skills. About how below average they are. And right then I saw the linear line — language = neuro. LANGUAGE EQUALS NEURO!
SO all of your fantastic comments on the language delay post were amazing and so helpful because not one of you mentioned or hinted at things I was afraid of.
Today was the doctor day. The day where everything was going to be answered and explained and there would be an action plan. Because plans rock. I was able to pick up Mom to join us so that I had a hand squeezer if needed. (phew!)
I do not know how many of you have had the distinct experience of accompanying a toddler to an eye exam. It is not for the weak. Sure it’s fun and exciting to look at all the cool gizmos in the room and sure the doctor has so many funny key chains in his pocket to show you over here! over there! up here! down there! But then the woman with the eyepatch box comes in and oh man, it is all down hill from there. I had to hold W down so he wouldn’t rip the eye patch off (which was applied like a band-aid) and then in between his screams and attempts to break free a technician flipped through images.
Then, if you really want to experience awful, try holding down an already pissed off kid so that he can have his eyes dilated. This was so horrible. And it sucked because we couldn’t explain what was happening or what was about to happen in a way that he was understanding it. We went out to the waiting room to hang out while his eyes dilated – which was so uncomfortable and painful for W.
Thank goodness he seemed to truly love the doctor because when we were called back he calmed down for him and we pushed through the rest of the exam.
And this is where I feel like a schmuck because according to these exams and tests today W’s eyes are just fine. I am relieved (oh, seriously, I am) and confused. What are the teachers seeing? What did the people observing see? Is there something more to check?
I did love the doc for rereading the note we brought in from the school and sort of shrugging and saying to me, “well, kids are quirky”. I’m very ok with a diagnosis of quirky. I just want that to be it.
I just wish I felt relief here. Where is the relief? It’s coming, right?