Thursday, November 30, 2006

Not what I wanted to hear, Parts 2 and 3

Part 2: Pediatrician agrees with fluid in the ear diagnosis. However, she is not sure tubes will be required, and she thinks it is ridiculous to "withhold treatment" (her words) for speech therapy on that basis. She said if that was the only problem he was having, then he would be talking more or less the way he should, just with bad pronunciation because he can't hear the nuances of the speech. But he's hardly talking at all. She said some kids just take longer to begin expressing themselves verbally, and that speech therapy can help them make that leap. The more she talked, the more I started thinking that this may be like potty training: he'll talk when he's ready to talk, so why are we getting so hyper about it at this point? I don't mind going to the ENT, and I don't mind getting his speech evaluated (she referred me to other therapists who do not require a "clean hearing exam" to evaluate speech; CHOA is apparently the only group she knows of with that requirement). But why is everyone in a tizzy? Yes, I'm concerned, and yes, he is behind, but he is making great improvements. His teacher even commented on his improved talking just yesterday. I don't know. I'm just conflicted over the whole thing right now, and I'm really tired of doctor visits. Speaking of....

Part 3: My father had another unexpected doctor visit today. I don't think I said anything here about his "episode" while we were home over Thanksgiving. It was Monday (just three days ago, sheesh), before we had left to come back home, and his school called the house to say he was feeling really bad and his blood pressure had spiked (about 160/100), and that we needed to come get him. Of course, everyone immediately assumes impending heart attack or stroke, but he wasn't showing any other symptoms. He did say that it was similar to what he felt not long before his neck surgery 4 years ago. Went to the doctor, BP down, ran some tests, come back for stress EKG in three weeks. (Uber-brief recap: Four years ago, he noticed he was going numb and having a tingling/pins and needles sensation in his hands and feet. Had an MRI that showed two bulging discs in his neck, but instead of bulging out and pinching the nerves (causing the classic pains), his blew inward and were compressing his spinal column. Had surgery over Thanksgiving 2002, where they removed both discs and a vertebra, and inserted a metal plate.)

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, he started having increased episodes of tingling in his arms and legs, but they do come and go sometimes, so he didn't think much of it. Today, though, he started having the pins and needles sensation in places he had not felt it before, like his chest. He did say (this was new information to me) that his follow-up MRI after the surgery showed the discs above and below the plate starting to bulge, due to the increased stress on them from removing the vertebra. He has an appointment with the neurosurgeon tomorrow at 10 AM, almost certainly requiring another MRI. He did see another doctor today as a stop-gap measure until tomorrow, and he was put on steroids and given a neck collar, just in case. Joy.

Currently feeling:


  1. What a lot you've got on your plate. Thinking of you.

  2. ((Erin)) I'll be thinking of you and Luke!

  3. Since Luke *is* making progress, I wouldn't be too worried. My own brother didn't talk or talked very little until he was 3.5 years old, and then started school. We haven't been able to shut him up since. LOL.

    Sorry to hear about your father's health troubles. {{Erin}}

  4. Hang in there... I'll be thinking about you and especially your dad.

    You know, Patrick and I both had speech therapy also (me when I was 3, Patrick in elementary school), and you probably remember that my father is quite seriously hearing-impaired, almost deaf without his hearing aids...none of that is the end of the world, although I'm sure it feels overwhelming.

  5. Sounds like you have a really good peditrician and would listen to what they say. Donovan didn't a lot until he was well past 2 1/2 and I was concerned. My ped basically said the same thing, some kids take longer to talk than others. We gave him an another 6 months before we went any farther and sure enough, he started to talk more and more and it was fine. Kids do things on their own time and own schedule and you can't rush it. The charts and stuff are just ranges and some kids fall on either end of the scale.

    Gaelan on the other hand came out talking, or so it seemed, and never seemed to stop. I was really surprised when in Kindergarten he had to go into speech therapy to help with sounds.

    {{hugs}} try not to stress out about it too much and as long as he is making progress I wouldn't be terribly concerned. Easy for me to say I know.

  6. Eva went through basically the same thing. She got started in Speech Therapy when she was about 18 months old. By two she was speaking normally. She also got tubes which was an easy surgery, but then she had to get the tubes removed which wasn't really, but her adnoids had also grown back and those had to be removed again and she had a tonsilectomy at the same time, so it was just a lot of stuff all at the same time. I think it all helped her. But, I don't think she would have had any long term problems if I didn't do it. (except for the tonsilectomy! I didn't know this but children get sleep apnea when their tonsils are too big, after she had that surgery her sleeping habits improved dramatically!)

  7. It's good to get the kid evaluated but some kids, boys especially, take longer to talk. My older brother didn't talk until he was three and then he never shut up again. He is gifted and is now a physician. My eldest son invented his own language, didn't really start talking until he was nearly three, is gifted and graduated from the U of Miami last year. My third son didn't start talking until later because of recurrent ear infections, but he too is gifted - even more so than my eldest.

    Some boys just take their time. The gifted ones especially.


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