Truth: Emma has developmental delays.
This past week has been extremely emotional. Emma had three big appointments this week including: Neurology, Cardiology, and Orthopedics. Our week started off with a BANG….and not in a good way. We saw a neurologist this week for a yearly evaluation. It was just Emma and I at the appointment. The appointment was brutal in so many ways. I have debated on whether or not to even put this appointment’s details on the blog; however, I WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE any medical professional degrading my child. Anyways I digress….
The Neurologist (who shall remain nameless) had some very harsh things to say about my precious little girl. Scott and I are very much aware that Emma has developmental delays. What we do not know is if the delays are a product of enduring a prolonged hospital stay (being EXTREMELY SICK FYI), from neurological issues, or perhaps a combination of both. If you have followed this blog from the beginning, then you might remember that via a head ultrasound on day 1, the doctors believe that Emma is missing her corpus callosum. Due to Emma’s medically fragile state, she has never had an MRI. This is shocking to a lot of people as it is common when children have “coded” or have brain abnormalities. Emma has, BIG THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL GOD, not had seizures or a stroke. Emma has progressed although slowly compared to the norm. We measure Emma’s developmental milestones by Emma. I have always told our therapists to please not tell me “Emma’s” developmental age according to their charts. I do not think that it is fair to be compared to “normal” children who had the privilege to develop in a normal environment and manner.
At this appointment the neurologist said:
You need to consider “quantity” over “quality”
These kids normally do not live to be teenagers anyway
She will probably never walk
We should treat “these” kids like we do 80-year-old elderly people with no quality of life.
If she has to be considered for transplant I do not know if I would recommend that due to her quality of life.
I could add more, but I think you get the gist. I refused to shed a tear in front of that heartless doctor. I am giving this person the benefit of a doubt that they are simply ignorant. This “professional” probably thought that they were giving me such life-altering information that would change my opinion of Emma’s future care--------FAT CHANCE of that happening. This fueled my fire and passion for ensuring that Emma would always be given a chance. I refuse to let negativity about her future be spoken in her presence. We have spoken to some key people to educate them on this terrible appointment and have some more people to talk to. What scares me the most is that this individual can help decide who is worth living and who is not.
We also saw the cardiologist and orthopedic doctors this week. Emma had the whole work up at the cardiologist: ECHO, EKG, Lab work, and went home with a 24 holter monitor. Overall things looked good. Emma was not in the best mood and did not want to fully cooperate with all of the tests----strong-willed much J
Her echo showed trivially worsened function, so we started Emma on a small dose of a heart med. Our cardiologist was not too concerned because Emma has done this before and clinically she looks great.
Emma is now being seen a Scottish Rite for her scoliosis. This appointment was very quick. We pretty much confirmed what we already knew. Emma has a mild version of scoliosis. She does not need any intervention at this moment. We will take her to Scottish Rite every 6 months for follow-up x-rays.
As you can see, Emma has been a very busy little girl. On top of all the appointments, Emma has continued her home therapies. Her therapists are happy with Emma’s progress. She likes to keep her therapists on their toes. Emma likes to do what we want her to do in therapy after her therapists leave. Emma is trying so hard to communicate with us. We have been working very hard with her to learn more signs, show us pictures, and point to what she is wanting. She continues to eat well and will eat pretty much any pureed food we give her.
Did I mention strong-willed----well the other day Emma was not getting her way and threw a little fit. When she did she threw herself back and bonked her little head on the floor (carpeted). This has scared her, so now she will only sit by herself if we are right next to her, or if she can feel a pillow behind her. I think this is also a way for her to ensure that we are paying attention to her all the time.
Emma has got to do a lot of fun things lately. I will share those with you soon in another post. This mom is tired and if history repeats itself my sweet little girl will be up at the crack of dawn ready to play.
Thank you again for all of your prayers.
Please Pray that Emma will continue to progress in her development to prove the naysayers wrong.
Pray that Emma’s scoliosis remains mild.
Please pray that Emma’s heart function returns to normal.
As viral season approaches, please pray that Emma can stay infection/virus free.
****Please pray for our buddies in the HEARTLAND. This week has been difficult for many families.
As always, God is Good! All the Time! God is Good!
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14.
Note a wrote right after the appointment to vent a little:
Dr. Ignorant Dr. (not cardiologist),
My child HAS a quality of life. No, she is not walking; however, she is starting to put more weight in her legs. Please take into consideration that she spent a year out of her first 15 months hospitalized and for the majority intubated and VERY sick. That does have an impact on their developmental levels.
Yes, I understand that she has had lower than normal oxygen levels since birth (she is a single ventricle). Yes, I understand that this can cause brain issues and might be causing some muscle issues. However, this DOES NOT in any way constitute you telling me that maybe I need to consider "quantity vs quality" and maybe the doctors in the pediatric profession should consider treating "these" children like elderly who really have no quality of life...UGH...
Also, I am aware that she "may" not graduate high school. That does not mean that I am not going to do my best to prepare her for however long we are blessed with her.
Please do not diagnose my child with conditions that can only be diagnosed with an MRI that she HAS NOT HAD.
DO NOT put limits on my child. There are children who walk AFTER 2. WE do not LIMIT my child therefore you do not have the right to do so. My child may not fit into your definition of normal, but I could care less. She is perfect to my husband and I.
A HEART MOM
P.S. Yes, we are looking for another specialist in this field.