November 20, 2008
First, the insanity report: I took both boys to the doctor's office today for check-ups. Approximately seven hours later I emerged from the little exam room, only to smack face-first into a wall, probably from a combination of plunging blood sugar* and the disorientation that comes right after one loses one's soul, as mine flew out the window sometime around the moment right after both boys had their meaty thighs stabbed with needles and started screeeeeeeeeeaming and screeeeeeeeeeeeeeaming and I figured WHAT THE HELL, LET'S BREAK SOME FACIAL BONES WHILE WE'RE AT IT.
*My plans to eat lunch before the appointment** were derailed by a leaking poopy diaper, of the Turn This Car Around And Head Home, Oh My Hell Variety. I grabbed a half-empty and fully-stale bag of chocolate graham cracker bears in a panic since I did That Thing you're never supposed to do, That Thing Where You Leave Your Toddler In The Car While You Run Inside To Change The Baby's Diaper Real Quick But Then The Baby Pees On His Head And It All Takes Much Longer Than You Planned, but then Noah ended up demanding most of the chocolate graham cracker bears, which I served to him in a plastic snack cup I found under the driver's seat. Man, I hadn't seen that snack cup in like, a good six months.
**The appointment was at 1:45, or so I was told by our appointment card AND when they called to confirm yesterday, which was when I was also reminded to arrive 15 minutes early. So I did. At 1:30. When I was told that no, our appointment was at 2:00, but you know, they sometimes bump the appointment time up by 15 minutes to ensure that you do truly arrive 15 minutes early. Good luck trying to point out the flaw in that math there, for future reference. Just sit the fuck down and watch PBS Sprout for a full half hour while dreaming of the bagel place across the street, but WHATEVER, you have TWO CHILDREN NOW***, running across the street for a bagel will take 45 minutes and two additional wardrobe changes, at least.
***I had a lot more getting-out-of-the-house-related whining things to write about, but as we were leaving I watched a woman get out of the elevator with her three-year-old daughter and newborn twins. That made me realize that hey! I should totally trying shutting up every once in awhile.
Second, the Ezra report. He now weighs 10 pounds, 7 ounces and is 23 inches long. 75th percentile for weight, 90th for height. 100th percentile for absolute perfection.
Third, the Noah report.
You have my permission to skip the next bit, particularly if half-formed, reactionary tantrums of misplaced rage are not entirely your thing. My anger and sorrow are kind of still shooting out all over the place, probably missing the proper targets, fizzling out like my hair is made of stray electrical wires.
Noah's speech and sensory delays -- you know, the ones our county told us were All Good, All Fixed, Bye-Bye Now! back in June -- now appear to be bordering on "severe."
My final conversations with Early Intervention went something like this:
"I'm still REALLY concerned about his articulation. He's still REALLY hard to understand."
"Pish! And posh! His pronounciation at the single-word level is just fine! His combinations will catch up with practice. Calm down."
"Okay, so...what about the sensory stuff?"
"Should I be concerned that he can't drink from a cup? That he can't use a fork or a spoon? That he still screams when you brush his teeth or touch his ears? That he won't eat anything other than bread? That he'll go a week without pooping, just because he doesn't want to?
"Look...just...whatever, okay? He's not autistic. It's not apraxia. It's not nearly as terrible as the terrible things we deal with everyday. Can you just sign this paper so we can free up some damn resources already?"
Obviously, today's appointment was just with a pediatrician. It wasn't a formal evaluation or anything. But, still. I trust our pediatrician. I saw the relief in her eyes when I brought up Noah's speech and oral-motor issues first. I saw that look of, "Oh, good. I don't have to be the one to break it to her."
A stranger or non-parent should be able to understand about 75% of a three-year-old child's speech. That's honestly a more than I can understand. I translate constantly for his preschool teachers, and our doctor admitted she was catching maybe about 25% of what he was saying.
His reaction to having his ears examined was...extreme, so say the least. Violent. Thrashing. The very reason, I admitted with shame, that I haven't even considered taking him to the dentist yet. I can't even IMAGINE taking him to the dentist yet.
One week ago, to the day, Noah drank out of a cup for the first time. A cup! Without a spout or a straw! We'd been sending in plastic straws to preschool for months, once it became clear that Noah was willing to let himself dehydrate rather than take a sip out of a small plastic cup like everybody else.
"See?" I told myself last week. "All good! He was just being stubborn."
The fact is that I've seen one-year-olds handle an open cup with more skill than Noah. Stubborness may be half the battle, but the other half of the battle is...God, I don't even know.
Our pediatrician is recommending we seek a private evaluation and therapy this time -- that again, Noah is probably a little too borderline to qualify for the level of service he really needs through the county. (We'd be dealing with the school district this time, now that Noah is three, which does indeed have a higher bar for needs-based services, and also would mean Noah would be officially "labeled" as special needs in his permanent school record, or something. I forget. Early Intervention covered all of that the week AFTER they told us Noah was ready to graduate, so...yeah. I probably spent that session counting ceiling tiles or doodling "Mrs. Zac Efron" or something on my binder.)
But it's crystal clear now -- and I knew it but I didn't know it or maybe I just didn't want to know it -- the progress we achieved this past year was good but not enough, and we're not out of the woods yet. Wow. That's an exhausting thought, especially when you consider "four straight hours of sleep" downright luxurious these days.
So...I need to check our insurance, cross-check therapist recommendations with our insurance, make appointments for evaluations, take Noah to an audiologist, dig out all our Early Intervention reports and assessments and basically get ready to start everything all over again. And try to stop beating myself up too badly for letting things end at all, in the first place. For wanting so badly to believe that things were fine and fixed and over, for constantly giving things "one more month" and "a little more time" in hopes that it would all work out on its own, and for -- goddamn it -- letting Noah down and not getting him the help he needed sooner.