My mom is in the hospital. She went in Sunday for an appendectomy (which is good, because her appendix had already ruptured), and has had kind of an up and down recovery since. She was getting better, then worse, then better again. They were going to send her home today, if she tolerated breakfast and lunch OK, but instead, she was sent to the ICU this morning. Her oxygen levels had dropped over night, and they wanted to observe/figure out what the problem was.

That was scary enough, because she (and her whole side of the family), has a history of blood clots, which was what actually killer *her* father.  Then again, she is, as always, on blood thinners, so I guess I shouldn’t have been too worried about that.

What they did find is that she has a bowel obstruction. Who knew that could make oxygen levels fall?!? Anyway, she doesn’t know how long she’s going to be in the ICU/hospital–they definitely want to get the problem taken care of, but the doctor doesn’t know how long that will take.

The thing I’m having a hard time getting past is that she’s in the same hospital my dad died in. In the same ICU. For all I know, in the same freaking room. Oh yeah, and what sent him to that hospital in the first place was basically a bowel obstruction. Now, my head knows that the circumstances were wildly different, it wasn’t the actual obstruction that killed him, and that it’s good that they caught this now, before she went home, and before anything else has a chance to rupture. But this whole situation still doesn’t sit well with me. Too much deja vu for my liking.

Moose Update #1

We had our meeting with the developmental therapist this morning. She was very nice, and Moose enjoyed playing with her. I, for one, was impressed with her ease in getting down on the floor (and back up again!) with as pregnant as she was!

He cooperated with her more than I was anticipating, but not as much as he ought to have given his age. She said that from what she saw today (and I’m sure the speech therapist will be looking at this more on Friday) his speech was at about a 15 month old level. It was kind of sobering to realize that he’s speaking at the level Ladybug is almost at, but not really surprising.

Although she was quick to remind me that she is not a diagnostician, she did say that in her opinion, he really is not showing autistic traits, which was a big relief to me. She felt that he was too social and playful, among other things, to really be showing signs of that disorder. She did mention, however, that he is showing a lot of symptoms of something called Sensory Integration Dysfunction (I hope I got that right). She was particularly concerned that, at his age, he often doesn’t pay attention when someone is directly addressing him. It is normal for a two and a half year old to listen and disobey, whereas Moose tends to not listen at all. A hearing test will be one of the first orders of business, but she said that if there is no known hearing problem, it is unusual (although not impossible) to find one at this point.

She warned me not to go and google this disorder, which I of course promptly did after she left. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. Anyway, I’ve heard some things about it on message boards, so I wanted to do a little more research. She warned me that I’d probably mostly find only the worst stories, so I stayed away from that–I really just wanted to look at symptoms right now. And, I have to admit, he exhibits a lot of them. On the other hand, the list is so long that I could probably diagnose any one of my children with it, so I’m trying not to read too much into it. The bottom line–she said if he does have SID, it will never go away, but he can learn to deal with it, and should be a fully functioning adult, capable of a career, marriage and family if he so desires. As the bottom line is my concern, I was quite relieved to hear that!

It is her recommendation that we also have an occupational therapist evaluate him. An OT will be able to help him with some of his listening problems, and unless we address that first, she felt that speech therapy will not be as effective as we want it to be. So, while I think our follow-up meeting will still be Monday as planned, we’re also looking at having one more evaluation after that. I guess we’ll be looking at having both speech and occupational therapists come out to the house, at least until he’s three, and then I guess he’ll be getting help from the school district (?) (Ironic given our new plan to homeschool) unless we look into some kind of private therapy, but I have no idea how our insurance would handle that, and I don’t want to get too ahead of myself here. I guess the only thing to do is take it one day at time, hear what everyone has to say, and come up with a plan of action. Either way, he’s still our Moose, and we’ll love him no matter what!

And So It Begins

Today is the day I fill out the paperwork so that we can get Moose evaluated for Early Intervention. I’m not really sure how I feel about this. Obviously, I would like him to be talking–he is two and a half, after all. I honestly don’t know if I think something is really wrong with him, or if he just has two older siblings that never let him get a word in edgewise, but I figured I better make the call now, before he turns three and is no longer eligible for E.I.

I have been informed that today’s appointment will just be paperwork. An hour’s worth. Oh joy. And I don’t know if they’ll schedule the evaluation today while they’re here, or if that’s something that will be done next week after they process the paperwork. After that, I don’t know how long it will take them to get our here and do the evaluation, but given that it only took a week from when I called for the paperwork appointment, I’m assuming they move faster here than I’ve heard they do in other areas. Or, maybe they’re just fast with the paperwork, and it will take forever for the evaluation. Heck, he might be three before they ever get to him–I just don’t know how this all works.

Anyway, the nice thing is, they do everything in the home, so that the child is in his most comfortable environment. I don’t have to worry about packing up all four children and taking them somewhere; I don’t have to worry about the older children interrupting whatever therapy he may need; I don’t have to worry about finding a sitter. These are all good things.

What I am worried about, though, is what they’re going to tell me. I’ve done enough research to know at least some of the conditions that can cause a speech delay, and frankly, it scares me. I also know that I shouldn’t put the cart before the house, because some children truly just don’t talk until they want to. I am curious as to how they’re going to diagnose him, if at all. On a good day, Moose doesn’t do anything that he doesn’t want to do. I’m going to assume they’re used to working with stubborn children, but I’m afraid if he’s not feeling cooperative, not only will they think he can’t talk, but that he doesn’t understand anything either, which is not true.

I guess I’m going to have to leave it to the professionals to figure out–that’s why I called them, after all. A big part of me feels guilty for not calling sooner, but what mother wants to admit that something is wrong with her child? I really kept thinking that he’d just start talking one day, but as we edge closer to the three year mark, I guess he needs some encouragement at the least.

I’d appreciate any prayers as we begin this process–the uncertain can be a scary thing, but sometimes, the known is even worse (depending on what it is).

Being a mommy hurts, sometimes.