Monday, September 24, 2012

Equilibrium Shift

Weeks ago, after our appointment with the ortho doc and hand specialist, we came home from Children's free from specialist appointments until the baby turns a year old! We did have one scheduled with an opthamologist to talk about her clogged tear ducts, but that was no big deal. After such a whirlwind pregnancy with tons of appointments and sonograms, and then a bunch of specialist appointments and getting set up with OT through the county, it seemed like the first 6 months of her life were pretty busy with doctors and such. So, having nothing on the calendar for months and months was pretty awesome.

At the opthamologist's office, I mentioned that sometimes her left eye seems crossed, but I know that is normal for babies to some extent, so I was not sure if it was a big deal or not. Turns out, her left eye is fine. Her right eye is the issue - her right eye has very restricted movement. She cannot move her right eye from side to side. The good news is in terms of eye issues, Duane Syndrome is pretty easy to deal with because there is no treatment. The baby will learn how to turn her head side to side to compensate for this issue. Most people will not even notice there is an issue. (Please note, Andy Cohen of the Real Housewives franchise has something similar and I never noticed until I read about it in his book. Which, btw, is great) There is no surgery, no patch, no glasses.

The problem - for me - is that this came out of left field. I felt like we knew what was going on with the baby. I felt like we had done the tests and the x-rays and the specialist appointments and had ruled out so many issues. I thought we knew the extent of Maggie's needs. Stupid really because how can you ever know? Especially in those first few years, when things change so rapidly. But, stupid or not, I felt in the know and I felt safe.

The reason this hit me like a ton of bricks? Duane Syndrome is caused when a specific cranial nerve does not develop. If this nerve didn't develop, what else didn't develop? What else is lurking behind the scenes? What else do we not know? This news truly was an equilibrium shift for me. I am more wary and concerned. Things I might otherwise write off (like, lack of consonant sounds, I wrote off as being due to the two older kids talking non-stop), I will not write off, I will worry about and focus on trying to identify if there is a bigger issue. Is that better? Maybe. Maybe getting speech therapy at a year is better than getting it at two years, when the problem is more obvious. Maybe not. Maybe being worried that every appointment is going to bring more shocking news is not good for our mental state. But, it is what it is. We don't know what we don't know. And eventually I will slip back into calmness (I hope). For now, I will continue to be wary and hope for the best.

And, truly, in terms of issues, this was the best. I cannot - and should not - complain because a relatively minor eye problem that requires no surgeries or anything is probably the best kind of issue to have. My issue is not with that, but with my own emotions as a result of being hit with this shocker.

Thanks for listening!

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