Sometimes I look at Vista and there’s this sense of awe and amazement that this little child is mine.
But as each day passes, she’s less ‘mine’ and more her own person.
Sometimes I have to remind myself to step back and remember that the way she reacts to things isn’t necessarily going to be the same way I react to things.
She has her own way of doing things. And is definite about how her world is structured.
As time goes on, we realize more and more, that she’s not fitting into our world but molding us into what she needs her world to be.
And that’s not without it’s challenges sometimes.
One of our biggest frustrations has been around asking her to do simple things. Every day tasks. Using words she knows. And yet there seems to be no comprehension.
We assumed it was her three year old self being, well, a three year old. Defiant. Willful. All the things a child that age can tend towards.
Until we did one of a speech and language assessment with her a few weeks ago.
Her verbal scores came back as expected. She’s progressing wonderfully in her talking and ability to communicate.
Her receptive scores, those that indicate her ability to take in and process what we’re saying, were a surprise.
Despite the fact she knows the words, the meaning doesn’t always translate when you speak with her.
So when we we’re frustrated over her seeming lack of comprehension, it’s because… yeah… she really doesn’t understand.
Complete *headdesk* moment.
A neuropathway issue. Apparently it’s not all together uncommon in kids with her types of brain malformations.
But now we know. And that means we can start focusing on trying to rewire those pathways. Because a childs brain is an amazing, changing, thing.
She may not understand us, but we’re slowly learning to understand her better. And changing the way we do things to help her be who we know she can be.
We’ve started adding back in some signing, to see if visual cues help with the comprehension. But beyond that, we don’t have a lot to go on.
So I’m turning to my brilliant blogging / twitter friends.
Suggestions on what you would do? What you’ve seen work? What you think we could try?
Sometimes I feel like, as a mom, I have these wonderful, magical powers.
Have a boo-boo? One kiss from my lips makes it feel all better.
Crying over spilt milk? One hug with my arms wrapped around you makes it feel all better.
Scratches, scrapes, hurt feelings, and insecurities are no match for my mommy powers.
But right now we’re battling sometime that can’t be fixed.
Would it be ironic to say that it has a mind of it’s own?
Because some days it really feels that way.
We finally got her EEG booked for March 9th. Yeah, a month away. This will be her third and that’s 3 too many. Believe it or not, out of all the tests she’s had in her life, these EEG’s are the worst, because it involves me holding her down while she screams and cries and screams as they attach the electrodes to her head. After getting her all worked up, I have to calm her down enough to fall asleep. And after sleeping for 10 minutes or less, I get to wake her up. I end up going home after them and crying as Vista clings to Bil wanting nothing to do with me. And I can’t blame her. I wouldn’t like me much either after all that.
But what’s the most frustrating is that I know the test will come back normal. Just like the last two. So I have to put her through all that for nothing. Or rather, so we can see the neurologists so they can tell us “Yep, everything still looks OK, other than her normal brain malformations. We don’t know why she’s seizuring or why she regressed so much after her last seizure.”
Did I mention being a mom also makes you a psychic?
I had a long talk with Vista’s Speech and Language Pathologist yesterday as she put V through her paces. She’s confirmed for me that it’s not uncommon for people to regress after every seizure. It’s just something that is. And will be forever. As in, when she’s an adult and has a seizure, she will experience loss of skills.
I watched, as we talked, as Vista struggled with a toy that a month ago had been a breeze for her to play with it. A toy whose ins and outs she had mastered. Now, it’s like she’s seeing it for the first time.
It makes me sad for her. It makes me frustrated for her. It makes me angry for her.
And Vista is all of those things right now as she struggles to make herself understood. She went from being a toddler who was well on her way to being at a normal speech level. She was talking in sentences. She was easy and clear to understand.
Now our days are filled with “I’m sorry, sweetie, I don’t know what you’re saying” and she screams the same garbled words at me over and over hoping that volume will make me get what she is trying so hard to communicate. Words that only weeks ago, I understood perfectly.
How do you explain to a two year old that half of what she’s trying to say is now reduced to babble sounds? You can’t. How do you explain that even though she was able to open that door a few weeks ago, it’s going to take some time for her to learn how to do that again?
So the next couple of months will be spent trying to return her words and motor skills to her. And trying to manage the frustration and anger, both hers and ours.
I’m hoping one day we’ll learn this dance. One step forward, two steps back, side shuffle, side shuffle. This stumbling along, trying to figure out what comes next is making my brain and heart hurt.