Chasing Contentment

Saturday, October 13

There are times when I don't post something here until we're comfortable with it in our daily life. Sometimes I have to live with something in my head and heart before I talk about it here. Lately, we've had one big something going on like that, and now I think I finally feel comfortable enough with the possibilities to share here.

Mike and I have each told our brothers about what is going on and we've told some close friends, but we are waiting until we have more specific information to tell our extended families.

Several weeks ago, when Griff began his gifted classes, his teacher contacted me to tell me that she'd seen some things in him that made her think that he might have some physical problems going on which were contributing to his slow work pace and his bad handwriting (nearly illegible).

She pointed out several things that she had noticed in him that she felt like were symptoms of something greater. These were all things that we already knew about Griff but just assumed were quirks... just a characteristic of him. And they are. But it seems that they may add up to something else as well.

Initially, she suggested he might have dysgraphia, and as we read the descriptions of it, it did, indeed, sound as if they were describing Griff. Mike pointed out that it sounded like him as a child, as well.

As we began to work with his teachers to consider this, his gifted teacher suggested we meet with the county's school occupational therapist as it was possible there was something greater. She suggested things like juvenile multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.

All of these are frightening possibilities. Because Mike's mom had MS and we know those symptoms, we feel reasonably sure it isn't that. And most children with cerebral palsy are diagnosed much earlier than nine. But the muscular dsytrophy sounded like a possibility, unfortunately.

I met with his teachers and the occupational therapist, convinced she would tell me that Griff's gifted teacher was overreacting and that he might have the dysgraphia but nothing else. When presented with Griff's file, however, she saw a great gap between his IQ/intellectual potential and his actual work product. She recommended we take him to see his pediatrician.

So we went to see the pediatrician, completely convinced he would say they were both overreacting. But he didn't. Instead, he recommended that we see a specialist. So we have an appointment to see a pediatric neurologist in Tampa who specializes in neuromuscular diseases. Our appointment is on the 22nd, so we don't have to wait too long, which is nice. The doctor got his degree at Tulane and did his internship and residency in pediatrics at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, so we like him already.

Mike was doing some research online and found some information about a type of muscular dystrophy that really does sound very much like Griff (an, again, like Mike in a lot of ways). The doctor we will see is quoted in the article and appears to be very much an expert in this field. And that is comforting.

We have reached the point where we are comfortable with this possibility. If this is what God has in store for us, then He will also prepare us to deal with it. Our main concern right now is to find out what is going on with Griff's body so that we can help him to do the best he can in school... and in other things.

And so for now, we wait. And we pray.

[  posted by Chel on Saturday, October 13, 2007  ]


Sending hugs and prayers.


By Blogger A Dusty Frame, at 8:16 PM  

I used to think things would get easier after I grew up, what with no school and homework and junk. Little did I know life would hit me at some point. It's not easy to live in this world. It's a wonder we do. My prayers are, of course, with you and with all that this entails. I will pray for Griff that he can handle whatever is coming. I shall pray the same for you and Mike. I love you both and know that God will walk through all of this with you.

By Blogger The Pastor, at 9:17 PM  

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