Derek had a neurology appointment today at Children's Hospital in Omaha. It was his first since his MRI. I had a billion questions for the neurologist. I wonder if she's ever seen the likes of me before...
My son's MRI was back in December. (If you want to read about it, just click on the word.) The MRI revealed that my son had a "brain injury." The neurologist called me to tell me the details, but I was so shocked that I didn't think to ask any questions. I also learned that week that my son was having seizures (his EEG showed sharp spikes) and although I was not as surprised by this news, it was still a stressful week.
I had to get up at 5 a.m. this morning in order to get out the door by 6:45. It was a 3 hour drive to Omaha--and it was a looooooong drive with both boys. Derek's appointment was at 10:30, but I had to drop Tyler off with my parents in Omaha before going to the appointment. (Tyler was sick--he came home from school with a fever yesterday and foiled all my plans!)
These were some of the BIG questions I had for the neurologist:
1. Is a brain injury the same as brain damage?
2. Where is the brain injury located?
3. Can you tell when or how it happened?
4. What does it effect--speech? memory? social skills?
5. Is it causing the seizures? Or are the seizures causing the injury?
6. Is it possible the injury caused his autism?
This is what she told me.
1. Yes, a brain injury is the same as brain damage.
2. His left frontal lobe is the area that is injured.
3. There is no way to tell exactly when or how it happened. It could have been caused by a blood clot in the placenta, or it could have been caused by a fall. It is not your fault--you didn't do anything wrong.
4. It can effect a lot of things--there are many different pathways through the brain.
5. Hard to tell--which came first? The chicken or the egg? All we can do now is treat the seizures to prevent further injury.
6. Yes, it's entirely possible. But since we don't know when it happened, it might NOT be the cause.
I keep reminding myself that nothing has really changed. Derek is still the exact same child he was yesterday. Now I just have more information on how to help him reach his full potential.
Actually, it just makes my son seem all the more inspirational to me.
Derek is singing songs at preschool.
He's learning to write his own name.
He's counting to 11 by himself.
He's asking other kids if they want to play with him.
This kid of mine is freaking amazing...and he always will be.