What is that?
What is the actual definition of ‘joy’?
Well let’s Google it…
I have indeed felt ‘joy’. As a mother, two of the most joyous (joy) days of my life would be the births of my children. I was not only blessed with one child, but two; the best of both worlds.
My daughter came first. That was interesting. I never knew a person could lose weight while pregnant. I did. I lost 30 lbs. I was because I was sick the entire time. That pregnancy went by with only one true memorable time at Christmas, but I’ll save that story for another time. This is not my daughter’s birth story.
This is the story of my son.
Today, he is eight years old. He is about four and a half feet tall and has a stocky build. To look at him, he is perfectly healthy.
My son was a planned pregnancy and not everyone in my family was happy about that. (refer to previous post ‘Children’).
I wanted a boy and when the doctor told me I was having a boy – I was overjoyed (joy).
My pregnancy with him was not as painful as with my daughter, but it was still painful. I was at least able to eat this time. I had scheduled a doctor’s appointment the next day after taking a home pregnancy test. I was concerned because prior to my daughter, I had experienced two miscarriages. These miscarriages took a toll on me mentally, physically, and spiritually, but that is another post.
One memorable event which occurred during a doctor’s visit in January was the doctor telling me I was due in June. I informed him that a due date in June was impossible because that would put conception in the month of October and my husband was away working during that month.
His response… “What you do is none of my business,” and went to turn around and continue on his way.
I just about lost my mind. Did he actually just ‘assume’ I had cheated on my husband? To my face?! Oh NO HE DID NOT!
“You had better look again,” I demanded. I remember my mother standing there and the look on her face – priceless. I’m happy my husband wasn’t there. He would have quickly jumped on the bandwagon of my cheating. He was like that. (More on him in later posts.)
“Um, I’m sorry,” the doctor says while his face is becoming red after talking to a nurse. “It appears I was looking at the wrong chart.”
“Oh,” I respond, “I should say so.”
“Yes it appears we have two patients with the same name. Your middle initial is E?”
“Oh, well you are due…,” he stops to make calculations and continues, “Yes, you are due in September.”
“Yes I am,” and give him the dirtiest look. It was amazing how he was so flippant and cold. I must say, I was spoiled by my doctor in Tennessee when I had my daughter. Needless to say, he wasn’t as cold to me after that.
September was hurricane season and Rita was just close enough to cause problems. The hospital and doctor I would see was almost an hour away, and my folks were concerned I go into labor during a hurricane; something about storms causing women to go into labor. As a precaution, my folks, daughter, and I decided to stay close to the hospital.
We checked into a hotel across the street from the hospital on Friday evening. I had been experiencing lower back pain and was unable to sleep that first night. The weather wasn’t too bad, and I was able to go into the pool for a bit. The water helps tremendously while pregnant. Saturday went by and again, that night was not too comfortable. Sunday rolled around and we decided to go home. The lower back pain would not go away, so we decided since we were next to the hospital, we should just get a checkup. I was scheduled for a C-section the following week.
What a surprise to find out I was in labor. Because of my previous C-section, and the way the previous doctor and made the incision, I couldn’t have my son naturally. My son was on his way.
Another C-section was about to begin, but first I need an epidural. With my daughter it was so fast, there wasn’t any time to be afraid. This time there was. It took about 30 minutes (ok maybe less, or maybe more) to get the epidural. One of my legs would keep going numb. Finally, he just pushed through. I’m blessed he was able to do so. After the surgery, I had a huge knot where he tried so many times, and a large area that was bleeding and would soon scab over. Not a pretty sight.
Finally my son was here! He was perfect.
Fast forward four years.
My son began to have bad headaches. So bad, that he would just lie on the couch and do nothing. This is unusual for a four year old boy. He would also vomit during these spells. Our family doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with him, so they scheduled an MRI. This was around December 20th.
Waiting is so hard.
We called the doctor’s office, and they said there wasn’t any news and soon everything was closed for the Christmas holidays. It was a very tough Christmas not knowing what or if anything was wrong with my son.
After Christmas, when the doctor was back in the office, we were called to go in. This was bad. I knew it was, because if everything had been alright the nurse would have said so on the phone.
The next day, my mother, my daughter, my son, and I go to the doctor’s office.
We wait in the waiting room.
We wait in the examining room.
The doctor walks in and has somber look. Funny, I don’t remember much except when I hear Arnold-Chiari Malformation (ACM). We were told he had Type II, and he would need to see a neurosurgeon and/or a neurologist. Another thing we were told was NOT to Google it.
I remember asking why the results took so long. They results had actually returned the next day or so, but were not given to us because the doctor did not want to ruin our Christmas. I almost screamed. Our Christmas was spent wondering on what was wrong with my son. It was worse not knowing.
This is what I basically found…
Type 2 – The most common of all Chiari malformations, type 2 is caused by part of the back of the brain shifting downward through the bottom of the skull.
- Type 2 Chiari malformations are typically seen in infants who are born with spina bifida, a neurological condition that causes a portion of the spinal cord and the surrounding structures to develop outside, instead of inside, the body.
- Type 2 Chiari malformations can also be associated with hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an overproduction or lack of absorption of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) that is found inside of the ventricles (fluid-filled areas) inside of the brain. The increased fluid causes the pressure inside of the head to increase and the skull bones to expand to a larger-than-normal appearance.
Seriously? That was the first thing I did. And I tell you what, I was scared. Oh how I was scared!
We scheduled the visit with the neurosurgeon at children’s hospital. How fortunate we were that the doctor was amazing! He had such a way with my son. Still does.
He was not happy with the diagnosis of my son. My son did have ACM, but not Type II. My son had Type I.
My son is a trooper. He has to have an MRI every six months. He is not a complainer when it comes to his headaches or a crier when he is vomiting. He just deals with it and that’s it.
There are many things that are associated with ACM. I found a great website that offers great information for parents and helps with children in school, Conquer Chiari. It is important to educate the school on his ACM and keep them informed.
I have been truly blessed with my children and I thank God every chance I can for them.
~Truly blessed ~ DA