For my past FX Memories please click this sentence.
Shortly after Matthew starting early intervention we saw his new pediatrician. I liked this man immediately and I’ve never been a fan of male doctors. Don’t ask me why…just a weird “Beth” thing. Dr. H listened to everything I had to say about Matt’s delays. He told me, with a sincerity and honesty that I’ve never seen a doctor have before, that he didn’t know what was wrong with my baby but he wouldn’t quit until he found me an answer. I cried.
After I left his office he spent his entire lunch hour conferring with doctors in the big city about Matt’s symptoms. He came up with a game plan. He called me at home that same afternoon and told me that we would start out with 4 tests: hearing test, vision exam, an MRI, and a chromosome test. He even had me appointments for all 4 of the tests. This man was amazing!!!
The first test we did was the hearing test. We did the kind where he had electrodes attached to his head. We had to put him to sleep first because he would have ripped them off in a heartbeat. I had to keep him up all night the night before. His father stayed over. I should have known he was already gone. I tried countless times to get him to help finish our wedding plans but he kept changing the subject. I was such a naive young woman…but aren’t we all.
I was a little protective of my little man and didn’t like the idea of him being in the hearing testing room alone for hours. The technician noticed that I was nervous about it and let me sit in the chair and hold him during the exam. I remember leaving there with a very numb arm .
This test would be the only normal exam he would have.
In order to not have to put Matt under more than once in a short period of time we left the hearing exam and went straight down the hall to get an MRI. This test was a piece of cake since he was out like a light.
Next up was the chromosome test. We did that about a week after the hearing and MRI. I wish he could have been put to sleep for this exam. It was a nightmare drawing blood from him. It took 4 of us to hold down this little 8 1/2 month old baby to draw blood from his tiny veins. It took us a good hour. I still have nightmares about that day.
Finally, was the vision exam. This was another one that was traumatic. It was so traumatic that I have never had him see an eye doctor since. The eye doc put Matty’s head in my lap. Then he wrapped Matt’s legs around his waist. Then he shone a light in his eyes and poked and prodded and put eye drops in. Matt cried and screamed and puked. I cried and wanted to scream and puke. I can still feel his anguish and it was 11 years ago.
I was so happy to be done with the tests that I didn’t care about the results at this point. I didn’t expect the doctor to find anything. I hoped that they would find something that could be fixed or would go away. But I had this feeling that after a ton of tests they would never know what was wrong with him. People would think I was making a big deal out of nothing since the doctors couldn’t find anything. Or he would be this anomaly that no one could figure out what was wrong with him but it would be obvious he had a serious defect.
I was also scared that it was all my fault. I was 19 with no real good examples of parents. I was completely winging it. My advice came from books and magazines. What if I did hold him too much? Was there some magical thing that I wasn’t doing that I should have known to do? Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to raise him on my own as a teen mom. But I would look at him and know that I was a good mom or he wouldn’t be as happy and health as he was. And I would look into his eyes and I could see that something wasn’t connecting properly.