Friday, October 18, 2013

Breakdowns, Torticollis and Helmets

I'm going to start with a back story here: our doctor of 10 years (who has been through everything with us: infertility, surgeries, pregnancies, deliveries, adoptions, shots, baby blues and the regular physicals, found out he had colon cancer two years ago.  He was young, 42 but an x-ray showed some spots and they caught it early.

We thought for sure he would beat it.  And so did he.

Fast forward to Jared's birth and adoption.  We took Jared in for his first physical.  Doctor L. looked a little more sick than normal.  He said he felt fine, but he didn't look it.  Jared was healthy.

We went in for our two month with Jared.  Doctor L. looked even worse.  At about a month I had noticed Jared's little neck wasn't working as it should.  His head hung to one side and he couldn't lift it up...at all.




I took this concern with me to Jared's two month appointment.  Doctor L. looked 20 years older.  He shuffled, his skin was thin and his hair was gone.  He looked awful.  Doctor L. told me it was nothing to worry about.  As he was more worried about Jared's head size and that he may have hydrocephalus.   I trusted his judgement and moved on to worrying with watching for the symptoms of hydrocephalus.

And boy did I worry.

By Jared's four month, Jared's little neck wasn't getting better.  So I started to do exercises with him.  His neck started to get a little stronger.  We tried to get him to do tummy time, but he learned to roll over on his back.  He wouldn't do tummy time longer than 2 minutes.  He loved to lay on his back and play with his sisters.  And then we started to notice his cute little head was becoming flat on one side.  I didn't realize it had anything to do with his neck.  It did.

Two more months passed and now I was more worried than ever, as Jared still wasn't holding his head up.  He wasn't sitting he wasn't standing.  At our next appointment with Doctor L.,  Dr. L. looks even worse than before.  But he still said Jared should be fine.  "He's just a big boy, he may be a little slow".

At this point, I started to feel that Dr. L wasn't right.  He was so sick.  Maybe we weren't getting the right diagnosis.  But I had NO idea what was wrong with Jared, so I didn't know where to turn.




That same week, my mom saw on the the news a report about a disorder called, Torticollis. (http://www.babycenter.com/0_torticollis_10912.bc)
I read it, and new without a doubt that is what Jared had!   I made an appointment with a physical therapist right away and sure enough, I was right.  I was crushed.  Most infants are treated much earlier than Jared is being treated now.

And now we are having a very difficult time correcting his neck and he will have to where a little helmet for the next few months because of his flat spot.  And because Jared is almost 9 months, the helmet may or may not work.

I am devastated.

I made an appointment with our Dr. L once again, but we got an email before we could go, letting us know that Doctor L. would be retiring from his practice.  We were heartbroken.  And last Saturday our sweet doctor of ten years died.

Our sweet doctor was sick.  And so we did not receive the very best care.  I do not want to disrespect him in any way...and I mostly blame myself for not being more adamant about it.

This has been a very difficult thing for me.  And today after we found out that our insurance won't pay for the helmet and that it may not even work, I broke down.  I broke down and cried for a long time.  I work with my little guy every day with exercises and stretches (he hates them) so we should be able to get him up to par...but it is amazing how such a little thing can cause such pain and worry.  I have friends with kids who have cancer.  I have friends who have lost their child to death.  This is such an insignificant little issue compared to those...but I feel overwhelmed all the same.

So when you see our little guy sporting his new helmet in a week or two,  just know that it was a long hard journey for us to get here...I pray that he will be able to make a full recovery and that his little body will be made strong.

I love my little guy.  I just wish I would have known what to do, sooner.

Lots of love,
Niki

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mean Girls Don't Like Colors

Yesterday I came across two posts that literally broke my heart.  While I know most of us, while growing up, will go through a bit of teasing.  I know I was made fun of for being so tall and having freckles....

....But no one should go through being bullied.  No one.

It is amazing to me how kids find those things that are part of our identity, things that we are born with and laugh at it like we had any choice.  "Ha ha, you're tall!"  "Ha ha, you have a big nose!"  "Ha ha, you're black!"  "Ha ha, you have red hair!"

It was interesting to read these two posts.  Both were being targeted for their skin.  One is white with cute freckles and the other has black skin.

What is it about color that makes people so mean?

The first post shared how this sweet little girl with black skin is called dirty, fat and mean because of her race.  The parents of her peers labeled her before she had a chance to be herself and show others who she really is.

Their cruelty upset me more than I imagined.

Being a parent of a child who happens to be African American, my mama bear instincts came out.
How can we live in a world where people hate people because of their color?  How can we, as a society, continue this charade of racism in our homes?

I had a teacher at BYU once talk about my upcoming marriage to my husband in one of my classes.  He was candid and honest and said that he would struggle if his daughter were to marry a black man.  We then opened it up for discussion....he admitted he had a little racism in his heart and he was ashamed by it, but it didn't change how he felt.  I wasn't offended.  But it made me think, how many more of him are there out there...with our discussion I found there were a few.

Will my sweet children, especially my Lia, have limited options in marriage because many are still hung up with their limited love for others not of their own race?

The answer to that is, yes.

Knowing that there are little girls/boys who call said children, the "N" word or dirty, fat and mean because of their color, my sweet daughters have a harder road ahead.  Because they will not only deal with the meanness of their peers, but with the racism of their peers' parents.






The second post was equally as horrible.  This sweet little girl, who I know to be beautiful inside and out, has a few girls as school telling her to her face, that she isn't beautiful.  What?!  She has beautiful red hair, a gorgeous face and her smile lights up a room.  And yet these ruthless, unloving girls are hell bent on making her see herself as otherwise.  Why do mean girls hate color?

Maybe because, they have none.

These mean, ruthless, colorless girls come from mean ruthless colorless homes.  While I am sure some mean children may have parents who care, most, in my opinion, don't.  They learn their "mean" lessons at home.  Their own parents are tearing them down or tearing down others in their sight.

I wish I had an answer when it comes to dealing with these kinds of parents...but I don't.  I guess we can hug our children a little more, try to tell them and teach them their true worth, but I think we just need to be there as a listening ear or get help when needed.

In the end, we will never be able to protect our children from the cruelty of this world.  And hopefully through these lessons our children will grow to be stronger and more empathetic to others' pain.

I believe the best defense we can give our children against a cruel world is a healthy love for themselves.

And the only way we can teach our children this lesson is for us to love ourselves....

No matter what colors you are made of, you are beautiful.


Lots of love,
Niki