2012 was a long year and I am not sorry to see it go. My health reared up and demanded attention. I lost my focus with Hope, lost it in a sea of attachment. I forgot I was trying to make Hope an integral part of my family. I let others take the lead with Hope. I have never done that with one of my kids.
I thought I was improving my relationship with Mk, but it was superficial. She still hates me and thinks I hate her. I have been married almost 35 years and this year I came closer to divorce then ever before.
There were mixed events. I got to know GB’s needs much better. The cost? I had to face how much damage alcohol exposure prenatally did to her. My pain has steadily increased, but I discovered acupuncture provided relief. I dared to reach out to new friends. It is a much better way to live, but it sometimes results in pain.
There were a couple of blessings. Jimmy came back into our lives. I have three new grandchildren and became a great grandmother for the first time. We found a team of four therapists to work with our family.
2013 holds the joy and promise of healing and a new start.
The psychiatrist said Hope needed to see a pediatric neurologist, given the diagnoses she came with. The only one I knew was the doctor who told me GB was FASD 6 years ago. It was a little embarrassing to go back to him after all these years. When I took GB to see him, I knew she was developmentally delayed – she was enrolled in Early Intervention when she was 7 months old. I hadn’t even thought about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He spent a great deal of time pointing out facial features and discussing what effects were associated with it. It was a while before I realized he was saying that GB’s developmental problems where from alcohol use by her BM and they were permanent. I was furious. Who was he to say that about my baby! Quack! Even then, I knew he wasn’t a quack- he had just caught me off guard and I wasn’t ready to hear that the problems were permanent.
Fast forward six years. Now I have Hope, with all these problems, and even more labels. This neurologist was the best within a hundred miles. I called him Monday and he gave me an appointment for today. I filled out paper work and gave a quick social history, while her Dad took her for a walk. The first thing the doctor and nurse asked about was how GB was doing. I admitted he was right. He asked about school and I told him about neurologically impaired class she is currently in. Hope came back and the doctor did a complete exam. He said emphatically that Hope was not PDD-NOS. He also said there were no signs of FASD- ARND. His bottom line was there is nothing organically wrong with the child, besides language delays. Her problems are most likely environmentally induced. I told him the shrink wanted a sleep deprived EEG just to be sure what looked dissociation was not, in fact, a seizure. He said he expected it to be clean and that he would not need to see Hope again. He suggested that he was closer than Staten Island, if we wanted him to take over GB’s care. I said I would think about it. He also said he was 53 and had an 18 month old girl, so I am not the oldest parent I know.