Clinic Appointment for Israel
Last week was a busy week of doctor appointments for our family. We had Edith’s six month check up, a visit with a Cerebral Palsy specialist, and a big appointment with Children’s Rehabilitation Services in Birmingham for a full clinic visit. For this appointment, we saw a speech therapist, audiologist, physical therapist, nutritionist, social worker and neurologist. Thankfully, we were able to split this clinic visit up and we saw the speech therapist and audiologist the week before, so the day was not as long.
During the clinic visit, we had to do the usual milestone check up, which is honestly one of the hardest parts of being a special needs parent. It is so hard to verbally say what is delayed about your child, and to have professionals ask what milestones your child can and cannot do. This is something that has never gotten easier, even as Israel has added tasks to his list. It is hard when the doctors give an estimated age for him, based on his skills and where he falls on a range. I am not going to post his developmental age range online, but it is delayed, as we expected.
The point of this particular clinic day was to find a diagnosis for Israel. If you’ve been reading for a long time you will recall that we have gone down this road before. We have seen a neurologist and a CP specialist in the past, both times to walk away with more questions than answers. Now that Israel is older and has made some new strides, we felt it was a good time to pursue a diagnosis again.
Currently, Israel’s “label” is developmental physiological delay and Ataxia (muscle movement delay). He does not have Cerebral Palsy or Autism, which are two diagnoses that we were seeing some signs of. He does not fit in the mold of either of those, and has characteristics that are not CP or Autism. We are praising God for some answers but there is more testing to be done, to find out what is going on in our sweet boy’s brain. He is underweight (always has been) and we are going to try to fatten him up!
We remain hopeful for Israel. We believe this will be a big year for him. We have no expectations or estimated timeline for his development, but we are praying for miracles and trusting in God’s faithfulness regardless of timeline.
Honestly, the past few weeks have been very hard for us. It is very hard to die to our dreams of a healthy, “normal” life. Sometimes we dream about the future and then have to remember that Israel may require additional assistance that could impact our dreams. We have to factor in his overstimulation, or lack of mobility, when planning trips or events. I have no idea how old he will be when he walks, or says sentences, or potty trains. I do not know if or when he will go into a normal classroom at school or if he will ever play a sport. I hope all of these things for him- and I am trusting God’s faithfulness in providing for our needs exactly. We know that His ways are higher than our ways.
We would not trade Israel for anyone. If you were to rewind the tape and give us all the details of our future when we got our referral call, we would take it. He is ours, we are committed to him and we are so thankful for the most precious gift in parenting him. Israel is the best kid in the word (with his sister of course) and we are so proud. There are days when it is overwhelming to be his parent and I doubt my adequacy and abilities to do right by him. I get overwhelmed by the thought of doctor and therapy visits every week. I am exhausted. I want a break sometimes. I get so tired of putting his braces on his legs and being hit in the face every time he is overstimulated. But… he is mine. Israel is mine to love and shepherd and I am so thankful that I get to be the one to put those braces on and receive those hits to the face. It is my honor.