Moms, when you have that feeling that something just isn’t quite as it should be when it comes to your children, trust it. I am learning more and more that I am more in-tune with my kiddos than I think, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
We’ve had a rough past couple of weeks with Harper. I had started to notice small things with her- she struggled with climbing up and down stairs, was uneasy on playground equipment, and started having more falls and kept bumping into things. Then the behavior issues started. She’s been super aggressive again, and prone to screaming spells- not the typical three-year old tantrums (although there are plenty of those!), but she also has spells of just pacing in circles and screaming for long periods of time. She has been a little more apt to shutting down in large crowds or loud places, and then last week the small seizures started again, the first of any kind of seizure activity in about two months.
I have a tendency with Harper to do one of two things- be overly paranoid and question every little difference I see, or ignore things and deny that she has any special needs. I go from one extreme to the other, and here lately I’ve done more of the ignoring and denying. She is so smart and funny, such a ball of fire and full of joy and energy, and it is easier for me to chalk up the discrepancies I see as “quirkiness” and just go about our “normal” life as much as possible.
But this time deep down I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to ask some questions, and while I was hesitant to reach out, I did finally speak with some people and the decision was made to start with a physical therapy evaluation. We went today, and a part of me was clinging to the hope that I was being overly cautious. I really felt that the evaluation would reveal that Harper has no issues other than an over-protective mother.
Unfortunately my gut instinct was right. It is time to restart weekly therapy services. We sat down this afternoon and have developed some goals to start with for physical therapy, with the understanding that occupational therapy may be in our future again as well. And I’m not going to lie- once we got in the car to go back home, I had a moment. While I am thankful that Harper is able to get what she needs before she falls even farther behind, and I’m grateful that she’s overcome as much as she has in her three years of life, it’s never easy to be told that your baby needs help. It’s hard to be told that there is a problem, no matter how many times you hear it (and by now you think we’d be used to it!).
No, this isn’t the end of the road, and in the grand scheme of things it’s really a minor setback. It’s nothing that we haven’t been told to expect as Harper grows, and things could be far, far worse. Her seizures are still under control at this point, but if they continue we will have to consult with the neurologist again to be sure we aren’t missing something. She hasn’t lost any skills yet, which is remarkable for the intensity of the seizures she’s had. She just isn’t moving forward on her own as smoothly as we had hoped.
We are learning that Harper’s condition is going to keep us in a constant state of learning. We never can get too comfortable, and we certainly cannot predict what will happen in the next few hours for her, much less years down the road. But she’s a fighter, feisty and determined, and I know this is just one more hurdle for her to make her way over one way or another. God has big plans for this kid, and we’re just along for the ride, trusting Him every mile of the journey.