Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Neurologist

   A few months had passed, and Mikey was still babbling like crazy, but not speaking. I tried to
put it out of my mind, and kept telling myself that everything would be fine. My heart wanted to believe that, but my head knew better. We went for the 2-1/2 year check-up , and we were all in agreement that the time had come to see a neurologist...just to be on the safe side. Our pediatrician recommended  a neurologist, and told me that while she did not accept insurance, she really was the best around.  I called when we got home, and we made the appointment. We had to wait two weeks...a very long two weeks.
     By this point in time, I was a mother of three beautiful boys. Timmy arrived  just 20 months after Mikey, and was a very sweet, alert baby. Chris was in preschool now, so we had a family member come over to watch Timmy while Mike and I headed to the neurologist's office with Mikey. Our conversation in the car basically consisted of Mike trying to reassure me that whatever the problem was, we would face it head on and make the best of it. My end of the conversation consisted mostly of denial, you know, I am sure he is okay, this is just another waste of an afternoon. Turns out Mike would be right, not me.
    Again, we were filling out a mini-novel of our family history, health information , but no insurance information. The visit would be $350 cash. We had it,  but what kind of doctor doesn't accept insurance, I mean really? What happens to the people that cannot afford it?
   We waited to meet the doctor, but instead of being called into an examining room, she came into the waiting room and just sat down, watching Mikey. She didn't even introduce herself at first. He was playing with some blocks, and she just watched and watched. I just sat and watched and watched her. Finally , she introduced herself, and asked us to enter the examining area.
   Once in the examining room, she checked Mikey's eyes, ears, limbs, belly, you know , the usual. She then watched him walk around the office. She asked us a  few basic questions, then asked us to meet her in her office.
    We sat down in the office and she asked us to give Mikey a book. She wanted to see how he used it. We did, he fumbled through it, but apparently not to her liking. She again asked Mike and I a few questions about each of us,our family histories, did we drink, did we have a drug history, etc. Then she wrote down a few things and looked up quickly from her paperwork.
   "Your son has autism." Whack! You might as well have hit me in the face with a two by four. "What?", I replied....she said it again.." Michael is autistic." My mind went to twenty million places at once. As far as I knew, children with autism didn't smile, they showed no emotion, they didn't laugh..that was definitely not my son. My son loved to snuggle, had a sense of humor and was happy.....this doctor, in my opinion ,was crazy.
   Common sense took over and I began to ask questions...how did he get this,was it genetic, how is it treated, should I have any more children? She answered , assuring me that it wasn't genetic( which I still to this day do not believe, but more on that later), and explained that I should have him go through an educational evaluation to determine what services he would need.She gave us a list of blood tests she wanted to have done, and gave us her last little words of wisdom.
    We listened, scooped up Mikey, thanked her( well , my husband did, I was too angry to even look at her),and left the office. As we headed to the elevator, Mike looked sad, Mikey was happy as could be, and I was furious.....I was mumbling about how she charged too much, had no bedside manner whatsoever, and had no idea what she was talking about. The ride home was long and quiet.

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