Motherhood, as usual, steeped in paradox. Metabolic panel comes back. Nothing “emergent” but “plenty to work with.”
Nothing emergent should be cause for celebration. Instead, feel electric currents of panic shooting up my spine (surely overtaxed by now?). Is the neurologist ditching us? Is he saying the blood work suggests there’s nothing seriously (enough) the matter here? Is he not able to “fix” the non-emergent? Does this mean what works for other kids in this practitioner’s experience won’t work for McD? That we’ve gotten our hopes (moderately) up and gone down one more dead-end road? (Don’t read special needs blogs if you don’t want to know about all the dead ends, after all.)
Should I protest? Ask for clarification of “emergent”? Can he come to my house for an hour? Should I make a short video?
Situation feels pretty emergent.
Even Husband (Number One)—who scorns melodrama and creating problems where they don’t exist—is half p.o.’d by this report. “What??” He asks. Then his/my standard question: “What does that mean?”
Maybe that my amateur dietary changes have been effective? That the pricey omega 3-6-9 supplements are working? That the swing set was a worthwhile investment and I should be happy I don’t have my soapstone countertops (yet)? That even severe ADHD can have pedestrian metabolic red flags?
This is a good thing, right?
Of course, to find out, we have to make appointment.
In the meantime, I’m zeroed in on the fact that we are—I am—defensive rather than grateful, anxious rather than reassured. We were told—more than once—that McD’s ADHD is severe. And what caused me to huff out of the first behaviorist’s office—her comment about him being at the top of the scale of what she usually works with—is now the very thing I am entrenched behind and counting on. (What a difference a year of specialists, research, and behavior can make…)
The “plenty to work with” part, though it feels kind of anticlimactic to me, would probably be enough to strike fear into another parent’s heart. It would, after all, strike fear into mine if we were talking about my other son’s neurology. But re: McD? That’s… it? Shouldn’t his blood work—like our home and family— show all the telltale and flashing signs of stress, havoc, and crisis? Did the lab mix up the vials??
So even though nobody wants to hear that their kid’s condition is “severe” or “emergent,” there is paradoxical comfort in this language. If nothing else, it serves as validation that no, I’m not crazy or lazy or oversensitive or a wimp. It really is that bad (at least some days and/or some parts of every day). Objective, scientific, medical standards and professionals have promised. It’s not all—or even mostly–my fault. All I can do is the best I can do. (Which means figure out how to make him and all collateral damage all better, of course.) It is–can be–bad. (Is McD’s blood saying it’s not?) And for some bizarre, perverse reason, I need that in order to remember that I’m a good mother to him.