Today we took Alex to see Dr. Evans (neurologist) at Children's downtown. First let me start by saying that just walking in the hospital building gave me chills. After Alex's tonsillectomy nightmare, I can't imagine spending days or months in a hospital with your baby. If there is a place to do it, Children's is the place. The staff made our appointment as comfortable as possible. I tried all day to stay calm knowing this is in God's hands, but it's scary sending your baby to the Neurologist. I think I am tainted from our last experience when the doctor diagnosed Alex with Asperger's Syndrome (on the autism spectrum) and "not a mild case" in her opinion.
I needed a second opinion to confirm this because I've had a really hard time accepting or even believing that Alex could have this. Fortunately, my Aunt Cindy pulled some strings and got us a referral to see Dr. Evans. We've been on the waiting list for months. I knew that today, bad or good, I would have to accept the news presented by Dr. Evans.
The doctor came in and introduced herself and brought 6 other doctors to participate. I wasn't expecting that. A bit overwhelming! The team included: an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Child Psychiatrist, Speech Therapist, Behavioral Therapist and a Neurology Resident. I knew we were going to get some answers today with this many doctors present!
To summarize, the doctor did diagnose Alex with a hand tremor. Her hands shake. It's hereditary. My mother and I both have shaky hands too. It's nothing that has ever been an issue or interfered with our life, but Alex's has been prominent and I've been approached by teachers to have her evaluated, so I felt like I needed to understand why she is shaking. Alex did so well during the visit! She wasn't intimidated or scared by the team of physicians. They asked us a battery of questions and spent time evaluating Alex. I explained our prior Neurology visit and she was "floored" that the doctor diagnosed Alex with Asperger's Syndrome and said "I respectfully disagree. There is nothing Autistic about this child. She is an intelligent, dynamic, energetic, wonderful little girl. I'm very impressed with her eye contact, social interaction, and she is extremely verbal." HA! I think Nathan chimed in with "ha, just like her mom."
She also asked the other doctors to give their opinion and they all agreed that she is doing great! Alex wrote her name and drew them a picture. Many of the issues we were struggling with in the past have been resolved since turning four. Four has been the magic age for Alex. Everything has really clicked for her.
Bottom line: no medication, no sedation and MRI/sleep testing....and most importantly...NO AUTISM! I think I can finally accept this and fully recognize that she's okay!
Thank you God! We will go back in 6 months for a follow-up. As far as the tremor is concerned-- because there is a family history of tremors and because she's improved so much, they just want to give her more time and see what happens. That works for me. It doesn't seem to be causing any problems.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make sure and tell the full story because it's worth celebrating! We love you all and thank you for your prayers!
Alex outside the hospital giving a "thumbs up" after getting a Cinderella backpack in the gift shop.