I took my son to the orthopedic office prepared with my lists. I had decided to present all the information I had and just see what she thought the problem, rather than come in guns ablazin. She came in and talked to me first, for a half hour. (we like her) She started with a neurologic exam. (stupid incompetent peditrician) The neurologic exam showed all his right sided reflexes were either exagerated or non existant. The left side was the same odd mix of reflexes just to a lesser degree. Odd. She did the exam 2 more times. The results were all consistantly strange. She proceeded to a range of motion exam of all his major joints. He had some majorly spastic muscles and some muscles with no tone at all. The tendons in his right hip, ankle, and heel were restricting his range of motion severely. She watched him walk, run, squat, fall, climb the stool, and tested his balance. Everything was off, way off. She asked for an x ray of his hips. They did it instantly! Hips were fine. She repeated the range of motion tests, strength tests, and neurologic exam two more times. I dressed John and we sat down. My heart was pounding, i had been watching her face and i knew she didnt like what she saw. More questions about wether or not John had reached all his baby milestones on time, yes he had, questions about when this all started. She was ready to talk.
The orthopedist sat down and said, “this might be hard to hear. I think your son has cerebral palsy. His problems seem to be completely neurologic in nature. He really needs an mri, but a neurologist needs to order it. So, as long as there is nothing on the mri , I think that may be his problem.” I asked 500 questions. She answered them to the best of her ability. It seemed reasonable, now i had that referral I was after. She wanted a brace made for his leg, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and for me to call her after i saw the neurologist. We like her, i kept her card. I rarely keep any drs cards.
I thought about what she had seen and said. It still didn’t explain the headaches, mood changes, and what seemed to be is progressive symptoms. He had met all his milestones as a baby. I really needed to see that neurologist. We went to the brace maker the next day and had his leg casted. I put out the good word for prayer, called and made appointments for the special therapys, and the neurologist. I took John to be annoited by the elders and prayed for. The possibility of this diagnosis sunk in pretty quickly. I cried and I googled. Steve cried and googled. It didnt take me long to realize this cerebral palsey was the best case scenerio. I wanted that mri bad, it was killing me. The list of possibilities that his brain could show was short, and very scary. I was praying the diagnosis of cerebral palsey would stick.