Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Big day tomorrow

So, tomorrow is the big day. The evaluation for Danny. I am not sure what I am expecting Dr. M to tell us, but I suspect the words "high-functioning autism" or "PDD-NOS" might be involved. He is meeting with us for only 45 minutes and I wonder, can he really get a good feel for Danny and what is going on with him in less than an hour? I filled out reams of questionnaires and supplied copies of IEPs and numerous evaluations done by speech therapists, occupational therapists, doctors and teachers. Still, it feels like I might be missing something.

Since Bil just started a new job, he won't be able to come with me. My sister, who happens to be extremely supportive and understanding especially about mothering a special needs kid, offered to come to the appointment in his stead. My mom was going to come, but as luck would have it, the doctor's office scheduled the appointment the week she is out of town. Anyway, so my sister, who works full-time and has two kids, a cat and an African water frog is driving 2 hours to meet me at the doctor's office.

I felt guilty allowing her to do this for me, but now I am so glad I relented. It gives me comfort to know my sister will be there with me. I don't know if the doctor will even give us his diagnosis at the appointment or if I will have to come back for that. I don't know much of anything, really, but I do know it will be easier with B by my side.

I am surprised at my trepidation today. Up until today, I had been so matter-of-fact about this appointment. The doctor very likely won't say much that will surprise me, so what do I have to fear? Still, all of a sudden, I am nervous and I am not sure why. I know there is nothing he can say that will change who Danny is. He will still be my little boy, my exuberant, sweet, stubborn, bright kid who I love with a fierceness that sometimes still surprises me.

Still, I do feel like Dr. M has the potential to change everything for us, just by uttering that one word: "autism." I am already so sensitive to how people perceive Danny. I worry that he will be labeled and judged by others, that he will be treated differently.

I also hate having someone who doesn't know my son tell me what is "wrong" with him. Dr. M can never know who Danny really is. And he is so much more than some diagnosis or disability.

And yet, this disability could be part of who he is, what he struggles with. Will having a diagnosis help Danny? Will it help us help him?

I think I made this appointment hoping for some answers, but I suspect that it will only give me more questions.


Anonymous said...

I understand all your feelings, Patty. Was there myself this past year.

I could echo everything you yourself wrote with knowing that Danny will be the same sweet boy with or without a diagnosis. And with all my heart I believe a diagnosis doesn't hurt, but can help.

Whatever happens, we're all here for you.

Keep us posted!

Sarah said...

Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling because it will pass and whatever you are told, keep in mind that it is an "opinion" and what you choose to do with the information is up to you and Bil. Danny will continue to grow and amaze you---with or without a diagnosis :)

Susan said...

B is a good sister.
I will be thinking and praying for you all day. And just cause I have a lil' Grandma S in me I will light a candle for you too :)

Natalie said...

Good luck tomorrow. I feel like I was feeling exactly the way you sound last year waiting for Hannah's appointment with the developmental ped. You and Danny will be in my prayers. So glad your sister is able to go with you. I wish I would have had someone who could come with me. It really helps to have another set of ears to absorb what the doctor is saying.

Denise said...

Oh Patty, I am grateful your sister is coming. I thought about making Scott babysit and me go with you...but this is MUCH better!
I'll be praying for you too!
I love your perspective about Danny. Danny will always be Danny and you will love him NO differently! Lucky you to have such wisdom and love inside of you! I admire that in you.

Ginny Marie said...

It is so good to have someone come with you! I always get nervous before I take my kids to the doctor, even though they've never had serious health problems. I hope you have a good outcome tomorrow!

Mrsbear said...

I hope it goes well for you today and that the doctor is sensitive enough to make good use of those 45 minutes.

It's always nice to have some support. I would want someone there too and who better than a sister.

Good luck. I hope you get more answers than questions. :)

Niksmom said...

Hi Patty, thanks for stopping by NTMC. I hope today's doctor's appointment went well and that you got some useful information.

No matter how prepared you are for it, the diagnosis still stings. You already know that your son is the same boy he was before any doctor's pronouncements. If you do get a diagnosis, try to look at it as a different frame of reference which might help explain some behaviors and challenges better and which might also give you a starting point for approaches you can take to help him.

Sending good thoughts your way. Glad to have "met" you. :-)

Kim said...

I can understand your feelings. Honestly, I think I have been putting of making Meechi an appointment to avoid those feelings myself. You and Danny are in my thoughts today. I hope you get more answers than questions. I'm so glad you have the loving support of your family right now.

gretchen said...

Don't feel guilty about your sister. I'm sure she's happy to be with you when you need her. And I believe that there's always freedom in knowledge, that it's better to know all the answers and the questions. Then you can decide for yourself how best to help your kid.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I was thinking about you a ton today. (((hugs)))