Thursday, 18 August 2011
Misfits or fraudsters?
Tiddler has come a long way. In our darkest days she has been tube fed, had lumbar punctures, canulas in her head, tested for all manner of chromosomal abnormalities, even checked that she had shoulder blades. She is no longer tube fed, has no chromosomal abnormalities and fundamentally is well.
Why then do I feel like I do? I have recently come down from the high of Tiddler's latest discharge from hospital, her feeding VASTLY improved and the Paediatrician being pleased with her.
I met up with some Mummy friends over the last couple of days, its the first time we have been in a group of same-aged babies for about a month. I have found it hard. I know its important to get out, to let Tiddler interact and see the other children. But at what cost? Sometimes I wonder if its worth it.
Some of the others are crawling, some are standing, some are cruising. Tiddler can't sit. Well- she can actually, she has started to fairly recently, the problem is she won't. I think its too hard for her as her hypotonia (low muscle tone)means she doesnt have the control in her trunk to sit very easily. Actually, if she could just walk she would be a lot happier as her legs are great and operate totally normally. Clearly though, you can't walk before you can sit. Thats probably the most visible difference. One of the Mums suggested a group photo of all the babies sitting, I literally felt dread as I knew Tiddler couldn't sit. I wanted the earth to shrink us up, I didn't want this difference to be so glaringly pointed out. The photo didn't happen, thankfully. I need to get over this sort of thing.
She is- of course- a Tiddler hence the irritating "Was she premature?" question referred to here. Weaning is slow due to delayed swallow, a strong gag reflex and her low muscle tone. She will be a Tiddler a while longer!
BUT, she's not poorly now, she doesn't have a life limiting condition, she is happy, on the button intellectually and a babbler bang on course. So why do I feel as I do? I feel guilty that I feel like a misfit. Tiddler has left hospital whereas others did not.
We have been offered a place for a couple of hours a week at a local childrens centre for children with additional needs. I feel like we don't fit in here either because thankfully she doesnt have a serious illness or disability. I feel like a bit of a fraud. I also feel like a fraud for tagging this blog on the "special needs" section of Netmums. Why? Is it because I haven't come to terms with Tiddler's health problems or is this just symptomatic of the no man's land grey of being without a diagnosis?
So yep, we are currently without a diagnosis. Tiddler is still under a Geneticist and the belief is that there is an overarching reason for all of her health issues but that we don't know what that is yet. Nor do we know when we will know! It may be that we never get a diagnosis for her, as I have recently learnt that this outcome is more common than you would think.
We just don't fit in. I have to get over it I know I do. I suppose the camp we fit in at the moment is the "without a diagnosis" camp! I am not good with grey....