Sunday, July 7, 2013

When embracing being different is more than challenging

Detail, "Found my Root" by Val Hebert

"Embrace being different!" 

Even though we may try to give that message to our kids, at some point, being different is just no bueno to a teen. In fact, being different is so God-awful bad that they will just do anything to be a "fitter-inner," even though it may be to their own detriment and potentially ultimate destruction. It is the kid with the iron clad resilience of spirit that can stand up to peer pressure, call his or her own shots, and navigate those treacherous teenage waters. Thank God we don't have to relive those years again. They are rough.

We have taught our boys as best as we can to be resilient and rich in spirit. My two boys have pretty much had the same upbringing, but both have taken such different paths upon entering their teenaged years. I know now what I always suspected to be true, one who arrives in this world with a compromised systemic condition will not react to his world the same as a sibling who doesn't have the same situation. (My pregnancy with my firstborn son was extremely precarious, and I was on intravenous Terbutaline for the second half of the pregnancy) That, even though our son may seem "just fine" from the outside, what's going on on the inside of his brain is a whole different matter. As parents, we know when our kids need some extra help. I have never given up hope that we can get to the bottom of what his needs are, and find him the help he is entitled to. 

When matters of the brain are involved, the road gets very confusing, with lots of unknown kinks in the path. Also troubling is the lack of knowledge in the medical field. Think about it; if you have a problem with your heart, there are machines that can look into the heart, and doctors who can interpret test results and scans to learn what is wrong. With the brain, it's an entirely different matter. Very little is known about the inner working of the brain, and though research is on the upswing, it's still very slow going with regards to an unspecified brain injury.

My son is a bright, engaging young man. If you met him today you would not think anything is amiss. But there are some deep rooted problems going on down deep in his brain. When he was at Meridell Achievement Center last fall, and he had a QEEG brain scan, we finally learned he was having microscopic seizures in two areas of his brain. We learned the reason for his brain trauma was linked to the medication I was given during his pregnancy. The treatment he was prescribed made a huge difference in his world, and the way he could think and remember. A secondary medication helped his focus exponentially. Now, we are set to begin working with a new neuropsychologist, and will look for new information from a sleep study. I am thrilled that my son will soon be followed by a neurologist.

We are getting ready to bring my son home at the end of this month. He has been gone for 18 long months. Truly, his hardest work is still in front of him... returning to the place where things went so very bad. I am busier than ever making sure his return home is to a lifestyle, activities and home environment that are very different than the one he left. 

Wish us luck, and prayers. We will need it.


  1. Val I am always impressed and amazed at your fortitude and strength! go get em EHB