It’s my lucky Day!
We went about life after those initial neurologist visits feeling that Zach was making progress. He started walking clumsily at 14 months of age (not out of the realm of typical development) he was eating ok, sleeping ok and was as cute as ever! He was not really babbling but he did say moo and up. He was pointing to a few things when asked so we thought all was great. (In retrospect now that I know more about typical development there was no question that he was behind!)
We went to the third neurologist visit feeling confident. We watched as the Dr. poked and prodded, answered his questions and watched as he observed Zach walking etc. As the visit was winding down we were about ready to walk out when the Dr. stated matter of factly “I think your son is retarded.” “I am not sure how much, probably mildly, you will just have to see as he gets older.” “You can try early intervention but I do not really think that does much good.”
The words flew from his tongue like he was reading from a script. He seemed so uncaring and callous. This man had just cut us to the quick and broken our hearts but he could have cared less! Of course I started sobbing and asked if he thought we just did not spend enough time with Zach, we could do more. Maybe everyone was talking for him, he didn’t need to talk. We were busy and didn’t read to him enough. Should we get genetic testing done?
He said that unless we were putting Zach in a closet everyday (which we were not LOL) he should be developing fine. He also said there was no need for genetic testing; Zach definitely did not have a genetic condition…he looked perfectly “normal.” He also said genetic testing wouldn’t change anything so why put ourselves through it.
We left that day and never went back to him. Not because what he said wasn’t the truth, Zach did/does have cognitive impairments but it was the awful way he presented it and the lack of hope he gave us. We went home and IMMEDIATELY called Early On to see what help they could give us and we got him involved in speech, occupational and physical therapy through the hospital.
A few weeks later we received the doctors notes and in it they stated, “Mother was not happy with my findings.” One day when telling my friend what the letter said, I joked and quoted “Did he think I was going to say, “Halleluiah, It’s my Lucky Day?” For years after if anything crummy happened she would say in her southern drawl “It’s my Lucky Day!”