How Far Down the Rabbit Hole?

In my last posting, A Mother Cries…, I shared that I have begun a medication protocol for both of my children.  I am still not 100% at peace with this decision.  But once you begin down the rabbit hole, there is no choice but to keep tunneling forward.  At times the journey seems overwhelmingly dark and every so often we are bound to bump into things like little varmints and creepy crawly things who are just trying to slow us down.  This week I bumped into one such critter.

She was the pediatric neurologist I ended up choosing rather randomly.  Usually I choose specialists based on a combination of faith, recommendation and intuition and then just pray for at least partial reimbursement from the kids insurance company.  But this isn’t always feasible – not as a single mother without child support, not right now, at least.  And in this case, since I was only seeking an authorization for an EEG to rule out a very slight possibility of absence seizures (also known as petit grand mal seizures) I looked for signs that would lead me to right practitioner…

So when a woman with a last name I like (hint, it’s the same word as one of my careers), who is not only on my kids insurance plan but also located in the same suite as a hot-shot I had been initially referred (Ding…ding… ding) I thanked my Angels and jumped at the first available appointment the very helpful and open-hearted scheduler was able to secure for my son.

Two days later I sat in the doctor’s lobby filling in an abundant amount of checkboxes regarding my son’s birth details, medical history, sleep patterns and behaviors. I put the pen down and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . in total about 50 minutes before the doctor opened her door allowing us access to her sacred shrine, aka a small, dinky, sterile and uninviting office with a few scattered toys that would entertain no-one over the age of three.

Thirty minutes later, with very little attempt to make a connection with my son, she stated with full confidence that his psychiatrist had put him on the wrong medication; that I needed to get him help right away and she was totally surprised that no-one had ever noticed that my son actually had Asperger’s.

WHAT?!  Her shock was no match for mine.  Had I missed something?  Had his psychiatrist, therapist, special ed staff and collab. teachers all been duped by our research and experience?  After all, this relative stranger sounded very convincing.  As the tears rolled down my face, I was too numb to even articulate what I was feeling.

Let me be honest.  For one minute I didn’t know if what she was saying could possibly even remotely be true. I started to doubt myself and my own instincts.  She is a doctor and we are societally trained to trust our medical professionals.  But to what extent?

After a couple of hours, several phone conversations, more internet research and some perspective, I started to feel anger. How dare this new doctor who spent all of 30 minutes with me and my son make such an assertion!

When this doctor told me (in front of him) “You see?  He is obviously disconnected.  He doesn’t look at me in the eye.” My just 8 year old son, while continuing to play on my iPhone quietly answered: “that’s because I don’t know you well and I don’t like to look at people in the eye that I don’t know well.  It makes me uncomfortable.”

Now that is wisdom – that’s truth – HIS truth and far be it from me to mess with that.  In fact, I trust him almost as much as I trust God.  My son knows he needs help right now and asks me for it.  This is why I am down this hole in the first place and this doctor is just a small little snake who happened to get in my way.  So to her and any other little varmints, I say watch out or you’re bound to feel the hard and fast fury of these little rabbit paws as they keep on digging my way back up to the light.

So Mamas, let me share with you what I think above all else, is most important when coming into a situation as this.

NEVER take someone else’s opinion as gospel – especially if it flies in the face of what your own instincts tell you.  In my case, my intuition is also backed up by the love, support and wisdom of many I respect – my boyfriend, my son’s actively involved doctors, my sister goddesses, the wise friends who are my all-around great support system and the most important person of all – my son!

4 Responses to How Far Down the Rabbit Hole?
  1. Jan
    February 7, 2011 | 3:42 pm

    Hi Shira- The cry of a mother always touches my heart! It is a true act of bravery to raise children in a society that is quick to label with whatever is fashionable. Is there a choice when we seek answers, when we love our kids so passionately? I have a neighbor who has published a number of books, two of which deal with her journey raising her “special needs” child. I highly recommend them. If you want more info, email me.

    • Diva-Mama
      February 7, 2011 | 4:07 pm

      Thank you, Jan. Mothers today with special needs children give new definition to the word Warrior! As for your friends books, I would love to get the information and to make it available here for other parents to check out as well. Please send the information to: Shira@ShiraAdler.com

  2. Jenn Deutsch
    February 7, 2011 | 9:43 pm

    {CANTOR SHIRA} just sending you a virtual hug and hope it helps you climb back toward the light.

  3. Latice Jackson
    February 11, 2011 | 12:14 pm

    This is why I hate doctors. They think they be know-it-alls, but instead they be know-it-nots! I can’t thank you enough for writing this blog. I’m a fan. You speak from truth, and from the heart. Not common these days. Keep it up. My little boy was diagnosed with ADHD. I got my hands full and appreciate reading what you write. It gives me strength too.

    Sincerely,

    L

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