I have mentioned once or twice on here that Rider has had some struggles in using his left hand/arm. Because he was still struggling with it at his 6 month check up, his pediatrician wanted to take a closer look at what might be causing it. Since we were pretty confident it wasn't anything to do with his actual arm, the feeling was that it was neurological. So, they scheduled an MRI for his brain. Last week, I had to starve him (okay - no food for 12 hours isn't starving him, but he sure thought so!), and take him to the children's hospital for an MRI. That was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done as a parent. Holding the poor boy down while they stuck him (3 times) to start his IV. Then watch him completely go limp when they gave him the drugs (which they prepared me for, but still...), and then just leave him in there. Wow! Thankfully he woke up just as quickly as he fell asleep and was happy and ready to eat when I got back to him. Thankfully the MRI was on Thursday, so we were able to get results on Friday - without having to wait through the weekend. So, after several phone calls from me to the drs office, our ped called late Friday evening with the results.
Rider has polymicrogyria (if you are a curious researcher, please know that there are mild and extreme cases, Rider's is very mild) which means that when his brain was developing in the womb, the nerves in the brain that start in the middle and migrate out in a specific pattern got out of sequence. Thankfully, it is only out of sequence in a small area on the right side of his brain, therefore making this finding significant, but not devastating. This on his brain is permanent and will never become worse or get better, and interestingly enough some people live their whole lives with it, and never notice anything until after death an autopsy is performed revealing it.
We met with a (now our) neurologist this afternoon. God has been so faithful in allowing all of this to happen quickly for us - not causing us to wait, which has been so nice! This neurologist had a cancellation this afternoon, and we were able to get right in. I haven't ever tried to get an appointment with a pediatric neurologist, but I would imagine it takes longer than a day. Praise God! Anyway, we felt reassured after talking with him, and have nothing but positive thoughts as we move forward with Rider's treatment....which actually is just to continue what we've already started with therapy. In fact, he's already made huge improvement and is army crawling all over the living room chasing Brice, Chloe, or computer cords. (Maybe I should baby-proof now. :)) He expects Rider's brain to figure out ways to work around the affected area and be able to crawl, walk, run, and chase after his brother. There may be some initial difficulty, but those are things that can be addressed in therapy. We also found out that he will qualify for the state's early intervention program, which means they will come to us to do therapy and it will be at no cost to us...another huge praise!! He also does not believe that his learning, language, etc will be affected by any of this.
So, the questions have been answered as far as why he is behind with his left arm, and really it keeps us in the same situation we were in before we knew; love him just like we were, treat him just like we were, and always expect the best from him. The only difference is that there is a real physical reason to why he was having those struggles and that now we need to watch out for other similar situations to ever arise.
How are we feeling about all this? Well, we know we serve a very big God who cares about Rider very much. We know that God knit Rider together in my womb exactly the way he wanted him to be. We know that miracles happen, and we know that God is our ultimate physician. All that said, we want God to be glorified in this situation. We will be careful to give Him praise when steps forward are made. We also do NOT want to put God into a box, and say, "well, this is what we are stuck with, and Rider may never be able to do (fill in the blank)." No, nothing is impossible with God - nothing! We will believe only for the best for Rider and his development. If you know me, you know that if someone tells me I can't do something, I'm bound and determined to prove them wrong...I am finding that I'm even more so that way with my kids! So watch out! ;) Rider may very well be a left handed pitcher in the majors someday! And no matter what, we trust and know that God has a perfect plan for this sweet boy of ours!
One thing that we would ask that you join us in prayer for...with the way his brain developed, the nerves are a little out of sequence, which could cause seizures. There is no real way to know when/if this may happen. So, please pray that first and foremost, this would not happen. But, I also ask that you pray for us (me especially - Darren is really good about this), that we would not live in fear of what may happen, but trust that God has Rider in His hands, and will take care of him. My prayer is that I am constantly reminded that God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Thank you for any prayers offered up for our sweet boy and our family!