The Octopus and the TARDIS: A Love StoryPilar Clark
I could not tear my eyes away from his sweet old man face, memorizing every stork bite, every pinked roll, every translucent little fingernail. Nor did I want to.
We were in a bubble, William and me.
Mainly because they’re meant to be popped, and believing they won’t is just prolonging the inevitable.
As Jeff and tucked our baby boy into his new car seat and left the hospital as shiny noob parents, we were starting to realize that something was just the right amount of wrong.
Because babies are supposed to move a little… right?
And he kind of did. Just not on the left side. His arm and leg just hung there like limp octopus tentacles. He didn’t look left either. And he couldn’t open his fists.
During feeds, we packed nappies under his chin to catch all the milk that would come dribbling back out. It was like he couldn’t swallow fast or efficiently enough.
Our first pediatrician didn’t help either. I’m fully convinced he either drunk or high or just stupid. Still, he might as well have patted me on the head and handed me a lollipop while telling me new mothers have no idea what’s going on with the tiny human they just created. Better that he didn’t since all I wanted to do was punch him in the kittens.
I didn’t. But maybe I should have. Because I’m not kidding about the drunk and high and stupid.
After we found a new pediatrician, she took one look at William and diagnosed severe torticollis and plagiocephaly, which is medical speak for a severely twisted neck and an asymmetrical distortion (flattening of one side) of the skull.
After hours and hours and hours of physical, occupational, feeding and developmental therapy, endless appointments with a craniofacial surgeon and orthopedic surgeon that resulted orthotic helmet and other orthotic devices, here we are. The parents of a special needs child with developmental delays and Asperger’s Syndrome.
The delays are obvious. The Asperger’s not so much. He’s on the high functioning end of the spectrum, and it wasn’t diagnosed until he was three years old.
I won’t even mention vaccines.
Except I will, because that first MMR did something. Or at least it didn’t help.
And yes, I think you need to have some yet-to-be-pinpointed predisposition in your genetic makeup to be negatively affected by the nefarious MMR. Which doesn’t make me anti-vaccine. It just makes me confused. And angry. And sad like Bridget Jones wrapped up like a burrito in her comforter.
After years of poring over medical records, charts, graphs, scans and evaluations, I’m convinced William suffered a TIA – transient ischemic attack, otherwise known as a mini stroke – in utero. He dropped when I was only five months pregnant, wedging his still growing noggin into one position for the remainder of his stay in my uterus. That could have caused the pinching of a blood vessel ever so briefly, causing temporary oxygen loss to his brain.
Can I prove it?
Not unless a TARDIS suddenly appears and spirits me away back in time. Which would be awesome. Because PROOF.
Until then, I’ll never stop searching for answers. You know, like the Doctor. He’s a madman with a box and I’m a mom with a mission. Either way, perseverance is ingrained.