To the parent of a child who has suffered medical trauma, the word “normal” holds dreams you fear will never come true.
I remember being told that Elanor had had a stroke, and that they knew it was in the speech and higher order thinking part of the brain. Being told that they couldn’t know how it would affect her. Being told that she might experience significant delays and disability.
There were countless discussions with E’s early intervention nurse about “normal.” Wanting, desperately to know that my child was doing okay. Trying to not compare Elanor’s progress with her peers. Fighting down fear and hysteria when her peers did something first…terrified that it meant something bad for her, for us.
With that in mind, our doctor’s visits this past November were a chorus of the words “normal” and “typical.”
I have never, in my life, been so thrilled by those phrases.
As an overachiever, I always strove for “above average” grades, achievements, positions, and accolades. I have first place trophies for speech at the state level and competed nationally. Ravi is a valedictorian. We, as a rule, are not okay with “normal.”
But when you’ve cried yourself to sleep worrying that your child will suffer slings and arrows of medical drama created misfortune, knowing that they are on par with their peer group…that they’re “normal” is the greatest gift you hold in your hearts.
Neurology—neurologically typical, developing normally–want to see her once more in a year and then dismiss her from practice.
Pediatric Stroke Team–developing normally–want to see her once more for a developmental psych eval (which they expect her to ace) and then dismiss her from practice.
Gastroenterology/Nutrition–small, but doing well on her own curve–dismissed from the practice, no need to follow further unless she stops growing.