Monday, March 22, 2010

The Latest

Atticus is the same. Happy boy by day, angsty child by night.

After his EEG, the latest neurologist (the third in one week) relieved us slightly with his take on Atticus' situation. With the EEG being clear, his thoughts were that there was not enough evidence that pointed to Atti's hallucinations being seizures. He also said, contrary to what the other neurologist claimed, that the things he is seeing are unlikely to be related to the "spot" on his MRI and that the spot is most likely an enlarged blood vessel (a highly common occurrence). He recommended that we see an ophthalmologist next.

It's interesting how many people are coming out of the wood-work with their own hallucination stories. You'd be surprised at how many people have had them (non-drug induced at that).

In fact, tonight I just heard another story: when my friend was a child, he experienced hallucinations in the form of his Mork from Ork poster talking to him. Dave, my husband, had auditory hallucinations and is convinced he suffered from a disorder called Micropsia (otherwise known as Alice in Wonderland Syndrome), where perception is distorted and things grow or shrink in size.

I've been given horror stories (several, in fact) of friends who have been diagnosed with Celiac's disease after years of being undiagnosed with symptoms including hallucinations, paranoia, anorexia, and more! Really, I could write a book with the stories people are sharing with me...though, I think I already saw it at a store the other day. The book was titled: A Comprehensive List of all the Illnesses that I could Have: For the Hypochondriac.

At times, I have been grateful for the stories that help me know in which direction to look for answers, but at other times I have felt overwhelmed beyond belief. Believe me, if a dozen doctors can't figure out what is wrong with Atticus, it's a shame if he has to depend on me to figure it out. I'm just not that kind of person. You know the kind, the kind that is so devoted to one system of belief that he or she can heal someone just by virtue of their total commitment to researching and strictly abiding by an alternative way of treatment. I've never strictly abided by anything. I don't even shower daily. Or every three days. Seriously, I have to believe in God, cause I certainly don't believe in my own powers of healing.

The stories from adults about when they were kids help, though. We survived childhood. It was traumatizing, but we survived it. I always hate it when people say in response to all their worries, "Oh, to have the worries of a child..." Do they not remember how overwhelming their worries felt? The insecurities of not having friends, the fear of their parents divorcing, death, eternity, the boogie monster?? Its awful stuff. And yet, we made it. We survived it.

I think maybe this is one of those things Atticus is surviving. Maybe one day, if he remembers, he'll tell the story about these crazy light flashes he saw and how they lasted one month and then never came back. He'll say, "The doctors never figured it out, but now (in the year 2025) they call it Growth Spurt Psychosis. There is very little treatment, just comforting the patient that this too shall pass. It was so weird and totally terrifying. But, then it just stopped. My parents were so freaked out. They prayed a lot and a bunch of their friends from Facebook told them how much they were praying for me...can you believe there was Facebook back then?? Anyway, I learned a lot about how to comfort myself. I still like singing the song from Psalm 121 to myself—I lift my eyes up, up to the mountains, where does my help come from..."

1 comment:

  1. Sweet boy and his dear momma. He's so lucky to have you, even if it feels like you're all just barely surviving. Thanks for the update, and know that we ARE all praying ...

    I have a memory of something unsettling too, a visual perception of light and dark at night while I was trying to fall asleep in my room at the end of the hall. It was very scary. You're right about childhood worries. There is nothing to envy about them - they seemed more real than anything I'm fearing now as an adult! I'm so glad that Atticus has you to comfort him when everything is terrifying around him. Even if you can't *fix* it, your the one who can remind him where to look.