A Journey Through Apraxia

by Maria on September 8, 2012

For several weeks now, I have been debating how to write this post, or if I should even write it at all.  I thought maybe I could just slide right back into posting recipes and not mention the reason for my absence.  Then I decided it’s important that we tell our stories. Though they may not be relevant to the masses, if it comforts the heart of just one mamma, than it was worth sharing.  So here goes.

In June of 2011, I took a break from my weekly post here on The Mother Huddle. I was pregnant with our third child and preparing to move to a new state. I just needed a little time to get settled and to stop feeling nauseous all the time. I thought I would be back to blogging in a matter of weeks, a month or two tops, but as some of you may have noticed….I was wrong.

It wasn’t that our move turned into a nightmare, or even that I had a horrible pregnancy (it wasn’t the most comfortable experience I’ve ever had, but I can’t use it as my excuse for falling of the blog planet for so long). It wasn’t even stress from having a newborn (she’s sort of an easy baby.) The biggest reason why I have been missing in action for over 14 months comes in the form of a 65 lb little boy who just celebrated his fourth birthday…..my son Thatcher.

My husband and I lovingly refer to Thatcher as our “high maintenance” child. He is the sweetest, most affectionate little boy, but he has had many, many, small health issues that have kept him in and out of the Dr.’s office for most of his life.

Thatcher was born with a Hydrocele Hernia, almost caught pneumonia at 4 months and has needed a nebulizer multiple times a year ever since. He had 8 ear infections before age one and got his first set of tubes shortly after his first birthday. He swallowed a small battery the day before he was scheduled to have his hernia repaired and got to stay in the hospital overnight for that one. Throw in a second set of tubes, getting his adenoids out, getting his tonsils out, an MRI and EEG, mix that together with regular illness, like strep throat and croop on a pretty regular basis, and you can see that “high maintenance” is a pretty good description of my little Thatcher.

Our family jokes that Thatcher feels like something is wrong if he hasn’t been to at least one specialist every month. Pediatric Eye Doctor, Ear Nose and Throat, Pediatric Urologist, Neurologist, Developmental Pediatrician, the list goes on. And then there are his therapists. With all of the ear infections he had, the doctor compared his ability to hear as a baby, to what it would be like to hear under water, so when most children are hearing sounds and preparing to speak, he was hearing , glub, glub, glub.

Okay, so he’ll be a little behind with talking we thought. No problem, we can do this. We got him into occupational and speech therapy and started waiting for the language to come. Time just kept passing. Surely his breakthrough will come soon…he is almost three. …at three he’s going to start talking. Well, at three he didn’t start talking.

Little did we know that Thatcher would not start talking without extensive speech therapy and A LOT of hard work. Thatcher has severe Childhood Apraxia. Something we knew nothing about 14 months ago.

I have missed contributing to The Mother Huddle, but needed time to figure out what my son needed from me as his mother.  I needed to learn how to be his advocate and put his needs at the forefront until we could figure out what was really going to work for him.

We are in a great place with Thatcher right now. He is doing so well and working so hard. It has not been easy, but the type of therapy we are doing with him now, is making a big difference. When we look at where he is now, compared to where he was last June, we are filled with HOPE!

I’m excited to be back in the kitchen and can’t wait to share more delicious recipes with you. I also look forward to sharing more of my families journey through apraxia. I know many of you are in the middle of your own journeys, and even though our paths may not be identical, I know we can find common ground in our heartbreaks and our triumphs. I know we can find strength and hope in each others stories.

If anyone has questions about our experience with Apraxia, or you just want to share your story, I’d love to hear it.

Maria

Read {Part Two} or {Part Three}

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