Last week was a tough week for me.
Almost 10 years ago my Grandad had a lump the size of an orange removed from his brain. He did not cope well with anesthetic and was warned that he could never undergo another operation like that. Since then he has been... different, but mostly still healthy. Last Tuesday evening my mum rang to tell me that my Grandad had some seizures during the day. That night he had another three seizures so the next morning my Grandma took him to the doctor, who sent him straight to ER at the hospital. The hospital wanted to send him to Melbourne by ambulance but changed their mind when they found Grandad could not have any more operations. A brain scan showed that the place where the lump was removed before now has three new lumps growing. The family is concerned that this could be the 'beginning of the end' for him. I love my Grandad and I can't imagine life without him around.
On Wednesday night Simon went away for a college camp as part of orientation week, leaving me feeling a little bit lonely.
For the last couple of years Tim has been having multiple vocal and facial tics. They are not too noticeable to other people and mostly don't bother him too much, but there are a few that make some things very difficult for him and he asked us to take him to a doctor. I tried to ignore it and hope it would go away, but they seem to be getting worse so we were off to see a Paediatrician on Thursday morning, just Tim and I because Simon was away.
The appointment went very well and I was extremely proud of Tim and how well he answered questions and explained everything for the doctor. The (not unexpected) diagnosis is that Tim has Tourettes Syndrome. This will now involve some visits to Psychologists and the school councillor and I'm not sure what else. There will be no medication at this point which I am very grateful for.
Simon came home from camp on Thursday afternoon but we were both very busy Thursday evening and on Friday evening he had to go away again for a mandatory training weekend so I felt a little like I'd had no time to process the implications of this on our lives.
I have now realized that to a certain extent this won't change anything. I have been thinking for several months that Tim has Tourettes and have been trying to deal with him as though he did. The biggest change will be that now I will have some extra advice from somebody outside and that could really help. I do however find myself in an odd predicament. His Tourettes is not severe and most people haven't noticed it. I am somewhat concerned that he may now be 'boxed' into a category and treated differently than other kids. This leaves me wondering whether I am better not to tell people, yet I also think that sometimes, like when he appears to be rolling his eyes disrespectfully, or when he flies into a rage, or when I have had a really tough day with him, it would be easier if people knew and understood.
I also have a pride issue to deal with. I have (very ungenerously) always been slightly sceptical of people who claim their kids have something (Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, Tourettes, etc) and yet their children seem fine around me. I know most cases are genuine, but when I worked in childcare I witnessed a situation where a parent just didn't want to take responsibility for their own lack of parenting and went to doctor after doctor to get a diagnosis of something. This child spent more time with me than with his parents and I am positive he was just desperate for a bit of attention at home.
BUT... now I know that if I tell people Tim has Tourettes some of them will look at him and say to themselves "There's nothing wrong with this kid except his mother." My pride doesn't like this... not at all.
So, that was my week last week. My weekend was actually much better than I expected it to be with Simon away (it normally is). God is awesome, and I know he has endowed me with patience and gentleness several times lately. I know He'll stand by us for whatever the future may hold and, in a way, that makes me eager to see what He does next.