Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Pit

Spring break is over. The boys are back to school this week and we are getting back on track with the daily grind. Yesterday morning I awoke to an intermittent beep. I knew right away this was one of our Atomic clocks whose battery was running low. Hubs got up and began the search for the culprit. He started by looking in eldest's room that is currently being used as my husband's top-floor office while our son is away at college.

Quietly my husband motioned for me to follow him as he stopped at the doorway and pointed. There lay Colin, wrapped tightly in his fleece blanket, sleeping in his big brother's bed. This is only the third time I can recall Colin sleeping in a bed since he has been at home. When he was at his aunt's home, he slept on a rug, refusing to use the Murphy Bed.

We let him sleep for a bit until Dad needed to wake him. Colin explained that he was up at 4:00 a.m. and came upstairs to ask his middle-brother for some help with some school work. No surprise, his brother was fast-asleep. Colin decided to crash in the empty bed in his eldest brother's room next door. I am marking this as a bit of progress.

Doctor Visits

During the boys' break, my husband scheduled doctor visits. Colin had his annual check up at the pediatrician. The doctor was impressed with Colin's progress. He has grown a few inches and his demeanor is so much better. One of the areas of concern was a pit at the top part of an ear that Colin has had since birth. This is also known as a preauricular ear pit It fills up with a pus-like substance and sometimes appears infected. (photo below is from web)

Colin was referred to a specialist and willingly went without any hesitation. At the visit to the ENT, the physician recommended surgery to remove the excess tissue and close the opening to the sinus. Faced with the option of having the surgery now versus later when it would most-likely be a much bigger issue, Colin, much to my surprise, decided to schedule the out-patient operation right after school lets out in June.

While I was elated at my son's mature decision, in looking at the paperwork for medical history in the folder my husband brought home, one line caught my eye. It was a short two-word description under "Problem List".

Behavior Disorder

The label that grabbed my attention under "Problem List" was "Behavior Disorder". This sort of thing gets under my skin and I do a slow burn. What irritates me is the random labels used to sum up the trauma our family has faced for the past few years.

This is EXACTLY my problem with illnesses and disorders that fall under the umbrella of "Mental Health". There is no doubt in my mind that the root cause of Colin's issues are neurologically-based. To categorize this as a behavioral problem is a slap in the face.

If someone had a broken leg would that be described as "walking issue" or can't walk right? How about someone that has MS being labled "uncoordinated"? Or Parkinson's as a nervous, shaking ailment????

This is another example of why I have so much disappointment at the state of our mental health care. Despite the fact most of what falls under "Mental Illness" is rooted in a biological cause, the term implies (at least to me) that these issues can be treated simply with talk therapy.

As always..... We are a work-in-progress!