The doctor looks at us with the saddest look in his eyes. You know he is about to tell you the worst news about your child and you brace yourself for what you are about to hear. Then he says, “I am so sorry Mr. and Mrs. Lidh. But everything in Abigail’s tests shows up normal. She could not be any more perfect.” A big sigh and a shoulder shrug. You just want to hug the doctor and tell him everything will be okay. This is nothing we have not heard before. Most people would be jumping up and down about hearing a normal diagnosis, and yet here we sit with the doctor who looks like the worst thing has just happened.
This was our experience Thursday morning at the orthopedic office. Our therapists wanted us to get Abigail’s hips looked at, and make sure everything was growing properly since she never bears weight through her legs. We scheduled our appointment and had x-rays completed of her spine, side, hips, and legs. Everything looked perfect! Her bone structure and growth plates were exactly how they were supposed to be, and the doctor could not find one thing wrong with her.
At every doctor appointment we have to list all previous doctors and tests we have seen and preformed to date. The list is getting rather long. As I began listing Abigail’s previous medical record to the orthopedic doctor you could tell he was thinking this was a lot for a baby who is not even two. Then he asked the age-old question, “And none of these tests came back with any answers as to why Abigail is behind?” Nope, not a single one. Every test has come back with the same answer. Normal. Normal. Normal. Her eyes are normal. Her brain structure is normal. Her bone structure is normal. Her brain activity is normal. Her muscle responsiveness is normal. All her blood work has been normal.
Usually when a doctor comes back with lab work and test results that are normal, both you and him are very relieved. Everyone likes to be normal. But when all tests point to normal, and still the patient is very abnormal something does not add up. Jordan and I almost laughed when the x-rays were completed. We are so used to Abigail’s tests being normal, why should we think anything different. But that poor doctor wanted to help us and let us know why our daughter is behind developmentally. He even said he looked for possible spine tumors or anything odd. Yet, there was nothing. We walked away laughing, leaving him looking stumped in her chair.
Abigail has baffled many doctors. We have had doctors consult their medical books in their office while we wait. We have had many a doctor scratch their chin and shrug their shoulders looking very puzzled. Our one neurologist even referred us to another practice because they were not sure in what direction to go in anymore. What can you do? Your baby defies all medical odds so far. At least she is cute.
So who knows why Abigail is the way she is. We are still waiting for the genetics testing to come back from the blood work we did in November. We will not know anything on that until May at the earliest. So, maybe we will find our answer there. But we are not getting our hopes up too much because the genetic counselors have told us again and again that with this test there is only a 25% chance they will actually find anything abnormal with Abigail’s genes. Genetic testing is such a long, detailed process that finding one abnormality on a strand of DNA is slim to none. But we are happy with the negative results, and we are very thankful to have such a healthy, happy little oddler! Maybe one day the mystery of the little oddler will be solved.