HEALING BRODY – PART 1
Over the years, many questions have haunted me. How did Brody become a part of the statistics… the 1:88? Was it something I could have controlled? Because nobody knows the cause(s) of autism, parents are left to ponder a list of possible culprits.
- I never had cerebral vasculitis (associated with autoimmune disease)
- Tom (my husband) never had cancer and received chemotherapy and radiation the entire time I was pregnant
- Months before Brody’s conception, Tom and I never received the vaccination for Lyme disease that was subsequently pulled off the market for safety concerns
- We didn’t live in a state notorious for its high rate of autism
- I had the benefit of knowing we were living in a house contaminated with black mold
What if Brody…
- Didn’t have fetal distress, causing him to be delivered via c-section 3 weeks early
- Wasn’t born with wet lungs and treated with antibiotics in the NICU, preventing him from nursing on the first day
- Didn’t have jaundice for the first 2 weeks of his life
- Didn’t have constant bouts of thrush
- Didn’t have a documented adverse reaction to the DTP vaccine at 2 months of age
- Didn’t get a strep infection when he was 3 months old
- Didn’t require 3 different surgeries (hypospadias repair, tubes put in twice) under anesthesia
- Didn’t knock himself unconscious at a year and a half old
- I listened sooner to the clues his body was giving
- I listened to my “mom intuition” instead of the pediatricians who told me everything was fine
- I acted sooner
Did my son ever have a fighting chance?
The nagging what ifs are my constant companions because… I will never know if it was one thing, two things or all the above, that played a role or contributed to Brody’s autism. I will probably never know what the tipping point was. Or… if and when he regressed. But, I do have my suspicions.
I also have regrets. One of them, is of time lost. Why didn’t I act upon “the autism” sooner. Was I blind or a visitor in the land of denial?
Did I miss the subtle clues because he was such a peaceful baby (the envy of all my mom friends)? The baby I could take anywhere, anytime and he would just go with the flow. I really was the luckiest mom in the world (and still am). But, was it because he was so easy, I possibly missed subtle hints of regression?
I realize now, I have to look at the past for clues to heal the present.