Sunday, July 8, 2007

Wh...wh....wh.....wh...WHY Does It Bother Me So?

Wha..Wha...Wha...Wha...Wha...What is wrong? Wh...Wh...Wh....Why is it bothering me so very much? Why was I so upset? Why was I so self-conscience about it? Why can't I get over it, even though everything is back to normal? Wh...wh...wh...why can't I just let it go?

Two weeks ago, Sugar Bear woke up as her typical fun loving self. She met my smile with her usual string of words. "Hi mama! You tired? Let's lay on couch. I have some na na's!" However by the end of the day, she had experienced a few strange moments of stuttering. It all started with her stumbling over a word she had said many times before with no trouble. As she struggled to get that word out, she looked at me with a sheepish grin, as if to say, "gee....this is silly!" I blew this all off thinking that she was just tired.

The next day, I found that she stuttered quite a bit more. Usually it was just the first word, while the rest of the sentence was normal. Sometimes it was the whole word, and other times it was the first part of the word. Some examples include:
-"Where, where, where, where, where we going mama!"
-"lo...lo...lo...lo...lo...look at my leg"
I have heard, and read that experiencing some stuttering can be developmental, but I also read that early intervention, if it is indeed a problem, is best. So I paid close attention, and unfortunately watched it get worse. By the time the Fourth of July was here, nearly a week and a half later, she was stuttering on nearly 1 out of 4 sentences. Often she would look at me with an expression that said, "what is wrong with me?" It was at this point I really began to feel a sense of panic.

I can not describe how it made me feel to see my daughter struggling on words that she previously had said perfectly. We all know I can worry with the best of them, so I won't surprise you to know that I entertained thoughts of Autism, Brain injury, Stroke, and so on. Sitting there listening to her say a word 6 times before carrying on with the rest of the sentence made me feel so desperate. It really seemed as though she was experiencing a short circuit in her brain. Scary stuff. How can a child that has always been advanced in language just suddenly start this repetitive stammering?

The worst part of the whole ordeal was having to take her to a big family get together where we were visiting with people we hadn't seen for over a year. I found myself so defensive. What were people thinking about her? Some would make a comment, or mimic her. Some would just look concerned. I often found myself whispering, "She just started S-T-U-T-T-E-R-I-N-G last week." I spelled it out in an attempt to not let Sugar Bear know what I was talking about. I constantly felt like I had to point out that she had normal speech patterns just 2 weeks ago. I received all sorts of opinions on the situation. Some were simply not helpful. Most told me...I am sure she is just excited and her mouth can't move as fast as her brain is going. Sure, this is also what I wanted to believe, but why was it that she did it no matter what she was talking about...or who she was talking to? It drove me batty.

Sugar Bear is no longer stuttering. Yup...it ended just as suddenly as it came on. Actually it ended much quicker. She went from a day of stuttering on nearly every sentence, to only stuttering 3 times the whole following day. Today, none at all. It is so odd. Literally 2 weeks from start to finish. How strange is that? Unfortunately, I sit here...still worrying....still wondering. I have no idea what brought it on...and why it was so severe. The most bothersome part of it, all though, is the fact that it freaked me out so very much. I have always been a huge supporter of Early Intervention, and I feel like I am a very open and accepting person regarding special needs and developmental delays. Why, then was I so horribly FREAKED that something might not be perfect? Why did I find the need to explain how NORMAL Sugar Bear really is to anyone and everyone that heard her stutter? Was I really so worried what people thought of her? WOW....what an eye opener for me. It really is so much easier to talk the talk, than walk the walk.

It makes me feel like such a heel to have experienced so much fear over a simple thing such as this. So many wonderful families struggle with all sort of challenges that are much more severe. So many beautiful children have battled much larger ills and so many more will. This small moment in mine and Sugar's life really gave me a minuscule taste of the worry, the pain, the fear that revolves around families who have a loved one who is ill, delayed, or disabled. My hat is off to those strong individuals.

12 Live It or Love It:

Stephanie said...

Oh, Corey, I'm so sorry about your fright! I have to say I would have reacted the same way - it's normal! I'm glad she's had a quick recovery. Monster hugs to you both, my dear.

Laura said...

Oh Corey! It's so normal for us all to want our kids to be perfect in every way. I'm that way when Maya's sick. She's been sick so few times in her life that it would seem ridiculously piddly compared to the multiple ear infections, colds, flus, etc. that many young kids go through. And yet, when she has a fever I flip out!

If it HAD turned out that Makenna had a delay or issue, you would have gone through the normal stages of dealing with the news, and then you would have handled it with the same grace and fierce devotion that you handle every aspect of parenting.

But I'm glad it didn't come to that, and that Makenna's back to her usual self! Big hugs! :)

bellevelma said...

Hey, been there done that! I can't remember how old my son was, but the stuttering came on suddenly and went away just as suddenly. I have my MD from the University of Google ;) and based on that, and talking to all my friends who have kids a bit older than my son, it's normal. If that helps relieve your concerns at all. But oh how I remember that feeling that something was wrong!

Autumn said...

Add me to the been there done that list. The same thing happened to Gavin around the same age. Only as I recall it lasted longer than two weeks.. and came and went. But now it's totally gone.
And.. it's ok to want your child to be normal and perfect in every way. It's ok to worry when things like that happen. You my dear are a magnificent mother.
Big hugs!

Nichole said...

I bet even the best of them go through their own moment of panic. I'm glad it's nothing, but be sure that if it was, you'd handle it just fine, momma!

Corey~living and loving said...

Thank you all so very much for your support. I have been feeling so bad that I freaked out over this. Makenna's Ped called me tonight to make sure I was okay. I had left her a crazy voice mail last Thursday even though I knew she was out of the office until today. LOL she knows me pretty well. We laughed it off, and she reassured me that it is totally normal for some toddlers to stutter off and on. whew....

Donetta said...

Big hug parenting is hard!

*Heidi* said...

Corey, That would have scared me some, too. Isn't parenting full of ups and downs?

Be sure to check your mailbox! Unless Andy-The-Mailman took it, there should be a purple package in there! John Mark and I walked over today and put it there! I had him for a few hours so Melissa could get away to grocery shop, and boy did he like the hose!!! Sarge DID NOT like him with the hose! Fun stuff!

Oh, and wish me luck on that wedding! Maybe you could give me some photographer tips and clues?

:)

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Corey, I completely understand how that would freak you out. I very much identify with the need to explain any little thing that isn't "perfect" to others. Sometimes I feel like I might as well pin a note to Dacey's shirt that says "We're in speech therapy - we know there's a problem . . ." but then I think, too, that I am overly sensitive to it and that others don't notice like I do. Anyway, all of that is to say I think your feelings and reflections on this little bump in the road are totally normal. I appreciate how you are always so open and honest in what you share!

Pam said...

I can totally understand your concerns. I always think the worst, and usually nothing comes of it. It really makes me appreciate how blessed I am!

The view from my heart said...

Gosh, what a story! I am so sorry for what you've gone through, and what a blessing that it simple ended. Amazing. Thank you for sharing your story!

~S
slsphotography.blogspot.com

Donetta said...

I just found your other comment on my other blog "A life Restored". Thank you for your comment. It is a very courageous thing to do that work and to have a hit really encouraged me!

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