We’re excited to report that our visit with the pediatric neurologist went WELL! Not only did Zoe get a clean bill of (mental) health, but the doc literally said “Start saving for Harvard.”
Basically, the meeting went like this:
- Doc asked lots of questions about the 2 episodes and Zoe’s normal habits
- Listened to her heart, looked in her eyes & nose, tested her reflexes (pronounced them awesome)
- Looked at the CT scan we had on CD from her most recent trip to the ER (said there was no skull fracture, just a developmental seam)
- Watched her playing with toys in the room, asked her questions (where are your eyes? where’s mommy? etc)
- Left the room and returned with an old school bic pen and asked Zoe to put the top back on, saying “This is going to be really hard for a child her age but let’s give it a try”. We gave it 2 tries, and in less than 20 seconds, Zoe had the cap back on the pen – which is WEIRD, since her psychotic mom keeps pens (especially ones with tops) as far out of her reach as possible
Anyway, here’s the diagnosis (as close to a quote as I can get): “I’ve ruled out anything serious, such as seizures. There’s a small chance it could be a drop in potassium, which causes paralysis-like symptoms and loss of tone, but that’s extremely rare in small children (mostly an adult issue) and to ever diagnosis it we’d need to test her potassium during the episode.” At this point, I suggested the doc move in with us, just to be safe. She laughed.
Continuing on (less quote-like, but you’ll get the point): “During this stage of development, children start exhibiting really weird reactions during sleep and waking. They are processing information as they sleep and are more likely to wake from thoughts or dreams with strange responses. Like when you feel that sensation of falling and your body jerks involuntarily, it’s disconcerting. If small children wake to pain (such as Zoe did in both instances – earache & teething) or odd new sensations (like feeling drugged from Benadryl…), they may do unusual things. Most likely it wasn’t that she couldn’t move but that she didn’t want to or was too out of sorts to respond normally.”
Symptoms that would have suggested something serious (but were missing in Zoe’s case):
- NOT crying (holding breath or unable to breathe)
- Twitching or jerking motions
- Inability to control eyes/gaze
- Long episode (lasting for hours)
And those are just a few… Regardless, Zoe was diagnosed “Perfect”. In fact, the doc said, “You know she’s smart, right?” Apparently she is cognitively “very advanced”, and the doctor said “I wasn’t kidding about Harvard.” Even if she says that to all the parents, what parent doesn’t want to hear that!
Basically our next steps are to video the episode, if it happens again, though there’s a strong chance she’s already worked (or just working) through her sleep patterns to adjust to a more sophisticated way to deal with everything. So, we’ll just double up our 529 savings plan and hope for the best! If you’re wondering if YOU are Harvard-ready, did you notice anything unusual about the picture above (other than that the kid looks smart & the parents seem nuts?) Let’s just say we TOOK the picture and it took a minute… But I’m 100% certain, we’re not Harvard bound :)