The next few weeks carry the potential for a great deal of stress in this house. Usually it gets spread out a little more evenly, but you know how it is sometimes. January and February are a bit like dominoes this time. I must confess, I’ve been internalizing most of my nervous feelings of late. I’ve been swallowing my anxieties. Three of them, really.
The first anxiety is the easiest, by far. Schuyler turned sixteen last month, but since her birthday falls shortly before Christmas, she agreed to wait until after the holidays. Her party is taking place this week, at a fun place called Amazing Jake’s, with go-carts and bumper cars and laser tag, and a big pizza buffet. (There’s also a bar for the parents; apparently Jake understands.)
This will be Schuyler’s first actual big party, which I’m a little ashamed of, to be honest. But this is the first year she’s had a pretty solid base of regular friends, almost entirely from her Special Education classes at school, and it’s her sixteenth, which is special. The RSVPs are coming back, the deposit at the venue is paid and I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Of my three current anxieties, the party is easily the least daunting.
And then two weeks from tomorrow, she goes in for her annual neurology appointment. And we have questions.
Aside from the obvious, Schuyler has always had something of a lucky brain. It’s pretty seriously affected by her polymicrogyria, but you’d never know it from seeing her. Schuyler’s brain is working in ways that are a mystery to everyone, even her doctors. Areas that should be deeply impaired are functioning at high levels. Just being ambulatory is something of a miracle for Schuyler, and she is so much more than just ambulatory. Her enigmatic brain isn’t simply doing more than it should. It’s doing most of what it should. I hate Schuyler’s monster, but God, do I love her brain.
But what that lucky brain also means for Schuyler is that while we are thrilled at how it has rewired itself and is doing its job at such a high functioning level, it’s also impossible to predict what it’s going to do. Schuyler’s brain is a miracle, but miracles aren’t guaranteed to last, and we’ve had indications that her good fortune might be running a little low.
Simply and vaguely put, there are indications that Schuyler’s flawed but extraordinary brain might be taking some baby steps backwards. For the time being, until we get some answers, and until things become more pronounced, that’s all I’ll say. But I’m scared of this neuro visit, in a sort of low-key way, like a small rock in my stomach. I haven’t talked much about it to anyone, not even the people closest to me. I’ve been in deep, deep denial, but I think that’s going to come to an end very soon.
Compared to that, Schuyler’s upcoming IEP meeting, my third impending anxiety, hardly seems like a thing at all. It’s less like a monster to me, and more like a bug. I can cope with a bug.
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