I have ‘joked” to a few people that it was like something in Corrigan’s brain was switched to “on” when he was medically sedated for his repeat endoscopy earlier last month. I think that I keep hoping that they will agree with me and share their observations. Hasn’t happened yet. Yet.
I noticed it the very evening after his procedure. Even though he was cranky, likely a sore throat from the scope, and he was off of his normal daily schedule and at a relatively unfamiliar house, he was different a few hours later. He seemed more clear for lack of a better word.
For week’s prior to that following morning’s check up, I had scratched down my concerns and fears onto a piece of paper so that I would not forget everything I wanted to bring up with Corrigan’s geneticist. The weight of so many worries had finally accumulated to the point that I was ready to kick them up and see where the dust settled.
Oddly enough, when I was reciting that list in the office that day, I suddenly felt like I was lying. I already knew that Corrigan was different than he was just days before and each of my former concerns felt like a permanent indictment of his intelligence. Each conversation related to something I had listed, the helpful back-and-forth between physician and concerned parent, seemed as though I was giving the geneticist the file folder, perfectly labeled for her, by which Corrigan would be judged from that day forward. She got the message, she shocked us by announcing that she thought his IQ would be low. Low. The dust had settled alright.
I wanted to take it back… to change my mind and ask her about the fog. I’ve used that term before in conversations with her. I have noticed the disappearing fog before, usually on the second or third day of hospitalization. When he had a few days of powerful ammonia scavengers being all “special forces” on his system and his labs were coming back with numbers so low it seemed unbelievable. Impossible. Normal.
Maybe it was because the three of us (Mark, the anesthesiologist and myself) formed a cocoon of love and faith around Corrigan, while all singing “Jesus Loves Me” as he slipped under…maybe we impressed God with our focus on Who really controlled it all in that surgical suite(Go Jesus!) Or maybe I was just overtired. Maybe I was in instant denial? Wishful thinking? I didn’t mention my theory.
By the time we got back to our home in Mountain Maryland, Mark and I had found ourself chattering happily about some of the new things that we had noticed Corrigan doing. When we pulled into the driveway, we realized he had chattered happily from Baltimore to our doorstep. Without fuss. That was big.
In the days that followed I was amazed at how bright he seemed. I do not mean in the sense of intelligence but in awareness. Out of the blue, the elusive, but much prayed-for, eye contact was taking place for most of the day. He was laughing at things and looking for our expressions. When he was naughty, he would search the room to “read” if I were angry or not from the shape of my mouth…the furrow of my brow. He was making connections.
After we returned home, he would pull himself up into my lap and I would sit so still, afraid to move as if he were a butterfly and I was the lucky recipient of a once-in-a-lifetime visit from a Monarch on my outstretched finger. After five…ten minutes of the cuddle continued I would relax my shoulders and drink in his presence. He let me rub his back, scratch gently up his arms until he got goosebumps, softly swipe the hair across his forehead over and over.
He was here. It almost felt as if I should whisper, after 27 months, “Finally…”
(to be continued…)
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