Wrestling with Wisdom: Lessons I Have Learned About Dealing With Medical Issues

 

text: Wrestling with Wisdom: Lessons I Have Learned About Dealing With Medical Issues | Yellow Readis Image: Stethoscope and blue pen on medical form

 

As a parent who has spent, on average, a minimum of two days every week for the past 6 years going to hospitals, doctors and specialists, I have learned some harsh truths and had some amazing moments of pure serendipity. Somewhere along the way, I picked up a bit of wisdom, though it tends to get lost again pretty quickly. So while I wrestle wisdom to the ground in a head-lock, here are some hard-earned insights I have scraped together that I think are worth talking about.

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Playing Label Bingo

This week was not a good week.

So far we have managed, between my two children, to tick the boxes on a fair swathe of far too many major chronic diseases. It’s like we’re holding a bingo contest in a doctor’s surgery as they cry out various diagnoses terms, and I’m sitting there with a ¬†blank look and a pencil marking them off against some sort of ineffable list. I call it playing label bingo.
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Crazy-vember

Sometimes life catches up with us in weird ways. We’ve been having a very busy November at the moment, and trying to make sure ‘everything’ happens when it needs to happen has been hard. And I’m not talking about fripperies, I’m talking about having enough time to do basic stuff like washing clothes and dishes. The stacks in our bathroom and kitchen are getting very high indeed at the moment.
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Darn Those Mythological Gifted Kids Who Are a Construct of Our Social Norms


There is a wonderful, probably reasonably obscure book by Rafael Sabatini called “Bellarion the Fortunate” where the intellectually gifted Bellarion is sent out into the world by his abbot because his reading and reason have lead him to believe – with the certainty of an intellectual who has read all the literature and thought hard about it in his convent – that evil and sin are a construct and do not exist.

But to all the weapons of his saintly rhetoric Bellarion continued to oppose the impenetrable shield of that syllogism of his which the abbot knew at heart to be fallacious, yet whose fallacy he laboured in vain to expose.¬†” [1]

The book is not a treatise on the reality of good or evil, but an adventure book which ends with a very worldly Bellarion who is very much more aware of his fellow humans after leaving his ivory tower of thought.

But I am not writing today to talk about Bellarion and the nature of his discussions on good and evil. I am instead going to write about the work, so far, of Dr Clementine Beauvais, and her blog entries on ‘The Giftedness Project’ [2].

Much like Bellarion’s abbot, I do not expect to be able to make much of an impression on Dr Beauvais as she has her armour of academic credentials, and the raft of knowledge collected from many thousands of academics discussing ideas among themselves with little reference to the outside world, and that armour is very strong. She has also made clear that she is not interested in the reality of giftedness, which she believes to be largely a construct of society.

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Gifted and 2E Parenting

Parenting Gifted and 2e kids, much like parenting in general, but only more-so, for me has been a journey into the unknown.

When C was a baby, I bought all the parenting books, and listened to the advice of the maternal and child health nurses. I spent hours trying to get him to nap during the day – as was developmentally appropriate. The advice just didn’t work, so I eventually muddled through, and it was only later that I discovered that gifted kids are wired differently, and have different developmental milestones.
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Are we really that far from ‘normal’?

It’s been an interesting few weeks. We finally got a diagnosis for C, only to discover that the diagnosis had been sitting in the ‘books’ for at least one year. A monumental stuff-up with the hospital administration meant all correspondence was going to the wrong doctor…

…but it’s OK now. I’m OK with that, I think. The diagnosis was not unexpected either – Cerebral Palsy. After all, the specialist who’s been treating him is a world-class medical researcher into CP. But still, it is … interesting.

We now have another set of letters to add to the list of medical conditions C has been accumulating.

And yet, and yet. My heart still wants to say, ‘We’re not that far from normal, are we?’
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