We saw our Metabolic Geneticist today.
Kendall screamed and cried the entire time. Probably because right when we pulled up to the office, she had a huge dirty diaper and her poor bottom was raw.
When Kendall cries during an appointment, I have to pull her out of her chair and hold her. She's gained weight since getting off the Ketogenic Diet. A lot. When holding her, her feet almost go to my knees. She's big, she's heavy, and when she's upset, the arching and twisting make it even harder to hold her. She was sweating and having muscle spasms, and so was I.
I'm not a scientist, or a Dr. I don't remember anything from high school about cells. At all. This is all just way over my head.
Our Metabolic Geneticist is an MD and a PhD. She is very soft spoken. I've liked her since the second I met her a year ago in the hospital. I don't like all of our Dr.'s but I really do like her. She's very thorough. She listens, she reviews everything and doesn't jump to conclusions.
A year ago, she was the one who did not want the muscle biopsy. We did it anyway. She reviewed the results with the other Geneticists in her office. Yes, her Succinate cytochrome c reductase was low. It was a 31, and normal is in the 50's. That means her Mitochondria isn't working correctly. That was the only thing abnormal. In order to fully understand this, a coenzyme q10 analysis was recommended by the lab. They don't have enough of a specimen left to do that. Kendall would need another muscle biopsy. More blood work could be ordered to get more specific information on the rest of it. She was willing to do whatever I wanted.
That's when I snapped. Literally snapped. I think I scared the poor woman. I have had enough. No more testing. No more answers to tests that I don't understand. No more searching for Dr.'s who can "specialize" in my daughter to further their research. I'm finished. I've lost my desire to change the world. My primary care is Kendall. That's my focus. That's the reason I get up everyday, to be a mom to my kids. To make sure they are happy and as healthy as they can possibly be. That's it. I don't have the energy to do any more than that.
Since there's nowhere for this road to lead, except labels and more tests. I'm opting out. If there were cures and medication proven to slow progression and improve quality of life, I would consider it. But there aren't. So I'm all finished.
She stopped the appointment and calmly told me that she agreed with me. She feels the same way. Kendall's file isn't going anywhere. If I'm not searching for answers, there's really no sense in putting her through all the testing. If something else comes up down the road, we can revisit it and order the tests. Then she said something I've been thinking about all day. She said one of the men in the lab had told her ordering tests is "kinda like picking your nose in public." Basically, you'd better know what you're going to do with it when you get what you're looking for. You'd better have a plan.
There isn't a plan. There isn't anything that can change my daughter's genetic makeup. Nothing. So, I'm choosing to live my life now. Without regrets. I don't care if I have a name for what she has, or a reason. CDKL5, Mitochondrial Disease complex 2 or 3... Truth is, she's Kendall. She's always been special. She always will be.
The statement above is a very easy thing for someone to say who isn't living this life or dealing with these issues on a daily basis. It is probably something I would have said to someone if I were an outsider looking in on a family facing these decisions...but the truth is, everyone is different. Getting me to this point has been a process. But it works for me. I might change my mind later a year or two down the road, and she said if I do, we'll pick up where we left off.
I did the best I could today following up on the results, but I don't feel any different. If I could change anything in this whole process, I wouldn't have done the muscle biopsy in the first place.
So no more testing. No more nose picking. I'm all finished.
Tapestry of Grace, Year Four, Unit One
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