Oh the joys of a 17-month-old toddler… I remember some of the typical behaviors of those days—the throwing heaving of everything and anything, the opening of the fridge a million times a day, and the ripping off of the diaper (you know, the brand-new one you put on two minutes ago). One milestone after the other.
But what about the parent whose child has been diagnosed with transverse myelitis (TM)?
Transverse myelitis is a disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. There are four classic symptoms of TM:
- weakness in the arms/legs
- sensory symptoms such as numbness or tingling
- pain and discomfort
- bladder dysfunction and/or bowel motility problems
And for one set of parents, after careful investigation of their 17-month old daughter’s symptoms, the physician believed she had celiac disease—that the daughter’s transverse myelitis may have been a manifestation of celiac disease. They believe that is this the first pediatric case. Click here to read more on this.
Parents want to protect their children and keep them safe. It can be particularly devastating to learn that your child has a chronic disease or disorder.
And to hear such comments as…
“He hasn’t rolled over yet?” Or, “Aren’t kids usually talking by now?”
People may not mean to be insensitive when they ask you questions like these. But it can still be upsetting to see other kids passing milestones before your child does. Some of us may fret silently and make quiet comparisons to other young children. Some of us panic quickly and start asking other parents about their children and when certain events occurred. We may turn to the internet and hope to find reassurance from blogs, parenting forums, or social communities. Or, we may just wait it out.
No matter what your approach, rest assured that almost all parents have questions about whether or not their kids are hitting all the developmental milestones in their journey of raising a child.
And if your child is living with transverse myelitis, I hope you remember that this is your child’s life, so do your best to help your child learn, grow and develop in your own personal way—chuck the checklist!