Seriously, boring stuff coming ahead. I have been reading and researching and have found some things out that I did not know. So I am going to share what I found because I thought it was significant to my daughters' circumstances-- Genea that is, not The One I Gave Up Caffeine For.
Start throwing your eggs.....now.....! I have always found neurology interesting. When I was in the 7th grade, about 100 years ago, I did a report on Autism. It was facinating to me that a child could start out with no problems and develop, for no evident reason, a disorder so severe it could cut off speech, interactions and interest in the world, after he turned 2. When I worked in a group home, there was a middle aged man who was "non-verbal". He had seizures a lot, wore a helmet and did very little other than sit in a daze. As far as I know, his whole life had been that way. Anyway, like I said, he did not talk at all. Made very little noise even, no grunting, moaning, laughing, none of it. But when this man had a seizure, he could speak in clearly articulated, grammatically correct, full sentences. "I would like a hot dog now, please" things like that. Then you have the stroke. Our wonderful child psychiatrist who had a stroke a few months back has recovered greatly (in another state-- booooo)but has not regained everything. Example, he can count as well as anyone when it comes to numbers on just about anything. But he cannot count change. Coins. He cannot add them up. Okay, so like I said, throw eggs at me if this makes me an egghead because I do think it is so interesting!
So I ordered this book, "Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple"- - HA, that is really the title so you can see where I might be drawn to it! By Stephan Goldberg, M.D. Since I think most of Genea's problems are in her brain, it seemed like a good idea to understand more about it. I have read so much research and so many books about attachment, bipolar in children, adoption etc and the thousand different problems that can come fully equipped on the child of your choice, and I have a good understanding of the "what" of what goes wrong, and the "why", but nothing on the "where".
Moving right along here, I came across a section about nerve pathways in the spine to the brain and here is what I found that was interesting- there are different paths for different nerves. There are 3 nerves that travel and cross over into the brain at a specific spot together. Those 3 pathways handle the specific information that Genea struggles mightily with every day, and there they are, climbing the jungle gym together! They are the main sensory systems here:
Pain- temperature. Feeling too much pain, or not enough. Feeling too hot, too cold, or disproportionate to the actual climate. Like sweating when it is 60 degrees out. Genea doesn't feel it when she gets overheated from too much activity, she just keeps burning and burning until she is physically stopped (well not that much anymore but for sure used to be that way) Genea only gets cold in extreme temperatures. She does not feel pain unless she really knocks herself into something, hard.
Proprioceptive- stereogenesis. Feeling where your body is in space, such as you know where your wrist is without looking for it. Stereogenesis is being able to tell what something is only by touching it. Genea is extremely awkward, clumsy and clutzy and I have often thought she looks like she does not know where her body is compared to where the furniture is. I don't know about her stereogenesis, I keep forgetting to check on it.
Light touch. Obvious what that is, but I never knew it was routed to the brain separately from medium or strong touch, or that it is connected to the other two pathways above. Genea will flip inside out if you lightly pat her arm or gently tousle her hair. But she will melt in front of you if you rub lotion on her or firmly massage her legs for example. I guess people who are paralyzed can sometimes still feel light touch but not strong touch for this reason.
Okay, so these three all party together (trying to make it interesting) and then twist around right before they shoot into the brain from the thalamus to the cerebral cortex with each other on board. This is what struck me, that the 3 are connected, a team, at this crossover point. That Genea has significant issues in all 3 areas.
SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN???
I have no idea. But it jumped out at me and screamed.
Does anyone have any idea's? If you can see that I misunderstood or got it wrong, let me know that too puuuuh- lease. Maybe everyone already knew this but didn't tell me?
Do other kids have the same combined problems in this area? Can you have a problem with one of these pathways and not the others? It is like having a key without having a locked door. I don't know what I don't know and that is a lot. It just struck me when I was reading- these things are connected. This is a piece. I think.