Today, my birthday. No one at home but Nisarga and I. Big plan for the day? Meeting with Dr. Anaita Hegde, who is supposed to be the top or second from top pediatric neurologist in Mumbai. A few odd thoughts sent through my mind:
- How can a doctor be ranked top or second from top, etc? Do they have contests or something?
- Frankly, I didn’t think Nisarga’s symptoms are neurological. Or they might be, but I used to think its related with his lack of head control and increasingly scoliotic tendency because of that (in my mind), but as a parent, I didn’t have the guts to not act on any advice I get – and a child specialist had said that I must meet a very senior pediatric neurologist.
- Difficult getting appointments, so its really a birthday gift that we were able to meet her and it turned out to be a very good meeting.
The meeting went very well. We went with all our increasing paperwork and ended up waiting a lot. Nisarga dozed off and I asked them to let a few of the other waiting patients through before us so that he could be well rested when we met the doctor. Since everything was running HOURS behind schedule, they were grateful for my offer. Of course, I was being utterly selfish. If I had to shell out a lot of money consulting a fancy doctor, I wanted Nisarga bright and cheerful, not wilted from waiting, so that she could really interact with him and examine and whatever it is these people are supposed to do.
While we waited, Dr. Anaita’s assistant (a neurologist herself) came and took a detailed case history. As meetings go, this was probably the most surprising and best of the lot. Dr. Hegde interacted with Nisarga and he was at his charming best. She made quite a few observations related with him scissoing his legs, not being comfortable on his back and other things, and had some conversation and a eureka kind of moment with her assistant.
She was concerned about his regression. He gets these developments, and he loses them. For example, after the bouts of bua bua ba ba boooa etc, he isn’t babbling much at all, while I was expecting him to speak more post that. There are other things too.
She has prescribed something called Syndopa, which is supposed to fix some chemical deficiency in his brain. No side effects, but a miracle cure if it works out. She explained that it was a long shot, but some of the symptoms made her think it was worth trying. Just as we were leaving, she took note of his history of slight jaundice immediately after birth, and considered the possibility that there may be some brain damage – even though the MRI was clear.
I spoke with her about the Feldenkrais work I do with Nisarga. She was very supportive and went to the extent of saying that if it is helping him, to not even ask any more doctors, because he is really the final judge. To not even risk someone asking me to stop! It was a big surprise after the unrelenting skepticism of most doctors so far.
Brought him home, fed him, gave him his first dose of Syndopa. Perhaps its my imagination, but after his second dose, I think he is more active. Fingers crossed.