One afternoon, when my son, Patrick, was 3-years old, he awoke from a nap unable to walk, the right side of his body paralyzed. Like a seasoned Indy-500 racecar driver, I burned up the road to the emergency room. Patrick was admitted to the hospital and the doctors preformed every kind of test imaginable—cat scans, MRI’s, spinal tests, blood, and EEG’s. We stayed for a few days and before they discharged us, a neurologist explained to us Patrick had a seizure. She pointed to a film of Patrick’s brain and said,
“The MRI demonstrates an abnormality on Patrick’s left parietal lobe. This here, I assume, is causing Patrick’s difficulty walking. It might be an infection. I don’t think it’s a tumor, but I’m not sure. In any case, this likely caused his seizure. I’m going to put him on a round of steroids to reduce a possible infection in his brain and I want to follow his progress.”
Then she discharged us.
We went home and began an intense year decorated with hospital stays, tests, medicine, and many unanswered questions. Patrick’s episodes and condition worsened. We enrolled him in multiple therapy sessions to help with his development. We saw neurologists, oncologists, and other specialists to determine the root cause of his neurological issues. None of them, despite their best efforts, could tell us what was wrong.
About eight months into our search for answers, Patrick underwent a brain biopsy to rule out the worst (things like cancer, tumors, etc.). All tests proved inconclusive but he continued to experience seizures. I had more than one doctor explain they had never seen a case like Patrick’s before and they couldn’t identify what was wrong with him. They acknowledged Patrick’s suffering, but nothing they did seemed to help.
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