Shortly before my mother was diagnosed with her last cancer visitor she commented to me that my son seemed to be losing the words he had started using. I had noticed this myself but was doing an impersonation of an ostrich hoping I was imagining it.
Immediately his constant ear infections sprang to mind so off I trotted with a referral to an ENT (Ear, nose and throat specialist) in my hot little paw, being all smug in the knowledge I knew, oh yes, I just knew he was going to recommend grommets for my boy's ears to get rid of this fluid build up behind his ear drum that was so obviously the cause of him losing his speech.
After several attempts to look inside my son's ears and suddenly not making any eye contact with me the specialist stated my son's ears were fine, that there was nothing wrong with them.
How many other mothers had said the same things to him that I said that day?
"But he has constant ear infections. He's losing his words. He doesn't react to people when they speak to him. It's like he's in his own little world."
And on I babbled, all the while the ENT looked at every piece of paper on his desk but not at me, never at me, when he muttered,
"There's something else causing this, I suggest you get a referral to a paediatrician."
And that was that.
We had all lain in bed listening to my mother Cheyne-Stoking her last few weeks on this Earth, drifting off to sleep only for me to be awakened by my 18 mth old son climbing into bed to bash the crap out of me, screaming his head off over nothing that I could ever determine, all the while waiting to see a paediatrician.
Mum died and still we waited.