It's funny, because we both sort of lose our composure a tiny bit in this one, and yet despite that (or maybe because of it), I think it's my favorite.
Rob: So when Schuyler was about eighteen months old, her pediatrician determined that there was some sort of developmental delay with her speech. She wasn't speaking, she wasn't trying to form words, and it was a concern. Initially she was tested for hearing problems, and she went through a whole series of, of different types of hearing tests that, that ultimately she passed. She went through a lot of different evaluations and tests. She at one point was given a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder that, it didn't, it didn't fit. And so she... It took a while for us to finally to figure out what was going on.
When she was three years old she received an MRI scan, and that took the picture of the problem. The problem was a brain malformation, a very rare disorder called polymicrogyria, and it affects the formation of the brain, the shape of the brain, and in her case it affects her speech area. There are other kids who suffer from it with a really wide range of symptoms. Most, some, most kids will suffer some level of mental retardation. Speech, swallowing disorders are common, and almost all kids who suffer from this suffer from seizures. Some of them are pretty bad, too. It can actually, it can actually... kill really young kids who have this. So there were a lot of concerns on a lot of issues.
When she first got that diagnosis, it was hard, it was really hard for us. Because you think you want an answer, you say, "You know, I just want an answer." But sometimes you get that answer, and it's, it's not the answer that you're looking for.
Julie: That was rough because we went into it thinking nothing was wrong, and we'd been told that if something was wrong, they would have called us right away. And so, I think we sat back on our heels and we got comfortable. And we thought, "Nothing, no big deal, we're just going to go in for a checkup." And then as soon as we stepped into the room, you felt, you felt this air of like, something was wrong, something was really wrong.
It just seems like yesterday still. And it was so beautiful outside. It was such a beautiful day. Because I remember, she was impervious, and she just played, she didn't care at all. And I just tried to keep it together, and tried not to cry. We did a lot of crying after that, I know.
I still do, to this day. There are days that are good and days that are bad. And it just, it gets to you, because it's just, it's so unfair. You know, this beautiful little creature, caught under glass. She can't, she can't, you know, maybe that's my charming mixed metaphor, but that's the way I feel like sometimes. She's this beautiful butterfly that's pinned down and caught under glass and she can't fly away. But she tries. She tries pretty damn hard.