The Leatherneck Mom Story: Part 2

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Follow the story of Becca: The Leatherneck Mom, a Marine wife and mom to a sweet little boy named Landon, as she figures out what to do with a speech delay and the ultimate cause behind it and it’s not what you would have thought…

Part 2

By Rebecca Davis
As you may remember from last time, my husband and I were getting ready to make an appointment with a pediatric neurologist to get some answers regarding Landon’s speech delay. We got in to see one pretty quickly. He was very nice, asked a lot of questions, did a lot of poking and prodding, then ordered a bunch of blood tests and an MRI to rule out… well, basically, everything. He was very positive and said Landon appeared to be developing appropriately, but he wanted to make sure nothing else was going on. Landon had an MRI a couple of days later, and when we got the results, I thought we’d finally gotten an answer! Without getting too technical, Landon had some mild developmental abnormality in his cerebellar area, which explained the low muscle tone or so I thought. I read a lot about it, but knew I’d have to wait until the neurologist could explain it all to us. Luckily, Randy was able to get off work to be with us for the follow-up appointment.

I was pretty nervous going in that morning to meet with the doctor, just because I always get nervous before those types of things, but I figured we’d get a quick explanation of the MRI and it would be over. The neurologist came in and explained his cerebellar issue and said that Landon would need to see a neurosurgeon for some extra fluid that showed up, but nothing on the scan was particularly worrisome. I said, “So does the MRI explain his speech issues?” He paused and said, “Well, it could.” But then he looked down at the paperwork in front of him and said words that changed our lives. “But what’s more concerning is his genetic testing.” I felt sick. Somewhere, deep in my mommy gut, I’d known something wasn’t right.

The neurologist went on to explain that Landon had a deletion on his 22nd chromosome, also known as 22q.11 Deletion Syndrome or DiGeorge Syndrome. I’d actually read about it when I was doing research on Landon’s delays, but I didn’t think much of it because I figured we’d be seeing some other major problems with a chromosomal disorder. What I did remember was really awful and severe: cardiac defects, immunologic deficiency, developmental delays, cleft palate, learning disabilities, severe growth problems, psychiatric disorders, etc. The neurologist actually didn’t really know much about 22q, but he said that Landon needed to see cardiology for a full workup.

Randy had to leave the room to make a phone call to his command, and I just sat there in shock, watching Landon run around the room.No! How could the sweet, happy boy I knew and loved so well be genetically “abnormal”? It just couldn’t be true. The neurologist referred us over to several specialists and left the room. Quite honestly, I don’t remember a lot of what he said to us because within a few seconds, my world had turned upside down. I was sick, scared, and completely overwhelmed. I wanted so badly for all of it to be a bad dream so I could wake up and look at my sweet, perfect little boy and say that he was normal.

Randy and I drove home quietly while Landon giggled and chattered in the back seat. When we got home, I read to him and put him down for a nap like I always do. Randy went in to kiss him before he went to sleep. I went out to the living room and cleaned up food that Landon had spilled on the carpet. And then I cried. I cried for my little boy, for our family, for the future. I cried until I didn’t think I had any more tears, and then I cried some more and then Randy came out to the living room and we cried out to Jesus together.

I struggle so much with unknowns. I struggle with giving up control over so many things, but especially my children. I struggle with simply trusting God and by giving me Landon, that is exactly what God was asking me to do: Trust. Rest. Believe.

The day we got his diagnosis, I did feel like our lives were over. How could we possibly carry this burden? But as I would soon begin to see, there is beauty in suffering, and the story God writes for us is far better than anything we could ever imagine.

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