Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What kind of doctor are you?

There is nothing funny about taking your baby to a pediatric neurologist. Nothing funny, that is, except the part when the doctor, a little, old, Chinese woman, acts out her diagnosis that your son, due to his big head, will always be “loosy goosy.”

Our son is adopted, so we don’t know if big heads run in his family. If he was our biological child, I guess we could have said, “Oh yeah, Uncle Kev has a huge head. I’ve never seen the hat that fit him. And there are some great-uncles, too.” But, since we cannot explain why his head is in the 99th percentile, his doctor thought he should see a specialist, to rule out possibly serious problems like hydrocephalus (water on the brain). 

The neurologist gave him a thorough examination, which included crawling around on the floor with him, alternately cooing like a grandmother and clicking and clacking like a Kalahari Bushman.  She told us his head was asymmetric, with one cheek bigger than the other, and his right ear longer than his left. She also diagnosed him with torticollis, a condition in which the muscle on one side of his neck is shorter than the one on the other side, as a result of his position in the womb. The cooing, clicking, clacking, grandma doctor told us not to worry- she was confident, based on her rolling around on the floor with him, that his range-of-motion was good, and that his neck would loosen up over time. 

But his ample bean is another matter. Is it a harmless personal trait, or something more serious? An upcoming MRI should answer that.  The crawling, cooing, clicking, clacking, grandma doctor is pretty confident that our son simply has a big head, “He has a big head. The question is: why?  I am happy with his development. Sometimes babies with big heads have limited motor skills. But this one is just loosy goosy.”

“Loosy goosy?”

“Right.” She stands up to demonstrate. Her hips gyrate, her arms flail. You’ve seen this move, even though you were not in that room. Can you guess where? She stood in the middle of the room, gyrating and flailing exactly like those windsock humanoids you see at car dealerships and the like. “Loosy goosy. And he probably always will be a little loosy goosy as a consequence of his big head.”

“Thanks, doc.  One last question: Will you be reading the results of the MRI, or will Dr. Seuss?”

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