It's been a long week. I've been feeling under the weather (what exactly does that phrase mean and where did it come from?). My neighbor is once again in the hospital, and we are dog and house-watching. My mom has been on a business trip to Canada this week, my brother is again staying with a friend in California, and Tony has been working long hours as they're down a manager. Today he's scheduled for a 13 hour shift, yesterday he worked 12 hours. He hasn't had a day off in over a week and isn't likely to get one off next week either. Which leaves me frazzled to begin with. Add in the drama that comes with end-of-life issues with the neighbor (who very well may not be able to come home this time), being that I'm the only person with a key and she's got sisters and cousins coming and going from her house almost every day. House chores have fallen to the wayside, and I've had to bribe older kids to watch younger kids so I can take a nap almost every day. Seriously? I shouldn't need a nap. I know something is "off" despite not having a fever. Today I'm stuffy and my head hurts. The last few days I've been a little queasy. I'm hoping I start to feel better soon. I hate having to go to doctor appointments.
And while I'm on that topic... Little #5 has an excellent vocabulary and speaks incredibly well. Or at least he did. Last month he started to stutter. I looked it up and it can be normal for a child to stutter and it can go away on its own. However, this month now he's starting to make over-exaggerated facial expressions while he tries to say a word - like it's on the tip of his tongue but he can't think of the word he needs - despite the fact that it's words already in his normal vocabulary. This concerns me. Not just that his speech is going backwards, but that it is doing so rapidly. I'm trying not to be one of those moms who's paranoid about something being wrong with their child. I've got four older kids and two of them did have speech issues - one went away on it own after a year of speech therapy and the other still sees a speech pathologist regularly. Neither of them had a stutter and neither of them ever lost language skills they already had. That being said, last time little #5 was sick and I kept telling the doctors there was something wrong (and they would dismiss me as an over-worried mom) he nearly died of the flu before I finally got someone to listen to me. So when I see his speech slipping backwards, my mind automatically jumps to a worst case scenario... brain tumor? Brain cancer? Some terminal disease that presents initially as a loss of learned skills? OK, so maybe I am a worry-wart parent, but I'm also not one to rush my kids to a doctor on a whim. This one has me really worried. Has anyone else out there had experience (good or bad) with similar issues?