Our story all began with the birth of our wonderful son Tristan. He was a typical, developing, sweet toddler. Very active and outgoing. At around 18 months of age Tristan went from speaking 10-15 words to nothing. At that time we were not aware that was something to be concerned about. He would rock at night, hitting his head over and over again on his crib, displaying no signs of discomfort or pain. doctors assured us it was a normal way for children to sooth themselves. At the age of two we took him to his 2 year wellness exam and when we voiced concern about the speech, the doctor simply said to just bring him back in 3 months to check his hearing. The doctor stated that if it's not a hearing issue that sometimes it can be a "sign of Autism". Stunned, my husband and I, looked at each other in disbelief. It had never entered our minds as a possible concern. We left the office confused and upset, since we were not given any information on the topic. When we got home we were determined to take our son's care into our own hands. We looked up Autism symptoms (as neither one of us had much idea about autism at that time). We were stunned because at that time Tristan started showing some signs like random tip toe walking, hand flapping, eye contact only initiated by us, etc.
We immediately had him evaluated by the AEA organization here, got him help in the home right away and about a month later after our second son was born, we had him evaluated by the Medical community and he was officially given the medical diagnosis of Autism-PDD-NOS (a diagnosis under the Autism Spectrum but considered a more mild form of Autism). This was in August of 2009. At that time we pushed for him to get extensive help out of our home by the local AEA organization.
To back up a bit, when I was 18 weeks pregnant with Tristan I was in a bad car wreck. I broke my left shoulder blade and was knocked out. Before the wreck I felt wonderful physically. However, for years before, I had arthritic issues with both my knees and had surgical intervention (at the age of 25). I led a very healthy lifestyle and was very physically active. I was by no means a athlete so the knee issues were out of no where and confusing to me and my doctors at that time. Also, over the course of my college years, was becoming increasingly sick (from colds, flu, tonsillitis etc) at least every other month. It was puzzling to me since I did stay in such great shape.
So after the car wreck, when I was pregnant, I physically started to go downhill over the course of the next two years. Initially, I had issues with the left shoulder blade (back area) then started having pain on the right side of my back as well. Then "stiff neck" issues began. I attributed these issure to my car wreck. Initially the left side (where I broke my shoulder blade hurt). Over time the right side of my shoulder started hurting as well, which didn't make much since. When Tristan was 18 months old I had exhausted treatments from the chiropractor, massage therapy, and physical therapist (all of which where unsure how to "fix" my pain issues). I saw Neurologists, Orthopedic doctors, and was going back to my general practitioner for lab work over and over cause I knew there was something wrong with me. I was maxed out on Advil for pain. At the same time I started not only having arthritic issues in my knees but bouts of arthritic feet, hands, and joint issues.
At that time the pains in my body would come and go. Some weeks my feet would really ache and then go away and the next it would be my hands. Very strange.
I then became pregnant with my son Jake. At that time I was in a lot of pain from my back and neck but just thought it was from the wreck and I would get through the pregnancy and then possibly see a pain doctor for "chronic pain". Even my Chiropractor thought that I should see a pain doctor....what chiropractor suggests that? I felt helpless that the pain would never go away. When I was about 6 months pregnant, out of no where, one day I was unable to walk on my feet. I ended up going to two different podiatrists, both of which were really unsure what was wrong and how to treat the problem. I ended up wearing a orthopedic boot for the next 3 months to get me through the pregnancy. After I had Jake, the pain in my feet went away, only to come back a few months later. When Jake was about 3 months old he was sleeping through the night. I was back to a normal sleep schedule. That was about the time (in addition to all the other pain I had) that the severe exhaustion started. It was mild at first and then got to the point where everyday around 11am I was forced to lay on the couch. I felt an overwhelming exhaustion like I had never experienced before...like I just finished a marathon exhaustion. Since I am a nurse, and a very active person, who never lays down in the middle of the day, I realized I needed more medical help. At that time I went back to the doctor...again.