December 5, 2009

A History of Bertrand

A long overdue summary of the life and times of Bertrand Thomas Might. Much like the man himself, this is a work in progress. :)

Conceived four years into marriage while his mother and father were finishing stressful graduate degrees, the pregnancy with Bertrand was surprisingly smooth. Being cautious, his parents opted for all the additional testing available to healthy, unrelated, 20-somethings, including the first trimester screen and a third trimester ultrasound. His mother gained 28 pounds. Bertrand was the textbook fetus--he measured exactly 50th percentile every time and constant hiccups early in utero indicated healthy lungs.

Bertrand was born via vaginal delivery on December 9, 2007. His due date was December 10th, so he was fashionably early. Bertrand’s third trimester ultrasound indicated that he would be born weighing about 8.5 pounds and 20 inches long. His parents were shocked that he weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces instead. Bertrand’s height was 19.5 inches. The first two days went relatively well, but due to hemorrhaging on the part of his mother and jaundice on his, Bertrand entered the neonatal intensive care unit for two additional days.

The first two weeks at home with Bertrand were paradise, but that paradise crumbled as Bertrand began to deviate from the norm. He began to suffer from around the clock “colic”, he would never spit up, he didn’t cry tears, his teeth started coming in at about two months. Bertrand’s moro (startle) reflex was impossible to trigger intentionally, but he would startle with no observable cause. And then there were the infant tremors that, while assured to be normal by medical professionals, were increasing in frequency. Finally, at his 6-month well-baby check-up, Bertrand’s pediatrician recommended that he see a developmental specialist.

Because of the family’s July 2008 move to Salt Lake City, a mess with referrals and problems with medical system in general, Bertrand’s developmental specialist appointment didn’t happen until Bertrand was 8.5 months old. In August 2008, Bertrand was tentatively diagnosed with “movement disorder”, hence the name of this blog. This “diagnosis” was more to fill in the blank on intake papers than an accurate description of his condition. It was also at about this time that Bertrand started losing what few milestones he’d accomplished and what few skills he’d attained, such as the use of his hands and rolling over. No one could harbor the hope that Bertrand was somehow still normal, or worse--that something was not terribly, horribly wrong. After that very first appointment with the developmental pediatrician Bertrand’s medical odyssey commenced.

Bertrand had over 10 tentative diagnoses in the year after that. Only the first few were non-fatal. The rest were all neurodegenerative and terminal. Each time a diagnosis was ruled out, the next one was hanging over Bertrand like the sword of Damocles--until the doctors ran out of deadly diseases with which to label him. Bertrand has flummoxed the medical establishment. While uncertainty still hangs over his head, so does HOPE. His medical team has switched from hunting for a diagnosis to treating what symptoms they can. They have started with Bertrand’s epilepsy, with autism to follow.

1 comment :

  1. Hi Christina, Matt and Bertrand,
    I've been following your blog and checking in on Bertrand, who has a birthday coming up! Happy 2nd birthday! I wish you much luck with your new diet and hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas.