I'd like to introduce to you my daughter Becky, if you haven't yet met her.......She turned 17 in July and is the 6th of 7 children and loves basketball......her one time dream was to be one of the elite of the WNBA.
Looking back through papers and records from kindergarten on..Becky showed a real desire for learning..her favorite subject was always spelling..Around the 4th grade, we began to see things in her performance at school which made me seek solutions. I was convinced after much study that she was very possibly ADD. Through many discussions with teachers, her pediatrician, continued reading and continued pleading, an intervention team decided Becky should be put into a more structured classroom environment. Her 4th grade teacher wrote me saying "Becky is a real problem..if things do not straighten out, she will have a very bad reputation here among teachers and peers." Needless to say, this was a very distressful thing to hear. So within that first month of 4th grade she was transferred from that class to another under more stringent rules and guidelines..to no avail. Fifth grade, under similar guidelines, the struggles were the same.......lack of concentration, unable to focus on any given work situation in class, finishing up quickly or usually first and incomplete at that, fidgety and talking when not permitted........etc.....etc.....etc....
Sixth through eighth grades......because of the variety of teachers and classroom situations....Becky sometimes "slipped through the cracks" as her 7th grade math teacher told me. In January, 1995, after a few years of discussion and seeing her struggles, her pediatrician agreed to try Becky on a very low dosage of Ritalin and to be very closely monitored. There was not much change. On May 1, 1995, after two sore throats back to back, Becky was taken to the doctor to be tested for strep. During that exam, the doctor took her pulse, which was an unusual practice for children (usually they just take the blood pressure). It was then he discovered her pulse was well over 100 beats per minute. Then he pursued other areas in his exam and questioning and ordered a thyroid blood check to be taken. It was then we discovered that Becky had Grave's Disease or hyper (over) active thyroid. A condition not common at all to children her age . She was treated with anti-thyroid medications and blood pressure medicine was given to keep her pulse under 100 beats per minute. After a year, there was still no permanent improvement. In June and December 1996, Becky was given a Radio Active Iodine Therapy....which destroys the thyroid tissue...In January 1997, she became hypo (under active) thyroid and finally in January, 1998, she had her first actual normal reading in her blood work. This still does not mean she is totally out of the woods.. They like to see a normal blood test for at least 6 months. She is now receiving blood tests every two months to check her levels and to adjust, if necessary, her medication, which now is Synthroid.
Becky STILL worries.....she hated school for a long time .......and said school was 'boring'....all because of the inability to comprehend and study and learn properly. She sometimes feels as though she's 'dumb' because of it....You'll often see Becky laughing, joking, and looking like she has it all together. But these are just walls she's made to protect herself from the discouragement and low self-esteem she has suffered. It's been almost 6 and ¸ years now since all the struggles began and only 3 of them realizing she had a disease. I know her comeback will take time, but as a sophomore in high school, time is running out.
We take her recovery and wellness a month or two at a time and I know that it will take time to undo all the years of NOT knowing how to study, concentrate, focus, and read with comprehension that we normally take for granted.
Since the last writing of this introduction to Becky.....she has finally become leveled in her thyroid....She continues to be on Synthroid and checked every two months to make sure her level remains normal.....She also was diagnosed after testing at school as A.D.D. After a year of schooling with a tutor....in the 10th grade ......we realized...this was too little too late.......she struggled her whole year and barely passed....Through much prayer....we have decided to home school Becky in her final two years of high school...But realizing this will be one day at a time....she has a struggle learning and is easily unmotivated.....We will attempt to help her in any way we can to become the success we know she can be....we love her very much....and are praying for the wisdom and guidance and help of friends to make this year count for her...Thank you....
is hearing a student say,
"Thank you for understanding me."