Monday, June 7, 2004

Update on Robby

I tend not to post overly personal comments here, because the object of this blog (to the extent that there is one) is to participate in conversations about technology, business strategy, law, politics, etc. with others out and around the blogosphere. But I have written a couple things about my youngest son over the past several months, and many of you have been incredibly kind to ask privately about how he’s doing. I figured an update was in order.

Back in December, Robby had a seizure which turned out to be what’s known as a febrile seizure. He had another about a month later (as a result of a bout of pneumonia); ironically enough, the second seizure was considered good news because it confirmed the initial diagnosis and ruled out anything more serious as a cause of the seizure.

Around the same time, we had Robby checked out — as he neared his second birthday, he wasn’t talking. (In comparison with his older brother, who doesn’t stop talking, but that’s another matter.) Though the tendency is to downplay such issues (if I had a nickel for every parent who’s said, “My kid didn’t talk until they were three”!), given his other issues, we figured this was a case where prudence was called for. Sure enough, he was diagnosed with a significant speech delay, coupled with some developmental delays. He has what’s called low tone, as well as a neuro-muscular disorder that affects his speech.

At this point, the good news is that these are all issues that are either treatable or things that he’s likely to grow out of.

About five weeks ago, his right eye started crossing. More than a little bit — it would turn in completely towards his nose, so that you almost couldn’t see the pupil. We took him to an opthamologist, who confirmed esotropia, a muscular condition that affects the eyes’ alignment. He’s now wearing bifocals — fortunately for us, he loves his glasses. (It helps that Robin wears contacts, so she’s been wearing her glasses around the house. I have a pair for driving, and have been wearing them around too.) He’s also got a patch for a couple hours a day, which miraculously he doesn’t complain (too loudly, anyway) about. We go back in six weeks to evaluate his progress.

All of which brings us to tomorrow: hopefully as a precaution, the opthamologist recommended we see a neurologist. So tomorrow we head in for an MRI, and will follow up shortly with a visit to the neurologist who will hopefully rule out any larger cause for his various issues. He’ll be under general anesthesia, which is one of those things you’d rather not have a two year-old deal with but which I’m sure will be fine.

Writing all of this out makes it all seem a bit more overwhelming than it is. He’s a smart and incredibly happy kid, and he’s taken each of these turns in stride — so we’re taking our cue from him (there’s a lesson there, I think). Many, many thanks to all of you who have written over the past several months asking about him (and us) — we’re doing great, and will continue to hope for the best as he grows through this.


  1. Best wishes and I hope everything turns out well! Our prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Rick & Robin,

    Jim, Rachel & I are thinking about you and Robby tonight. We'll keep you in our thoughts until you report that he is perfectly fine, as I am sure you will.


  3. Our prayers are with you and your family, Rick. Best wishes.

  4. Monique and I are thinking good thoughts as well. Let us know how it turns out.

  5. Hi Rick,

    Please keep us updated so that we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief when everything is okay.

    Thanks for telling us your story about one very strong and tough little boy!

    My thoughts are with you.


  6. Hey Rick; I'm sending positive thoughts to you and Robin. Let us know how things go...