Saturday, March 7, 2009

I have a fever, and the only prescription is more medical referrals.

Yesterday, I didn't post because my mind, after a birthday party morning, lunch play-date, afternoon trip to the doctor, and evening visit from Grandpa, had turned into play dough. The post would have been something like this:

Eee! Went to doctor. Ate cupcakes. Face turned purple. Yicka Yicka Nick Nick. Owen almost broke my nose. Flibbity Flobbity.

While this may be an improvement over my usual offerings, I nevertheless decided to hit the delete key and call it a night.

I'll just write about the trip to the doctor, instead.

I took both boys to the doctor. I love my doctor. Dr. S is knows his stuff, is patient with my blathering, and really likes kids. Every time I say this to Paul, he says, "Well, he better like kids, he's a pediatrician, for God's sake."

This does seem like a common sense conclusion---people who choose to work with children tend to like them---but sadly, having taught middle school for many years, I've known plenty of people who work with children and openly dislike them. Granted, they're in it for the summer vacation. (I know. Luckily, none of those people will ever teach my kids, right?) Pediatricians, on the other hand, go to school for eight years, survive internship/residency, are on call for weekends and holidays, and never get summers off. Perhaps, perhaps, they really do like kids.

Anyway, Dr. S came in, gave Owen a high five, played games with him on his iPhone (this was actually to diagnose how well he can follow directions, carry on a conversation, and recognize colors/shapes/animals), and had him jump around. Good times. Owen was pronounced a perfectly healthy three year old and, hopefully, he will have no reason to return to the doctor until next year, when he has his four-year well check.

Oh! I forgot to mention that they measured Owen's blood pressure with the cutest little cuff. The nurse said that the cuff would "give his arm a hug." When it tightened, Owen looked at it like it was magic, with big, amazed brown eyes.

Now, Joel, alas, did not escape as easily. He has had fluid in his ears since November, and has had two, count them two, ear infections in his short, seven-month life. Dr. S had asked me to bring Joel in to see if the fluid was still there. It was. This means that Joel hears everything as if he was underwater. This could begin to impede his speech and language, which we certainly don't want. Sooooo, we have a referral to the Ear/Nose/Throat doctor, with the possibility that Joel may get tubes in the ears.

But wait, there's more! Joel has a wandering eye. For months, I rationalized that he had the normal crossed eyes of newborn babies. However, it didn't go away. Months ago, Dr. C, another doctor in the practice, told me that she wanted to "watch" his eyes. I brushed it off mentally, chalking it up to an interrupted nap. Two days later, I sent Christmas pictures to my mom, who then called me to opine that Joel was cross-eyed. Over time, the comments came with more frequency. The bagger at Safeway told me I needed to get my kid checked out. Thanks, dude. My brother suggested that we give him an wicked-cool pirate eye patch. Then, yesterday, Dr. S informed me that it was time to consult the eye doctor.

So, Owen leaves his checkup with a Lightening McQueen sticker and a hankering for a bagel at Panera. Joel leaves with two referrals. Two more appointments to make, with I-don't-even- know how many follow-ups after the fact. One of the appointments is at Children's National Medical Center, naturally. Living where I do, I have some of the best hospitals and medical establishments at my fingertips...assuming I have reallllllly long fingertips. I'm grateful that I have medical options, but the drive to DC or Baltimore is a bitch. And, my entire day.

Ugh. When all is said and done, Joel may have tubes in his ears and baby-sized glasses to correct the eye that likes to roam about. This is nothing. A drop in the bucket. Two of the most common ailments a baby can have. I am very lucky and very blessed.

Yet, I still wish I didn't have to deal with it. Perfectionists shouldn't reproduce, because no matter what happens, it's my fault somehow. Maybe Joel has these minor, minor concerns because I drank coffee when I was pregnant with him, or I returned to the wine a little more quickly after his birth, or I slipped him the occasional bottle of formula. Odds are, that's not even remotely the case. But still, I wonder.

Nevertheless, I'm grateful that both boys have good doctors that address concerns before they become real concerns. When this is over, I'll be the mom sitting in the waiting room with the jumping preschooler and the baby with glasses and tubes, grateful for Dr. S.

1 comment:

Rich said...

Your sample post has left me curious...purple face & broken nose? Please let Owen come and hang out with us during any of sweet Joel's appointments. I am sincere about this (as I finally see a little bit of order coming into my life). - Dawn G