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Know what to look for when you are choosing a pediatrician.Article posted on Wednesday, May, 5th, 2010 at 12:39 am
This year felt like 10 years. As the one year anniversary approaches, I have found myself constantly torn between relief and dread. Logically, I realize that Neely has surpassed every expectation this year. She performs at or above age level in every category for which they provide testing. What parent wouldn’t be thrilled with that news?
Emotionally, I can barely manage the panic and fear that sneaks into my thoughts when I least expect them. It’s true what they say – That ignorance is bliss. One year later, we have all come so far. It is really hard to comprehend where we were just a year ago. It’s changed us in more ways than I can count.
Ava is more protective than any big sister you’ve ever seen. She’s terrified of the word hospital, knows all the Speech and Physical therapy prompts, and understands the impact of germs better than most adults. She knows the difference between an Intensivist and a Neurologist, can clearly identify even the mildest signs of seizure activity, and still remembers where the best fish tanks are in the Hospital/Doctor’s Office. (Don’t be fooled – there are more than you could remember.)
Jamie and I quietly freak-out when there is a virus going around the schools, when we hear about any brain injury, or if Neely zones out for more than 10 seconds.
We have the Speech, Physical, and Recreational evaluation tests practically memorized. (Which means Neely must too!) And we have zero-tolerance for any Doctor that has never learned to listen effectively, appreciate the perspective of the parent, or realize when they are in over their head. (Don’t be fooled – there are more that fall into this category than you realize.) I watch Neely and wonder how much what she will become, is because of what she has gone through this year. I recognize that the same stubborn streak that helped her fight so hard to recover is also responsible for her refusing to pick up her toys or respond when you call her. And I have a hard time reprimanding that defiance because of it.
Our House is full of doctor toys complete with monogrammed lab coats and we have more band-aids and bandage wraps than most doctors offices. Just before Christmas Neely handed me her Dolly. (The same dolly that went through every test, appointment, and therapy session with her.) She said, “Mom, I don’t want Dolly anymore, she is sick.” I put Dolly away and Neely has never asked for her again. I think that was a physical example of Neely saying, “I’m done. It’s over.”But when you have a year like we’ve had. It’s never really over. You always wonder if the next virus to come along will send you back THERE again. You wonder if she will start to fall behind when she hits that next growth milestone.
Will she ever be able to stop taking anti-seizure meds?
How much will she remember about what shes been through?
Will this year have been the trigger for some other condition in the future?
We will never know. And that isn’t all that different from the same fears every parent has, Right?
We have love, health, and lots of laughter. We have so much more than we dared to hope for a year ago. And now we are looking for ways, to share our experience, to teach others what we have learned, and to make it a little easier for the next family that travels the same road we have.
We aren’t quite sure what is next for us….but were more prepared for it than ever. Knowledge is Power! Make sure you know your doctor and know what to look for when you are choosing a pediatrician.