Yeah, we’re a little late this year. For some reason I was thinking we didn’t have to do yearly visits anymore… I tell you my brain is NOT the same these days.
The kids kept busy playing I Spy and messing around. I’m not exactly sure what they were doing here but they were having fun! The best part was when they thought they heard someone coming to the room, one would yell POSITIONS! and Katie would run to the chair and Owen would hop up on the table.
Height: 55″ — was 53″ at 7y
Weight: 85# — was 85# at 7y
They got their cleanings done in the procedure room because it wasn’t being used…so they got a TV on the ceiling!
Katie is still a much better patient than Owen. He freaks out at the smallest thing—he said the hygienist’s rotating toothbrush hurt and then he was throwing a mini fit because he doesn’t like the taste/feel of the flouride treatment—he was whining a little and needed four glasses of water and looked like he was going to be sick; Katie just goes on like nothing even happened.
Owen has had a cough for going on 3-4 weeks now so we finally decided to get it checked out. (He’s never had a temperature or anything that made us think he needed to be seen. Google said to take him in if the cough didn’t go away after three or so weeks. He seemed to be getting better…but then got worse again.)
Sharing the iPad:
Owen relaxing on the “beach.”
Katie sitting in the “boat.”
There’s always a bow and arrow involved.
The doc examined him and said it sounded like something viral and thought a breathing treatment might help…so we did that. The doc said he’d look like a fire-breathing dragon.
The doc said it helped a little so prescribed an albuterol inhaler so it was off to the pharmacy, otherwise known as the seventh circle of hell. Today we had a screaming toddler sitting across from us…for about 45 minutes. And then…we all had to leave since there was apparently a small fire somewhere close. NOOOOOOO!!!!
First we moved to the hallway. Then we got moved outside. Then we got moved across the street. We had no idea how long it was going to take, but thankfully we were headed back inside within about 10 minutes (it was windy and freezing). And then had another 15 or so minutes to wait for the script.
We arrived at the hospital for a 9:10 appointment at 8:50 and were leaving the pharmacy at 11:20. Yeesh. And our fingers are crossed that the treatments help.
Why not have it be Christmas Day?
So last night, Owen was being Owen and dove into the big beanbag in the living room, but then…rolled off? fell off?…and somehow landed wrong on his arm. Tom missed it, I missed it, and Uncle Rob barely saw it so we’re not entire sure what happened. All we know is that he was complaining that it really hurt. Tom looked at it and moved it around and there wasn’t any screaming so we were pretty sure it wasn’t broken. So we iced it and gave him some Advil. Of course, Owen being Owen, he continued playing around and bumping it and saying it hurt, so we made him sit still in the chair. He seemed to be fine overall and making cookies for Santa took his mind off it so we didn’t think much else about it.
So this morning we opened presents and he still hadn’t mentioned it. I had honestly forgotten about it. But then he was trying to put some Legos together—and was complaining that he couldn’t because his hand hurt. Hoo boy. Tom tried to move it around some and it seemed more painful than it had last night, so we figured since he has a high threshold for pain it must REALLY hurt, so we decided to have Tom take him to the ER.
Thankfully they were the only ones there and the whole thing went very quickly. But he had taken his new Minecraft characters just in case.
Apparently when you visit the ER on Christmas you get to pick a toy!
He picked this for Katie! Awww!
And??? It wasn’t broken. Just a sprain with some bruising that Motrin should help. PHEW!
Owen’s pediatrician wanted to revisit his genetics results to see if any new information has been discovered in the past 2.5 years…so it was off to Bethesda to see a specialist.
In the waiting room, Owen made a beeline for the one kid he saw who was also using a tablet.
The short story is that there is nothing new regarding his previous test results and we don’t have to worry about revisiting them for another two years unless something changes drastically with his health or behavior. We also don’t have to worry about getting Katie tested.
I fully believe it’s something that could’ve been handled over the phone without actually seeing Owen in person but I obviously that would make things too easy. (Fortunately the drive there did not give me an anxiety attack as it has in the past—the traffic was fairly light and I left plenty of time.)
Remember, the pediatrician wanted us to get Owen’s hearing tested because he should have grown out of covering his ears at loud noises by now. But…everything is just fine with his hearing. The audiologist said he might just be one who is extra-sensitive and he still might outgrow it.
He did really great during the tests and I teased him about turning into a robot because he had wires coming out of his ears.
Well, we may be on the autism train again.
Because Owen is still having (to me) major food issues, I wanted to make sure there was nothing else going on. Yes, he could just be a very picky eater…but I would be wracked with guilt if something else was going on and my new food rules were creating more problems than I was trying to solve. (I still feel guilty about the whole pooping thing back before we learned he had a serious issue and I don’t want the same thing to happen with food.)
So I got a referral to see a Developmental Pediatrician again (the same type of doctor we saw at Lejeune who diagnosed him with autism) and crossed my fingers she’d just say “Oh yes, it sounds like he has eating issues, here’s a referral for therapy.” Ha. I should have known better.
Of course she had to do the whole background history, and during that discovery period, a few random other issues came out. They’re things that he’s always had/done that he hasn’t yet grown out of…which led her to think he might have ADD…or possibly autism. Sigh.
But that said, considering everything we discussed, she thinks he’s absolutely thriving and I’m doing everything right (in regards to meal times and food) so there’s no immediate concern. But she does want him to see an audiologist for a real hearing assessment (he still covers his ears with loud/annoying noises which she said should not happen anymore at his age), start OT for the food (and pooping) issues, and see a geneticist again (genetics has come a very long way since we got his results in 2012 and the doctor could potentially see something now that we didn’t see before—and we might get additional genetic testing done). The results of those appointments will determine if we go forward with actual autism testing.
She’s not worried but wants to cover all the bases. If it’s determined he can benefit from additional therapy, we will go through with the testing and an autism diagnosis will allow us access to tens of thousands of dollars in free therapy since it’s covered under Tricare. (This is the same therapy we qualified for the first time but we never went ahead with it because neither of us were convinced he REALLY needed it—especially compared to all the other SERIOUSLY autistic kids out there.) And she agreed that was an okay decision, but also told us that if there’s something we can fix NOW, it’s better to do it while he’s young, rather than wait and decide when he’s 10-12-14 and he could be MUCH more defiant and MUCH harder to work with. (Basically, young kids are much more pliable.)
She did a few tests with him and agreed that overall he was doing very well. But interestingly, one of the tests she did (I think it was having him repeat full sentences back to her) she said he tested at about an age 4 level. That really surprised me because I had been listening and I thought he did okay. However, I think it was more a point of him (not) paying attention—he started to fiddle with a crayon and wasn’t listening closely (hence the thought of ADD). She said he could very likely be extremely smart and his brain is just racing…and it’s hard to stop and focus because he’s already on to something else. (And actually, conversely, when he has laser-like concentration on something and spends too much time trying to be perfect.) I said that sounds like Owen on a regular basis.
I really liked her and feel comfortable with her so I feel okay. Of course it’s still a shock to think we might get an autism diagnosis again…but her main thought was that if he’s doing well and we expect (and get) good things from him, we’re on the right course.
The best part of the appointment? She asked him what his absolute VERY most favorite thing to do was. Of course, I was positive it would be Legos. But his immediate response? As in he literally didn’t even think for three seconds? “I like to go to school.”
So now I have to wait a few days to call and schedule the three appointments. Stay tuned!
Height: 50-3/4″ — was 47-1/4″ at 5y (greater than 100th percentile)
Weight: 81# — was 66.5# at 5y (greater than 100th percentile)
This was our first time seeing this particular doctor, and she was very nice. She said overall he did well—his vision was deemed good, he has a very strong heartbeat “which should pump for another 100 years,” he answered all his safety questions well (What do you to before crossing the street? Do you always wear your seat belt? Do you wear sunscreen? Do you brush your teeth?), and he is still “off the charts” (over 99% for both height and weight—as a point of interest, he gained 15# last year—the same as the previous year). This year, however, I didn’t get lectured about BMI and exercise and feeding him vegetables—the doc was very nice and was happy he was enrolled in baseball, glad he liked sports, and was glad we keep trying to get him to eat veggies. I think she was happy to see that his BMI dropped since his last visit (in the fall when he was seen for something else).
Red is age 5. Green is age 6. BUT…after some research today, I’m not sure how I came up with a BMI of 30 last year (maybe they wrote it down wrong or I read it wrong).
Friends have expressed concern with his weight, but believe me—we are watching it closely. Tom and I both know what it was like to be a chubby kid and IN NO WAY do we want that for Owen. Just for shits and giggles I put his info in an adult BMI calculator and it comes up normal. So a tiny adult his size is fine, but an identical weight and height large kid is not. So I take the kid BMI results with a grain of salt. His face and belly are a bit chubby—but otherwise he’s just a big, solid kid.
The only somewhat sticky point of the entire visit was when I asked for a referral for a Pediatric GI. I briefly explained that we had had one before we moved here and we were currently on a maintenance regimen but that I’d like to have a doctor ready if we needed one. She said “Constipation? We can handle that here. A specialist isn’t necessary.” I reiterated that we had seen one for a year and Owen had been hospitalized for a cleanout—an again she said she could handle that. So then I told her that we’ve been dealing with this for over two years now, to include monthly to bi-weekly cleanouts, and the last time we had an issue a month or so ago, he had four ex-lax and about 12 doses of miralax with no results and I had to keep him out of school. THAT got her attention and she said “Ohhh! No, we’re not equipped for that. I’ll put in the referral.”
The most exciting thing for Owen, however, was learning that (aside from yearly flu shots) he’s done with shots until sixth grade!
He’s had a cough for the past month but it’s gotten a lot worse over the past week so today I took him in just in case it was something that could be fixed.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The doc said everything sounded fine in his chest and there really wasn’t anything definitive wrong. It was likely just random crud. He advised allergy meds to hopefully dry him out.
So we’ll see. At least he feels okay otherwise.
I took both kids in tonight—Owen for his regular 6-month checkup and Katie for her first ever visit. She loves brushing her teeth so I didn’t think she’d have any problems with it…but you never know.
They were both excited to go, and it started well with them playing in the waiting room!
Then we had a brief introduction with both the hygienist and dentist in their office and then it was off to the chairs!
Owen was first…
And Katie was intrigued.
And got closer…
I asked if she wanted to hold Owen’s hand and she said yes.
Owen did REALLY well (which I would hope, as he’s done this about four times), and then it was Katie’s turn!
“Look mama! Clouds!” (There were clouds painted on the wall!)
Glasses and bib—so far, so good.
She didn’t seem nervous but I asked if she wanted Owen to hold her hand and she said yes.
Katie seeing herself for the first time. I love the look on her face!
She was a total rock star. They were able to do a full cleaning (as opposed to Owen’s first visit at age four when they only got about three teeth done).
Then they both got seen by the dentist and were told they need to brush twice a day (instead of just once) and start flossing…and Owen NEEDS to stop sucking his thumb as his teeth are already out of place (Katie’s are perfect). She said this is THE time to stop as his bottom two teeth are still coming in and his top two are loose (I bet both will be gone by Christmas—one might be gone by this weekend) so the new ones will come in straight. (We’ve told him and showed him pictures of what can happen and he knows he needs to stop—and even catches himself—but it will still be challenging because he’s still just five years old.) Then they got their goody bags and were SOOOOOO excited about the toothbrush and stickers and toothpaste—and Owen got a toy truck and Katie got a little mermaid! They were in HEAVEN.
So overall they both did AWESOME and I loved the staff—we’ve had nice dental staff before, but you can see a difference in a regular dentist who sees kids vs. a pediatric dentist.
So over the past few days, Owen has mentioned that his ear hurt and that he had a headache (though not at the same time). We didn’t think much of it and just gave him Advil. This morning he complained that his ear hurt and his head still hurt…and still nothing clicked. Bad mom. It wasn’t until Tom got home (early) and we were talking about something and AHA! I thought he had an ear infection. I immediately called the sick clinic and got an appointment in an hour.
She asked if he’d been in a pool recently and I said just our tiny splash pool on the deck. She asked about any other water. Nooo. Then it hit me—AHA!—two days of the waterslide! But that was five days ago?!
Then she diagnosed him with Swimmers Ear—basically an outer ear infection. She said it could happen quickly (same day) or days later…which then it all came together…he’d been complaining for a few days.
So now he gets drops twice a day for 10 days. He doesn’t love them but he’s good about them.
We hadn’t been in a few months because Owen has been doing well, but we thought we’d better go for one last checkup before we move.
The kids amused themselves while we waited…
And then the doc examined Owen and said everything felt great—and was excited to get a good report on Owen!
I told him we were moving and asked what we needed to do and he said just keep doing what we’re doing—the Miralax every day, the P fruits, and cleanouts as necessary. I asked how long we needed to continue the Miralax regimen if things keep improving and—are you ready?!—he said at least another year or two. Maybe three. EEK! I guess it’s better than the alternative, though…
He also said he’s always here if we want to come back and see him, but he’s sure we could see someone up around DC if we really needed to.
Owen was excited about going to the dentist today—on the way in he was literally saying “I LOVE GOING TO THE DENTIST!” He got a cup of water from the water cooler. He brushed his teeth and went potty. He sat in the chair with no problem. The X-rays went fine. He even put the sunglasses on without issue (he’s always refused before).
Then when it came time to actually clean his teeth, he got shy (his words, of course). And not really a cute shy—but a grouchy/scared not-going-to-open-my-mouth shy. Sigh. It took a few minutes but I finally figured out he didn’t really want the tangerine-flavored toothpaste (even though he likes oranges) so once he picked raspberry he was fine. Kids!
He got his picture taken for having no cavities and got two stickers and got to pick out a toy! He was thrilled.