marydell: (charlie-superman)
Me: Ok, honey, say bye-bye, I have to go to work.
Charlie: I come with you? I come too, Mommy.
Me: sorry, I can't drive you today or I'll be late. Daddy's going to take you to school.
Charlie: No, Mommy, I come with you!
Me: Tomorrow, honey, not today. I have a meeting, I can't be late. Say bye-bye.
Charlie: No! No say bye bye! I come with you! (*makes incipient-tantrum face*)
Me: (noticing loose money in my coat pocket) ...How about if I give you this dollar?
Charlie: Okay!
Me: *gives him a dollar*
Charlie: Bye bye, Mommy!
marydell: (charlie-superman)

So yesterday Charlie had an Echocardiagram (aka ECHO) (result:  good news, for those who can't stand suspense).  He was born with a small hole in his heart called a PFO (patent foramen ovale), which often can close on its own.  At a year old, however, it had grown, instead of closing, and at about half a centemeter was upgraded to being called an ASD (atrial septal defect).  If it continued growing, the doc told us at that time, it would need a repair when he reached 4 years old--a small screen inserted via cardiac catheter.  In the meantime it wouldn't cause any problem, but should be checked yearly. 

He should have had this ECHO about a year ago, but a year ago we were in the midst of random unpredictable violent mood stuff, plus regular vomiting and respiratory illness, so we focused on that instead, ultimately resolving it by treating his apparently very bad GERD and changing his antihistamines.

So, then he should have had this ECHO a couple of months ago, but he decided to have Scarlet Fever on the day he was scheduled, so we had to reschedule.

He should have had it at our local branch of the Heart Institute for Children, but they're booked through the end of winter, so we scheduled at a branch an hour away from home.

Mike was supposed to take him, and I spent a half week agonizing over what a terrible mother I am for conserving my last few vacation days (I have had 4 remaining through the end of March, whereas Mike has a bunch more than that and his roll over in January) in case Charlie needs to get tubes in his ears or some other drama happens before April.  I knew he'd be scared of the procedure and Mike is very comforting but I am Charlie's favorite security blanket.  But with difficulty I reconciled myself to being absent for this.

Then Mike got a cold.  Not a bad cold, but we don't go sit in waiting rooms full of medically fragile children when we have viruses, and this is a pediatric cardiology specialty office.  So I took the day off to take Charlie to his appointment, thus fixing my agonizing about motherhood and replacing it with worrying about my career instead.

So, Charlie was supposed to have the ECHO at 9 am.  We got to the place and the elevator wasn't working. People were taking the stairs and with the help of some M&M's I coaxed Charlie into the stairwell despite his protests of "too scary!" (This after several plaintive "I don't want doctor, no doctor!").  Walking up stairs is something he does happily enough, however, so he was ok with that part although my asthma was a bit annoyed with me.

We got to the office and there were only a couple of kids already in the waiting room.  However, when we signed in the receptionist told us something was wrong with the building power.  The lights were on but the elevator wasn't working, as I had already discovered.  What else wasn't working? ECHO and EKG systems, of course.

Power was restored about an hour later -- a truck had hit a pole or something, so they had to fix a transformer.  There had been kids waiting in the offices inside the whole time, so they still needed to have their procedures before we waiting room people could be called.  Thank god for my Ipad and for those obsessive people who make videos of trains.

Another hour or so and we got to go in and have normal doctor stuff plus the ECHO, which is a set of ultrasounds of the heart done from different angles.  Mercifully Charlie thought that was kind of cool, particularly because at one point it sounded like a train. Also helpful in keeping him from freaking out: my many promises of taking him to a toy store afterwards, plus giving him way too many M&M's and Dum Dums. 

I really, really expected to hear that the hole had doubled in size (Charlie has, himself, doubled in size, after all) and that he'd need surgery as soon as he got to be old enough.  I had just been assuming that and preparing to hear that, for months now. 

Instead, the doctor said the hole had gotten so small that it only showed from a couple angles on the ECHO, and wasn't visible from the other angles.  It's so small now that it's not considered abnormal or medically significant. 

"Goodbye; we won't need to see him again." 
marydell: (charlie-sillybandz)


Resident physician: "eczema flareup, fever for 3 days, crying, stuffy nose, sore throat...I think this is a virus, it doesn't look like a bacterial infection. I'll prescribe a stronger antihistamine for his rash and then you can continue to give him motrin for the fever and let the virus run its course. Let me just talk to my boss, the attending, and he'll be in to look at him soon."

Attending physician: "You say the eczema flared up after you got a new pattern on his diapers--a lot of kids get rashes from the blue dye in diapers. This rash on his legs looks like it could be from that, and you say it's getting better since you changed diaper brands. This rash on his stomach and armpits, though...and this here inside his elbow...I'd like to do a strep test, because this looks like it might be scarlet fever. "

...

Guess who was right?


Of course, that's why the attending is in charge, and the resident is still studying.

Because we were in the ER, whence we had hightailed when he wouldn't stop crying (he is normally angry when sick, not sad), we got a choice of antibiotic treatments: either 10 days of the pink liquid twice a day, or one big honkin shot for the whole thing. As Mike puts it, "Two out of three Dells voted for the shot."  Charlie didn't get a vote, but he's on the mend and much happier now despite being pretty pissed off about the shot at the time.

Elbowing

Aug. 22nd, 2011 10:13 am
marydell: (charlie-twizzler)
If you have siblings you probably have gotten elbowed a lot in your time, and if you don't have siblings you probably still have endured a fair amount of elbowing from random folks, friends, classmates etc. I grew up in a family with 7 kids, plus a live-in Aunt and grandparents at various times, and we had a big round dinner table, so the elbowing, both accidental and deliberate, was constant.

Being elbowed without being allowed to elbow back is a form of injustice, in a large family, and generally retaliation was allowed as long as it didn't result in excess noise or pestering of any adults. As the youngest person in the family, my right of retaliatory elbowing is sacrosanct.

So it's a bit of a problem to have an affectionate--nay, clingy--child whose left arm ends at the elbow. There is no non-elbowy side to this arm. OMG THE ELBOWING IS EPIC. Including from 3 am to 5 am this morning when he got in bed next to me and kept snuggling up and elbowing me in the kidney.

And I'm totally not allowed to retaliate. Grump grump grump.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
These are from back in August but I forgot to post them then...I have only let Charlie have Hi-C a couple of times, and I only fill it halfway, I swear!  He usually eats a pretty healthy diet, within the scope of his allergy restrictions. But he was such a good boy when I took him into the 7-11 with me on this particular weekend Diet Coke run (Diet Coke, nectar of the gods), and he does so love to do what Mommy and Daddy do, that I got him his own half Gulp as a treat.  Mike took the pictures to commemorate our awful un-nutritional parenting.  And the nice lazy afternoon we were having hanging out on the stoop.

big gulp orig

More HFCS )

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (binky)
Normally Charlie is fine leaving his binky in the car when we get to school.  We're trying to wean him off of them, because they give him rashes, he keeps biting big gouges in them which creates a choking hazard, and day care massively discourages 2-year-olds and up from having them because they end up in other kids mouths and fall on the floor a lot etc. (younger than 2's have more teachers per student, so they can keep track of binky ownership better).  Anyway today he just did not want to give the darn thing up, and I'm tired of buying them all the time because of losing them at school [day care].

Me: Ok, honey, let's leave your binky in the car; it's time to go in to school.
Charlie: No.
Me: You know we don't have binkies at school.
Charlie: Noo.
Me: If you go in with your binky, the teacher will take it away and we might have trouble finding it at the end of the day. Wouldn't you rather have it waiting here in the car with you?
Charlie: Nooo.
Me: Ok, I'm going to count to three...1, 2, 3. Let me have the binky.
Charlie: Nooo!
Me: *yoinks pacifier and tosses in car*
Charlie: NOOOOOOOO!!!!
Me: Look! puddles! Let's splash!
Charlie: *inarticulate rage*

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