So, this past week we had our biannual appointment at Children’s National Medical Center.
Dr. P is Mayor Bee’s developmental pediatrician. And as much as I want to say I conducted my due diligence and chose her out of a large pool of doctors, that could not be further from the truth. Honestly, when I called to make his very first appointment (January 2010), I was flabbergasted that there was a six month minimum wait. Not wanting to further the delay, I chose the first one available. Quite frankly, the wait for an appointment is pretty standard, apparently. I shouldn’t have been shocked, as there is a dramatic rise of children needing such services.
However, I am happy with Dr. P so I’m glad it worked out. We go to an outpatient center in Virginia, versus having to make a long trip into DC. Well, “long” is subjective, since we still have to drive a good distance, in rush hour(s), navigating through two of the region’s biggest clusterf*ck construction projects (the HOT lanes and the Dulles Metro project). Thank God that the HOV-2 restriction does not have an age minimum. Just saying.
I was taking him solo this time. Usually Husband joins us, but he was unable to due to work. Since M goes to daycare, it was just the two of us today. I survived the Battle of the Beltway (woo hoo) getting there EARLY (since you never know what you might encounter) and *shocker* was able to immediately check-in. All fabulous things.
The nurse takes us back. B’s height and weight are measured. Dude, the kid is HUGE. He’s 41″ and 40 lbs. He’s not even FOUR yet. No wonder some of his pants are high waters. Then we are placed in the exam/observation room. It’s simple – there is a small kid’s table with blocks, crayons, and paper. There is a small area rug that depicts jungle animals. An exam table. Plus, all the other things that we SHOULDN’T touch but catches Mayor Bee’s eye: the computer, the cabinets, the rubber hammer used for testing reflexes…
Luckily we do not have to wait long. For those of you with antsy children, you can relate. This time, she has a resident observing, which is cool. I hand her the progress report from B’s ECSE school (not quite a report card but close) and give her the rundown of the past six months. Mainly, how he has progressed in potty training (a post for the future), his strides in speech development, and his struggle with aggressive behavior.
Meanwhile as I’m trying to update Dr. P, Mayor Bee takes it upon himself to try to impress the good doctors. This is where he likes to push my buttons. When there is a stranger or someone he has not seen in a while, he attempts to push his limits with me. All the hard work I’ve been doing to keep him focused and, er, good – out the window. He literally starts bouncing off the walls. As in, he runs from one side of the room to the other, and pings off the wall. He starts to act super silly and does not listen. He lays down on the rug and rolls around as I try to calmly plead with him to get the heck up and show the doctors how you can act.
And as I’m talking, I’m steeling myself to stay cool and not crack. Because it takes all my will to either A) not cry because I feel like I cannot control my kid, or 2) not haul off the kid to a well deserved time out because I feel like I cannot control my kid. Somehow, I just let it all go…because the doctors have to experience what I go through, right? Dr. P stays calm too…and after a while he pretty much runs out of gas and keeps asking me if we are ready to go yet.
Yeah…not even close buddy. I wait six months for an appointment, I’m taking full advantage of it.
Dr. P is extremely impressed with his continuing speech development. She found that she could understand him well, even if he exhibits echolia. For example, B heard the elevator while we were waiting, and I explained that the elevator was doing its job of taking people up and down. Sure enough, every.single.time that elevator made a noise, we were made aware of it. 🙂
She tries to focus him on jumping in place to check his coordinaton but he wasn’t able to focus. As a team we were able to get him to sit and check his muscle tone. It seems outrageous to believe but he does have dyspraxia. For such an active boy that is a sensory seeker, he struggles with low muscle tone (hypotonia). She was impressed with his leg muscle progress, but his arms still lag. I’ll be able to request more PT and OT services through school once I get her report. We chat a little about his possible ADHD, but it’s still so early for a diagnosis. The potential is as we are working through his PDD-NOS and SPD diagnoses…other things will be brought to the forefront.
The synopsis of the appointment is that she was very impressed with his progress – “leaps and bounds” is how she put it. It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been seeing her since last June; it seems like an eternity. As much as I want to try to get him into every activity known to mankind, she reassures me that we are doing all the right things – he is getting specialized education in his ECSE with all the supports. While I’m happy that she has noticed the changes…I can’t help but feel that I can do more.
But my ever encompassing guilt complex has to be saved for another post. And on the way out, just like every other time, I stop and take the next first appointment available in the next six months. Because if I don’t do it right at that moment, who knows how long it can be?
For more information on Children’s, please visit Children’s National Medical Center.