Monday, December 21, 2009

Baby Boy

Nothing cheers up a dreary waiting room in a speech, physical and occupational therapy practice like a joyous child with a million dollar smile who totally flirts with all the ladies, playing peek a boo, smiling, and running off laughing in glee as soon as they come near him! This was the best waiting room experience I have ever had – Baby boy left everyone smiling and gave everyone some Christmas cheer! This is major progress for baby boy because for the first few months home, he was very reserved and had a lot of anxiety around strangers. Baby boy got his second speech therapy evaluation which just reaffirms the conclusions of his first one in August – he has delays in his expressive and receptive language and needs speech therapy. Now if we can only find a slot for him – the practice his health insurance contracts with to provide the services has a 1 – 2 year waiting list and they cannot know for sure how long he will need to wait since it all depends on the length of time their current patients require therapy. But, I am grateful for a possible workaround – if we can get a letter stating that there is a long waiting list, the regional center can provide services until a slot opens up. Now, if we can only get that ever elusive letter!

Baby boy also had his appointment with the developmental pediatrician and it was worth the wait to be able to get in. We got 3 ½ hours totally devoted to my son - testing by a child psychologist, time with a pediatric nurse and then an hour with the developmental pediatrician. I can’t tell you just how wonderful of a practice this is – everyone is so focused on your child and they make you feel like they have all day just for your child. They view your child as a person and really work hard to know your child. They are all playful and the pediatrician did not mind at all that my son wanted to sit on her lap so that he could play with her necklace. She actually let him sit on her lap for a long time and cuddled and rocked him to sleep while she talked to us! The best part is that they will advocate for your child! They were aghast at how difficult it has been to get my son speech therapy and told me they would contact all the responsible parties. They also wanted to know what baby boy's lawyer that the good people of our state are paying had done to ensure that baby boy is getting all the services he needs. The doctor even called me the following day with a possible workaround – referring my son to a day program where they provide early intervention services which would include speech therapy. We will have to think this one through though – it is a mental health program and the children they serve seem to have significant mental health issues. My husband is worried about our son getting labeled and we would really love to keep our son at home during the day instead of in a program. The bonding with him has been great and we do not want to jeopardize this – plus we would be separating the twins and he may get anxious about this. We feel very hopeful about something working out soon with speech therapy. This visit was very good and it laid some of my fears to rest – auditory processing and/or neural development issues and/or autism. The doctor felt the speech delays were simply a result of less than ideal environments both in utero and the first 8 months of baby boy’s life. A huge sigh of relief and a lot of gratefulness for extraordinary medical professionals who go the extra mile. Also can't fail to thank the extra ordinary public health nurse who coordinates baby boy’s medical care. She has a caseload of 400 kids, but yet she treats each one like they are her only patient. She shows real empathy, does a lot of outside the box thinking looking for resources outside the “government plan” and really advocates for “her” kids. She totally makes up for all the apathetic government employees and works hard to redeem our reputation! Baby boy also has had three emergency room visits related to his asthma. The care there has been extraordinary, the nurses and doctors are not only warm and caring to the patient, but also offer mom and dad warm blankets and drinks during the wait and keep us informed about what is going on! The last time we got quite the royal treatment – 9 medical personnel within 3 minutes of our arrival were working on baby boy and several had their phones out calling for more personnel – we were clueless and just thought it was a slow night! Turns out his O2 saturation was 70% per a faulty triage nurse’s pulse oxitometer. Once he was hooked up to a different machine and the all clear was given, our local sheriff’s department showed what real heroes are made of - they protected our delicate sensiblities by sternly warning a patient against using foul language as a child and lady were within hearing distance! Chivalry is still alive and well! So thankful to live in a country with great medical care where we have the luxury to complain about the time it takes to see countless medical experts whereas many mothers around the world don’t have access to even basic immunizations for their children.

All in all baby boy is doing great and he just can not resist the temptation to play with the ornaments on the Christmas tree. We have gates everywhere, but he seems to find just that perfect moment when we let our guard down. It has been awhile since we have had little hands not able to resist the temptation of taking down the ornaments and it is really just such a blessed feeling. I love me this baby boy and oh how baby boy loves his momma. He screams with pure joy as soon as I come through the door and he sure knows how to brighten up my day. Even when he gets into trouble, he still smiles at mommy through the tears and will hug me to make everything okay.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Wow. Great stuff!!
Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas!