This morning, Scarlett had an appointment with her new pediatrician. She hasn't had a true pediatrician all this time, but her neuro-oncology NP had someone specific in mind to manage all of Scarlett's "normal" kid stuff aside from all her other doctors. Since her diagnosis, everything has been handled via oncology, since even the slightest fever, rash or sniffle could have indicated a major problem. Now, we're moving away from high alert status, and can see a local pediatrician. Even though she seems to have a specialist for every area of her body, we have to have someone who is in charge of the basics like vaccinations, colds, ear infections or whatever else pops up as she continues to grow.
Of course, the "approved" pediatrician was not easy to come by. Her practice was closed to new patients, so it took some calls from me and oncology to get us in. Then, trying to find a time in our schedule that was also free on her schedule was tough - after 5 minutes of back-and-forth with the scheduler, we settled on 7:30 am. Not our best hour, but we made it right on time.
When we arrived, we had to fill out the developmental forms for Scarlett's age. It seemed to go on forever; "Does your child climb stairs?" No. "Does your child use at least 4 words other than mama and dada?" No. I checked "no" on nearly every milestone...then came to the end, where the last two questions had us laughing. "Has your child had any other health issues recently?" Um, yes. "Do you have any concerns about your child?" The box was not big enough for that answer!
The appointment went really well, and it's great to have another caring, concerned, attentive doctor on Team Scarlett. She shared some of my concerns about weight gain and nutrition, and was pleased to see how strong Scarlett was. She'll see her one more time before surgery in May, and we'll begin vaccinations in the summer.
Side note: Scarlett has not been vaccinated because her chemo-weakened immune system was not up to the task of producing the anitbodies needed to ward off diseases. Once her system has more fully recovered, she will get all the normal vaccines, or whatever her ever-expanding team of doctors agrees is best.
That's just one of our appointments this week; it's another marathon week for us, with PT, OT, pediatrician, and a bunch of others for Scarlett, plus dentist for mom and dad, our sign language class and the end of swimming lessons. I have been tutoring after school for a few weeks, so we have to make sure we remember that, too!
And, if things weren't crazy enough, Scarlett and I were in a minor car accident yesterday. We're both fine, the car was not damaged, but it was not a good way to start a Monday morning! However, I wanted to mention how very glad I was that Scarlett is still positioned rear-facing in the car. We were stopped, and the other car hit us from behind, which made my neck tweak. It was sore all day. Scarlett was safely buckled and was not bothered at all by the crash. I would have hated for her to have suffered any neck damage from something so minor. It reinforced my commitment to keeping her rear-facing as long as it is safe in her car seat - up to 45 pounds for our particular seat. The newest recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and The American Academy of Pediatrics is to keep kids rear-facing as long as possible, rather than turning them around at 1 year old/20 pounds as in years past. It's not dangerous for legs to be touching the seat back as long as the child is within the height/weight limits of the seat. I know that many of our readers have kids Scarlett's age, so I wanted to share this. Check out the FAQ at CarSeatSafety.org for more car seat information.