Tuesday, March 27, 2012


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. 


April said...

Congratulations on getting a regular pediatrician! That is something most of us take for granted. I am glad you liked her and that she is a good addition to Team Scarlett!

Anonymous said...

Good for you for keeping your child rear facing, my 2.5 yr old son is still rear facing in his car seat. Sounds like it's like the one my son has.

Also look into replacing your daughters car seat from the accident. :) Call the car seat company & see what they say. The insurance should cover it if the car seat company says it should be replaced.

DiJe said...

Glad you ladies are ok, and Yay for "extended" rear facing! We bought our non-infant car seat specifically so we could rear face as long as possible. This was before the AAP officially endorsed it but we had read a bunch of stuff that made us decide to start. Our pediatrician actually yelled at us over it, asking why we wanted to extend rear facing, it is better to turn him around, blah blah blah. By the next check-up the new guidelines were out and she just said "We covered the rear-facing last time", lol.

Carrie said...

It is funny that more parents do not do extended rearfacing, it is such an easy thing to do to protect your baby. We kept my oldest rearfacing until she was 2 months shy of 3. We were in a fairly serious car accident the following Christmas. Our car was totalled, it was one of those accidents in which you look at the car and wondered how anyone walked away with minor injuries. The baby was rearfacing and suffered no effects. My oldest was a little sore and had brush burns and bruising. I wish that I had kept her rearfacing. The seat was installed right though and she faired much better then my husband and I.

Ami said...

Yay for rear-facing! My son will be 2 in 2 weeks and is still rear-facing. But to be safe check with your insurance to see if they cover car seat replacement.

Em said...

It is heart-breaking and heart-warming for me to read about Scarlett's life. Thanks for sharing her with us.

MelissaD said...

My daughter was born in July 2010 and is still rear facing. We were in a pretty serious car accident about two months ago and she was 100% fine! My son (5 years old) was sore and I had some issues but I am SO thankful for my decision to keep her rear facing. Our carseat also goes to 45 lbs and I plan on keeping her rear facing as long as possible... Despite all of the negative comments I get (she must be so uncomfortable, her legs are touching the seat, she is too big, etc). Legally she can't be turned, she is only 19 lbs. But regardless of the comments, her safety is my #1 priority.
And I just want you to know my family still prayers for Scarlett and your family! It is so wonderful to read your updates on her and see how well she is doing <3

Horsey Mama said...

We were in a serious car accident a year ago as well. My youngest was still rear facing at 2.5 years. She's now 3.5 and still rear facing at 38lbs. She's in a Radian XTSL (now called a Diono I think?). Is that what you have? Kudos for rearfacing her beyond the minimum! I also agree...if you were injured even minor (you being sore counts) the seat HAS to be replaced.

YAY for a "real" pediatrician!!!! We moved 2 years ago and have had a horrible time finding a pediatrician, so I know how hard it is to find a good one.