The first doctor’s appointment

YOU GUYS.

We finally got in to see a doctor! We’ve only been here for two months, but whatever…we got in and that’s what mattered.

At first, I was beyond unimpressed. The office itself was not nice, there were no toys or children’s books in the lobby (what pediatric office doesn’t have toys in the lobby?), and we sat and waited to go to the exam room for FOREVER. So, I was convinced right off the bat that my cousin’s assessment was correct, and that I would immediately be hitting the books again to find us a new pediatrician.

The doctor finally came in to start the exams, and I loved him right away. He was kind to the kids, patient with them, and actually listened to what I had to say without automatically assuming that I didn’t know what I was talking about. With J, we went over his current asthma protocol and health history, and the doctor agreed that he should remain on the Flovent for now. He said that we should expect an even more difficult than normal allergy season, since Colorado is not known for bad allergies, and this area is. He recommended potentially switching J’s long term asthma medication, should he need one more targeted for allergies. Hopefully he won’t need to, he’s doing pretty well on the Flovent.

Cora’s part of the appointment was uneventful. She’s my least health-problematic child, and I am thankful that I have at least one that’s easy!

Finally came S. I launched into her health history (with hesitation), because you never know how seriously they are going to take you. However, he was supportive right off the bat, and told me that whatever I needed, he’d give me. So, he gave me the referral to the Mind Institute– which I wasn’t sure he would do. He also put out a referral for an occupational therapist, since Our service coordinator isn’t able to find me one. He told us that his daughter has some problems similar to Scarlett’s, which I think really allowed him to empathize with us and support us however he could. He did and said a million other things that really made me feel like he’ll be a good fit for us, but he really brought it home with how he treated Scarlett.

I think God knew I needed a win. I’ve been pretty discouraged lately, but this gave me some renewed strength. I feel like things are finally heading in the right direction, and I am so very thankful for that, as we head into the greatest and most stressful time of the year!

Side note: S has finally gained some weight! She’s over 21 pounds now. What a fatty.

For I am still learning to be content

So, we had our IFSP meeting yesterday, and I’ve officially decided that I hate them. It’s one thing to know that your child has difficulties, but it’s a whole different kind of thing to actually put pen to paper (so to speak) and list them out. Our service coordinator asked what kinds of problems S has been having, and having to sit there and list out everything she does (or doesn’t do) was completely emotionally taxing. Sean was actually able to there for this meeting, and I’m thankful for it. It was so nice to have moral support.

Our coordinator let us know that she’s been trying to get us in with an occupational therapist, but that there just aren’t any available. She said that she’s called a million times and sent numerous emails, but that all of the OTs in this area are completely swamped with their caseloads. So, we continue to wait. It may be time for me to start looking privately, instead of waiting for the early start program to find one. I don’t know. I’m finding that being a special needs parent means spending a lot of time in the I-really-don’t-know-how-best-to-proceed camp.

Next on the list was to go over the autism checklists. Scarlett is still too young for a formal diagnosis (plus, these checklists aren’t designed to do that anyway), but since it’s something that’s on the table, they wanted to start them now to kind of get a baseline for her file. They also did them to see if she qualified for early autism services. Turns out, she does, since she’s high risk on both of the ones they performed. That said, the early autism services they provide here are no joke. Let me explain.

For the first 30 days, the therapists come into your home for 60 minutes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Every day. EVERY DAY. Am I making myself clear here? That’s absolutely insane. But it gets even better (worse?), so hold on tight and we’ll get there. During those 60 days, the therapists are testing, evaluating, and observing your child. At the end of those 60 days, they schedule a meeting with parents and the service coordinator to go over their findings. They don’t diagnose either, so it’s just determining whether or not your child will benefit from continued services. Let’s assume that they will. Therapy is then INCREASED from one hour every day to UP TO THREE HOURS A DAY. Are you hearing me? I may be type-yelling because my mind was blown at this point. THAT’S UP TO THREE HOURS EVERY SINGLE DAY. I cannot even fathom spending three hours every day in therapy. Obviously every case is different, but depending on what they recommend, this could be what we’re looking at.

Because my mind was barely processing how intensive this program sounds, I had to tap someone else in for a minute. I asked Pam (who thankfully was present- seriously, this woman has been a miracle for us) if she saw enough red flags that she thought we should pursue something this intensive. Scarlett, after all, is not low functioning, she’s semi-verbal, she’s been making progress with therapy, etc. So at this point, I just don’t know that I felt that it was necessary.

However, Pam said that she did see enough red flags that she thinks it would be good to try it out. Like she and I had discussed before, if there is any chance that we can eliminate Scarlett’s “symptoms” (for lack of a better phrase) before her case is transferred to the school districts, we need to do it. It seems to be the case that services once children hit the school districts kind of suck, and children fall through the cracks a lot more. Therefore, the sooner we can get S to the point where she doesn’t require services, the better.

I was reassured many times over that if we get through the 30 days and decide as a family that this program is not best for S moving forward, we can go back to Pam (since this program takes the place of what Pam does, we would stop seeing her once we start this program, which breaks my heart). The fact that we would no longer see Pam and the fact that it is so time intensive almost made me say no, but in my head, I know that what Pam said is right…if we can knock this out by the time S’ case gets transferred, we need to. So, it’ll take a few weeks to get set up with this new program (and we’ll still see Pam in the meantime), but once we do, I think it will take over our lives for a while. All of our other services will remain intact, which was nice…although that means that there will be some days where S will receive multiple hours of therapy, which I hate. But c’est la vie, I guess.

If you’re the praying type, friend, pray for me. My heart is hurting and I am stressed. I want what’s best for my girl, but my word, this is hard. I question when I should not, I doubt when I should not, I worry when I should not…but God’s plan is greater than mine, and I am still learning to be content.

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PS- this isn’t my image. Found it on Google images. Big Brother, please don’t take me away for copyright infringement or something…