Three Doctor Appointments…Whew!

Mikayla had three – yes, I said THREE – doctor appointments this week. During her first year, this would be a normal occurrence. We usually had at least two doctor appointments every week. I got to know the Erlanger Parking Lot attendants very well. 🙂 But, since then, we’ve been spoiled to only have a few doctor appointments this whole year. Last January and February is when we started hearing, “She’s doing great. Let’s see her again in a year.” At the time that was a relief but when ALL the doctors want to see her a year later, ALL the appointments end up at the same time. I guess better to be one week out of the year than every week.
Monday was a trip to the Pediatrician to re-check her ears. She’s only had two ear infections (which is both very surprising and very good!) but both times we’ve had trouble with the fluid staying in her ears for a really long time. She went through having her ears washed out by the nurse and two different antibiotics and thankfully, on Monday the infection was clear. There is still fluid in one ear so he put her on a nasal spray to try to dry everything up. We’ll go back in a month. Hopefully the fluid will be gone by then. He didn’t say this but I’m pretty sure the next step would be a trip to the ENT and I’d rather just avoid that if possible.
Tuesday we made our yearly visit to the pediatric ophthalmologist. I HATE eye doctor appointments more than any other. You’d think the more vital body part check-ups would bother me more but the eye appointment is such a hassle…especially with a two year old. We were there for over two hours and spent all of 3 minutes with the doctor. You wait in the waiting room. Then you see a nurse and she dilates the eyes. Then you wait in another waiting room crammed with about 15 people in a space big enough for only about 7. When the nurse checks that your eyes are fully dilated, you wait for a room to open up. Then you wait in the room for the doctor, spend 3 minutes talking to him and you’re done. I guess I shouldn’t complain – he’s the only pediatric ophthalmologist in Chattanooga. If I lived somewhere else I’d probably have to add a lengthy drive to all of the waiting.
In the valuable 3 minutes we spent with the doctor, we learned that her eyes haven’t changed at all since last year. Her optic nerves are small. Typically when he sees a child with small optic nerves it points to a pituitary problem – the pituitary gland isn’t producing growth hormones like it should. And, given Mikayla’s obvious small size, the first couple times we saw him he really felt this was the case. We know she’s small for other reasons and more or less dismissed his concern. Not to mention, the only way to diagnose a pituitary problem is with an MRI which at her age means anesthesia – which we are not willing to do presently. Last year, he finally said that the nerves being small is probably a result of the Williams Syndrome just like everything else about her is small. At this appointment, he felt the same way. He said the MRI is an option but if she were his child, he wouldn’t do it. At next year’s appointment she should be old enough to look at pictures or shapes and tell us what she sees, this will give him a better idea of how those nerves are functioning.
She is also far-sighted, like her Papa. He said it is borderline on whether or not she needs glasses but that at two there’s no reason to even fool with it. He felt she might outgrow the far-sightedness but if by the time she starts school her eyes are the same we’d probably try glasses. So, no change is good – at least it means nothing is worse. And, now we…you guessed it…WAIT until next February to get a better understanding of how her eyes are functioning.
On the plus side, Mikayla handled the appointment much better than I did. She cried when they put the drops in her eyes but that was only because we were holding her down. The rest of the time she had a blast trying to escape the waiting room. She did throw a few tantrums toward the end. I think she was just tired and hungry…who wasn’t!
Thursday we saw the geneticist. Mikayla did better with this appointment than she’s done with any in a long time. Maybe it was because this was her third appointment in one week, maybe she was just in a good mood, maybe it was how wonderful the doctor is…either way, it went very well. Mikayla weighs a whole 21 lbs. She is 31″ tall. On the WS growth chart she is average – right in the middle. On a “typically developing” growth chart she is actually in the 10% for height. For weight she is still well below the curve but she is getting closer to that bottom line. All of this means that she’s growing exactly the way we’d expect and therefore eating well and most likely all her body functions are doing what they should.
Physically she is developing about like any other two year old. She is hindered by being so small on things like climbing stairs (she just can’t reach), but otherwise is doing well. The doctor asked if we felt like she had plenty of energy…and Mike and I both laughed. Uh, have you seen my child running in circles around this room nonstop since you walked in the door? Yes, I think she has PLENTY of energy. Sometimes more than mommy would like. 🙂
The doctor did feel that she was probably a bit behind in her speech. By this age most kids are starting to put words together. The only words Mikayla has put together are “no, andy”. She does say a lot of words (and says them often) but they are mostly unintelligible to anyone but me. This is also to be expected in a child with WS. In fact Mikayla may be farther along than most other WS kids in that she’s speaking at all. From most things we read in the beginning we thought she’d be three or four before even trying to speak. The doctor did say that once her speech does develop it looks like she’ll be “chatty”. Ya think? She is getting closer and closer – every day she says something new or remembers a new word that we’ve been saying. I’m guessing in a few months I’ll be saying, “will this kid ever stop talking?” My mom tells me I was “chatty” too, guess this is one thing she gets from me.
Insert Funny Story – Tuesday I took Mikayla to Walmart. I was looking at something on one side of the isle and there was a lady across from me looking at something on the other side of the isle. Mikayla literally screamed “hi” to this lady about 25 times until finally the lady turned around and said hi back to her. Then she stopped, she just sat in the buggy like that’s all she wanted – just to say hi.
Back to the doctor visit – The doctor did some blood work – standard procedure for the geneticist. People with WS usually have issues with the calcium in their blood being too high. This can cause a lot of pain as well as other problems. Thankfully, this has never been a problem for Mikayla and the kids usually grow out of it by 18 months or so. If this test comes back normal this should be the last time we have to check her calcium. She also is running a test to check her kidney function – again, standard procedure and we expect that test to come back normal as well. High calcium is really hard on the kidneys so checking the kidneys is routine for a WS patient.
Overall, the doctor thought Mikayla was doing very well – she’s had a much easier time than a lot of WS kids do in the first few years. The tantrums thrown at previous doctor visits (as well as several times every other day) are further proof that she is developing right on track. We’ll wait for the blood tests to come back but assuming all is normal it will probably be at least 6 months if not a year before we have to see the geneticist again.
On a side note: the doctor fully supports my decision to put Mikayla on a leash when we go to Disney. So, go ahead and look at me with judgment, I and my child and her doctor will be happy! 🙂
We have one more of these yearly appointments on March 1 – we’ll be seeing the orthopedist to check her arm. Then we’ll be set till next February…well other than the routine pediatrician visits and the cardiologist who we’ll see in June (we have to see him two or three times a year still). We are very blessed with a happy, energetic, chatty little girl and are thrilled she’s doing so well. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us and Mikayla, we definitely appreciate your love and concern for our family.
This is from Thursday evening. Mike was talking about the snow coming this weekend and when Mikayla heard the word snow she was pretty excited about it…

One response to “Three Doctor Appointments…Whew!

  1. Godfreyhouse February 12, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    I like the leash idea as well. I hope she gets to touch the snow today.

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