Posts Tagged ‘pediatrician’

Good thing I can’t violate my own patient privacy

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Two big medical things happened so far this week: I finally saw a specialist about my kidney stones (read more about THOSE here or here) and Caroline had her 8 week check-up.

On Monday I finally got my act together and called to make an appointment with the urologist who treated me in the hospital over Thanksgiving. It took until now because a) I needed a referral and getting an appointment at the Navy clinic takes approximately a zillion years and b) the only time I ever feel really sick is after 5 pm and it’s hard to make appointments with a closed office. After all that time I spent procrastinating the nurse was like “OK, can you be here at 3:45?” Unfortunately, the only reason they could see me so soon is because it was just a consult, not an actual make-the-stones-go-away appointment. The doctor ordered a CAT scan to get a better look at the stones (I couldn’t have one when I was pregnant), blood work to determine what was causing the stones and a giant bottle of pee. Yeah. I’m supposed to collect ALL MY PEE for 24 hours and bring it to a lab for testing. I’m pretty sure I have to keep it in the refrigerator while I’m collecting it too. I think I’ll put off buying groceries until I’m done with THAT. The CAT scan is next week and my follow up with the urologist is in a month, but now that I have been officially, uh, referred, I can go in for instant testing to diagnose an infection and get the drugs anytime my fever comes back. Thank God.

In happier news, Caroline is doing beautifully.

Height: 22 inches (50th percentile)
Weight: 11 pounds 15 oz (75th percentile)(damn 1 oz short of 12 pounds!! I should have fed her and weighed her again)
Head circumference: 40.3 cm

I had to bring Little Evan to the appointment and although I was prepared for the worst – complete with candy hidden in the diaper bag OH NO I AM NOT ABOVE BRIBERY – he was an angel. I’m lucky that Caroline is so easy-going because she was happy to lie on the table and just kick her legs while Evan climbed in my lap and we read Big and Little (Today’s Random Fact: There are 5 different books on Amazon with that title and none of them are the one that I own. It must be out of print) because we are working on our opposites. TAKE THAT BABYCENTER.

Even when I had to put him down to hold Caroline for her shots he just stood quietly and waited. Or maybe he was too terrified by her ear-splitting screams to run away. She was red-faced pissed from the second I pulled her leg out of her pajamas until I got her back in the car seat. I swear she knew what was coming. I hoped some milk might make her feel better trying to nurse her while she’s that mad is about as effective as trying to nurse a rabid weasel so I gave up. In other news, my boobs are 2 seconds from actually exploding, thanks to the combination of crying baby and failed latch attempt. I’ll be adding at least 10 oz to my freezer stash while Caroline sleeps off her anger.

We saw the doctor I liked (aka the one I don’t feel like I need to answer “correctly” instead of always honestly) and he made sure to give me lots of time and prompting to ask questions. Since this isn’t my first time at the baby rodeo (are you now picturing a baby rodeo? No? Just me then)(But would the babies be doing the lassoing or would people be lassoing the babies?) I didn’t have anything to ask – but knowing he would take the time to listen if I did is reassuring. The only tiny bit of contention was when he told me I should “keep trying” to give her a pacifier even though her reaction to them is similar to what yours might be if someone tried to shove a dirty sweat sock in your mouth. Thanks Doc, but we’ll pass on the paci’s, even if this week they’re a “do” – because next week they’ll probably be a “don’t”.

Caroline: 1 Month

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Happy very first monthday baby girl! You can expect an update like this every 19th, as long as you and your brother behave long enough for me to write them. For example, today is actually the 20th so it appears I am late with your very first monthday, although it is not my fault because I wanted to include your height and weight stats and your doctor’s appointment was rescheduled because of the bad weather.

And by “rescheduled” I mean “confirmed by the office on Monday so I dragged my tiny baby out into the sleet on Tuesday only to find the building locked and no one there and then I had to call and ask when exactly I COULD bring you in for your appointment because no one from the office there bothered to call and apologize or set up a new appointment but no, I’m not bitter about that at allllll.” But that’s a lot for you to understand right now, so I let’s just call it “rescheduled”.

The first two weeks of your life you didn’t seem very interested in me. Or anything really. You didn’t even like eating that much, which my boobs found very insulting. Luckily you now love to nurse and are still super good at it – even if you keep trying to gnaw off my left nipple. But it’s ok, because Daddy gave you a bottle of pumped milk the other night and you drank the WHOLE THING. Amazing! You’ve started making eye contact a lot more and staring right into your face helps you calm down sometimes. You decided being held is much better than sleeping in your seat or the swing so sometimes I have to let you lie on me for a long time before you’ll fall asleep. When that happens I just remember you’re only going to be a teeny tiny baby for a little while and I should enjoy the cuddles while you still want to give them. You’re a bit of a night owl, preferring to go to bed around midnight, but once you’re down you’re letting me get 4 or 5 hours of sleep in a row before another feeding. I don’t know how I would be functioning at all right now without that sleep so I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for being a sweet, easy-going baby (most of the time). We love you!

1 Month Stats:
Height: 21 inches (50th percentile)
Weight: 10 lbs 3 oz (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 39.1 cm (75th percentile)

Party baby WHAAAAAAAAT??!?!

Showing off her guns

I am suspicious of you and that black thing you always have attached to your face

Oh great, this thing again

Baby head!

Baby feet! (Totally better than baby head amirite?)

I know the tutu is sort of ridiculous now, but when she's 8 months old it's going to make for ADORABLE pictures.

Monthday onesie stickers by PurplePossom on Etsy. I’m not doing as well with the weekly pictures as I did with Little Evan so I’m dedicated myself to special monthly ones. Next month I’ll try to take them BEFORE it gets dark out so they don’t have the weird indoor lighting shadows.

1 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usually)

(How weird is it that there are levels of milestones for ONE MONTH OLD BABIES???)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Lifts head when lying on tummy – Yes, she’s always had a really strong neck. The better to smash you in the face with when you try to hold her on your shoulder.
Responds to sound – Well, she no longer sleeps soundly through the toddler SCREAMING IN HER FACE.
Stares at faces – Loves faces!

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Follows objects briefly with eyes – Maybe? It’s hard to tell.
Vocalizes: oohs and aahs – Eh, still mostly just baby sounds. She’s got the eh-eh-eh-eh-eh while she’s hunting for a nipple down pat though.
Can see black-and-white patterns – Oh sure, she told me she likes the squares but the star shaped ones are a little too busy for her tastes. WTF BabyCenter?! How am I supposed to know what the baby can see??

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Smiles, laughs – Still just gas smiles but they’re still cute!
Holds head at 45-degree angle – Angle from what? When you prop her up she can hold her head straight for a good period of time but I don’t think she could hold it up from lying flat.

18 Month Stats (and some other stuff)

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Little Evan had his 18 months check-up yesterday, and since this blog is my baby book I should probably record his stats here, rather than lying to myself and pretending I’m going to hold onto this “Baby’s Health and Growth Record” they gave me at his first visit and I shove in my purse before each appointment.

Height: 32 inches
Weight: 24 lbs 3 oz
Head circumference: 47.6 cm

All of that puts him somewhere between the 25th and the 50th percentiles and back on the kind of “healthy curve” the doctor is happy with and doesn’t require coming in every freaking month to make sure I’m not starving him to death. They made me schedule his next appointment on the way out, which is his 2 YEAR CHECK-UP. I was not only mentally unprepared to think of him as being 2, I am incapable of picking a “good” time and day for an appointment in April, when I will have 2 babies. My day planner doesn’t even go past December, because that’s when I figure my whole life will just turn into chaos and won’t ever leave the house anyway.

In “things that make my life easier news”, we also went to Best Buy and bought this:

HUGE. But useful.

Our current TV stand (which, if you REALLY need to see it, is the in background of 85% of my pictures) has solid wood doors, which means when you close them you can’t control anything with the remote. Design FAIL. We took one of the doors off a long time ago and that was a workable solution for a while…until we had a kid. A kid who likes buttons. And knows which button turns the TV on and off. And thihks pushing it is HILARIOUS. Our new stand will prevent the button-pushing and cord-pulling, as well as give us a lot more storage for E’s giant electronics collection and free up space on our bookshelves for, you know, those things with the pages and the words. Oh yeah, BOOKS.

We also ordered this:

Nursery Glider

It’s the Newco Serenity Classic Glider to go in the new nursery/playroom. You can’t see the fabric closely in the picture, but it’s a chenille corduroy that is very soft AND very stain resistant. I was torn between buying the chocolate brown and ordering it in the green version, but when the sales guy said the green was “special order”, which meant it would take 10-12 weeks AND I couldn’t use my BRU 20% off coupon, the brown won. Easily. It will work just fine with beige and orange and if I end up hating the color I’ll just throw a blanket over it.

Also, if you read all the reviews of the chair they’re split between people who love it and people who hate it because it squeaks, and although squeaking is annoying the cheap Target glider we have already is INCREDIBLY squeaky and it never ever bothered Baby Evan. Comfortable is really my only concern.

Next weekend starts our new master bedroom renovations and also the start of fourteen bazillion posts featuring MORE crap I want to buy. I know you’re already excited.

My one and only post on the subject ever

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

I am not a particularly political person (besides that one time my boss ran for mayor and I was his technology campaign manager – Hi Mayor Allyn!) so I try to stay out of the angry online discussions. I try even harder to stay out of angry IN PERSON discussions, because never in the history of the world has yelling ever changed anyone’s mind about politics. There is zero chance that just because I can give my opinion LOUDER THAN YOU CAN you will suddenly realize your belief system for the last 30 years is wrong and happily sign up for mine.

But after watching my Facebook feed split straight down the middle on health care reform, I wanted to share my thoughts. And since this is my blog and I have 100% control over what gets published here and what doesn’t, please believe I will DELETE any impolite or combative comments, although feel free to disagree nicely.

As a military dependent I enjoy a number of benefits, from discounts on clothes, tickets to Disney World and food to tax-free shopping on base. But in my opinion the absolute best part of my dependent status is my Tricare insurance coverage. 99% of the time I pay nothing (zero, nada, the opposite of some) to see a doctor, fill a prescription, get a referral, or have a baby. That’s right, although prenatal care and a hospital birth can cost tens of thousands of dollars (see this post over on His Boys Can Swim for their breakdown) the entire cost of my pregnancy was $14 for a giant bottle of Tums and a tube of Preparation H. Which I’m pretty sure I could have gotten a prescription for if I had asked. Which I then could have gotten filled at the base pharmacy for free.

I get most of my medical care on base from a combination of corpsmen, active duty doctors, and civilians contracted through the military – although I did get to see a local civilian provider for my OB care. I’m not saying Tricare  gets everything right.  Getting a same day appointment at the Navy Ambulatory Care Clinic means waking up at 6 am to talk to the regional call center and agreeing to see whatever doctor is on call instead my primary care provider. Sometimes the doctor on call talks on his cell phone through my whole appointment and then tells me I might have strep but he’s not going to order a test for it or write me a prescription so have a nice day! Then there was the bureaucratic hell that was trying to get my 4 day old jaundiced son in to see a pediatrician who was retiring in two days even though the baby wasn’t yet in the Navy’s computer system because HE WAS 4 DAMN DAYS OLD. But besides the totally free health care for myself, Tricare offers a very low cost (yearly cap for out-of-pocket/co-pay spending before they cover everything: $1000)  plan that lets us see the pediatrician right down the street any time Baby Evan falls on his face. Our total bill for the OMG EMERGENCY trip to the Children’s Hospital in Hartford? Less than $40. My complaints about one lousy doctor, a lot of paperwork and a long wait at the pharmacy pale in comparison to people who have gone bankrupt (or worse) over health care.

If my insurance coverage sounds sort of like – GASP – socialized medicine, that’s because it pretty much is. I hope one day everyone gets to enjoy what I take for granted. I’m shocked to see opposition to the health care bill among my peers who I know enjoy the same Tricare coverage I do. I’m pained that anyone would try to take the restrictions on unfair insurance practices away from people who desperately need them because of a misconception of a single line item or bit of wording. I’m thrilled my elected representatives managed to get something so huge accomplished and proud it happened during my lifetime.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.


Saturday, March 13th, 2010

On Thursday afternoon, Jane from His Boys Can Swim tweeted that she was on her way to the doctor because her baby fell off a couch and that she felt like the worst mom ever. So I responded:

Of course, saying something like that is basically like running naked into the middle of a large field holding a flagpole during a thunderstorm and saying “Oh no, I’ve NEVER gotten struck by lighting before!” So three hours later, this happened.

Since Baby Evan has been walking for a while now, I don’t watch him as closely as a good mother would I used to and in an attempt to rip apart my current knitting project he climbed around the couch, tripped over a shoe and fell face first onto the lower shelf of a wooden end table. He scraped a couple layers of skin off his forehead and the swelling – OH THE SWELLING – started immediately. So did the screaming. OH THE SCREAMING. Of course I used my trusty boob powers to put a stop to the noise immediately but after 10 minutes of nursing he was still pretty sad. Exhibit A:

You guys, this picture does NOTHING to show the true awfulness that was the swelling. And right on his biggest, bluest forehead vein too. It's the curse of the pale.

Of course, when I called my pediatrician’s office they has already closed for the day. Their answering service gave me the number of the on call doctor, so I called HIS office and explained Baby Evan’s head bump and asked if I should be concerned. Instead of the generally calm, reassuring voice of reason response I get from the nurses we see in person, this one was…not. She said things like “SKULL FRACTURE” and “BRAIN BLEED” and “IT’S REALLY A JUDGMENT CALL ON YOUR PART BUT…” What she didn’t say was the rest of the sentence after that “but”, which is: “If you were a good mother, your baby wouldn’t have fallen at all, but since he did why wouldn’t you immediately rush to the nearest emergency room?” So I grabbed the diaper bag, left a message for E at work, and drove less than a mile down the road to the hospital. (When we eventually have to sell this house, all I have to tell families thinking about buying it is “You can have your kid at the ER less than 3 minutes after they fall down the stairs/break a leg/cut off a finger/start bleeding from their eyeballs” and the offers will come rolling in. Guaranteed.)

By the time I got him out of the car into the BabyHawk carrier, Baby Evan was smiling. When the check-in lady called him cute, he laughed. When the  ER nurse sent us down the hall to non-emergency Convenient Care, he climbed out of my arms and ran around throwing magazines on the floor. The only time he cried the whole visit was when I wouldn’t let him push the very exciting shiny blue button that said “CODE” on it in the exam room.  When we were seen, a very nice doctor assured me the worst case scenario was a concussion, something most kids bounced back from with no problem whatsoever. Then he said if Baby Evan slept more than usual for the next 48 hours, I shouldn’t be concerned and I was all “Concerned?! Heck, I hope he gets concussed every day!” I don’t think the doctor got the joke. He sent us home with a handout on how to tell if your baby is bleeding into his skull and a promise to see us again soon when my daredevil child tried his next stunt.

The whole thing took less than 2 hours. By Friday morning Baby Evan’s forehead was almost back to normal size and the bruise was almost gone. He hasn’t done any extra sleeping. And because I am not a horrible mother, I made sure he really was going to be ok before I wrote about it on the internets.