Tuesday, May 10

Using big girl words.

Tommy hasn't been feeling his normal self lately and all the green boogery eyes and nose was surely the cause.  So the dr appt at 8pm last night (I could only get after hours) determined he probably has a sinus infection and maybe an ear infection but Tommy wasn't cooperating on the ear issues so that is a guess.  The dr wasn't my favorite.  But.  I was able this time to use my 'big girl words' and communicate Tommy's needs.  Which in the past with this particular doctor I let my emotions get too, well, emotional and I lost track of words and complete sentences and went straight to tears.  So, this was much better for both Tommy and I. 

Before the appointment, I had gotten snacks for Liam's T-ball game and went to watch him and Colin in what turned out to be a *hilarious* game of 4 year olds playing T-ball.  Some were even fielding their own balls after hitting them. 

We had a quick dinner as a small family, Hannah was working and Nate was at dad's house.  Colin and I decided that maybe since Tommy was going to the doctor anyway, we would get the x-ray for
Atlantoaxial instability, which is a common orthopedic problem seen in people with Down syndrome (and have had the xray request from the dr for awhile).  And we decided, since the blood lab work was nearing it's 6 month shelf life on our bulletin board we should probably get that taken care of too (anemia, thyroid, etc).

So, I treated Tommy to Dairy Queen french fries, hoping that bribe would last mommy a few brownie points for the xray and blood work.  Plus, Hannah was working drive thru and after all the DQ is very close to our pediatric clinic, there were so many reasons to stop by.  Hannah wished Tommy well and we exchanged love u's and we were off on the adventure of medical procedures.

As soon as Tommy was within the pediatric clinics and not even down the hallway to the xray, he remembered how much he didn't like this place.  And he remembered, by flopping and laying down and not wanting to go any further.  If you have a flopper as a child you will quickly know just how heavy that lil sack of potatoes becomes. 

The xray tech showed me the box that Tommy should sit on "and look that way and have him hold his head really still between the glowing hash marks on the wall".  What?  He is four.  "Okay, I'll place this stuffed animal on this chair and he can look directly at the stuffed animal, and hold still".   So, I used my big girl words of "he is Tommy, non verbal, non cooperative in all things xray".  "Okay, I'll call some help".   So we modified the process by me wearing a lead vest, calling in more helpers and Tommy sitting on my lap and being restrained while other folks held his head still.  It worked.  It was quick for Tommy's sake.  But really important information will come from this test on wether he can continue to jump on the trampoline and ride a horse, etc.

Then we did the dr visit and left his office at 8:45pm.  Dropped the prescription off at the in-clinic pharmacy and asked how late the lab was open, which turned out to be 9pm.  I looked at Tommy who was smiling at me (probably because the pharmacy was near the parking lot door and he had hopes of leaving) which I interpreted as 'let's do this mom' and we were off to the lab downstairs.

The lab tech was probably in high school and the size of maybe half of me, so I knew with Tommy this was going to be hard.  She shared that she felt kids were hard to draw blood from, which I gave her tons of encouragement, said I would help her figure this out from Tommy's needs perspective, and oh by the way I need this to be done within 10 mins because I've got to return to the pharmacy for the antibiotic.  Shy grin.  That would help her work faster right?  ha ha.

What worked best about the blood draw is that the lab tech was good at communicating with "her big girl words" and I was good at communicating exactly what Tommy needed (door closed, don't pull out the gloves/turniquet until you absolutley have the vials etc ready because those are his hot buttons, and yes he wants a pillow under his elbow).  Took his shoes off and pinned his feet under my legs while he sat in my lap (his favorite place in the entire world) and took his left arm down to his side and she took his right arm with the beautiful vein in it (helps to know your child's best arm if they have lots of blood draws) and wal-lah!  One stick and barely five minutes total from door closing we were done and Tommy was giving her a high five.  Okay, I gave her a high five too.... and if I had cash on me, there was going to be a tip.  She grabbed my shoulder and said she learned alot from me in that short amount of time.  I reminded her that Tommy was actually the teacher, and even though non verbal, it was soooo important for her to understand how he needed things done.   I'm mearly his mom and that using our big girl words helps so much!

Tommy Adventures