Here are Natalie's football player stats: 52 lbs and 45 inches tall.
Yup. Like I said, she's a bruiser. I have no clue what percentile all of that falls into. I sort of let that whole concept go once both children were declared VERY HUGE (100% and beyond percentile) as older toddlers. Also, the constant buying of clothing and shoes sort of gives you a tiny insight as to what their huge bodies are doing overnight. I'm telling ya, the yogurt and bean addiction is strong.
This visit, I just knew, was going to be easy because no needles are involved. Last year, she got 5!!!! shots. That made us both cry. This year, it was in the bag. Feeling confident, I waltzed her into that office without tissues this time.
Boy am I an idiot.
The poor kid had to give blood. "A finger prick!!" James shouted..and only because he remembers the finger prick he had at his 6 year checkup. I thought that that's what she would get to test her blood. Simple iron check. Nope, not today. They also wanted to check her bones and make sure that she's all healthy inside. Hey, I'm not one to shy away from science and medicine, but I really felt like an asshole when they came into the room with a butterfly needle and tourniquet. I wanted to cry for her.
Look, we are a lucky bunch. The last time that Natalie had a real blood draw was in January 2010, only a few days before her Fontan surgery. That's MIGHTY awesome, for anyone, but especially for a CHDer. Gosh, I just went back to reread those 2 sentences.. that's astonishing!
At first, I thought catching a urine sample from a 5 year old female was terrifying. It ended up being the easiest part, compared to holding down a 5 year old to have blood drawn. Especially when they know and you know that you the parent, failed to mention that needles were indeed involved today.
I'm definitely not over it, but Natalie is. At least she is. That's all that matters.
Everything about Natalie's health and where she's at is perfect. Her doctor couldn't get over that her oxygen saturations are in the high 80s. She's usually rolling around the 89% mark nowadays, which if I may say again is.. astonishing!
Her BMI is lower than last year and she's more active than ever. The doctor even mentioned PTSD for the 1st time. This is why I love this doctor- she says things that I'm thinking all of the time. She's also (as I admitted to her today) the very 1st medical professional to ever take post traumatic stress disorder seriously when it comes to children who've had operations such as open heart surgery. Twice even. I agree with the doctor- more studies have got to be done to help these children out. It's 2012 and it gets no recognition, really. Crazy.
The thing with Natalie is that she is coping well. There's no alarm going off that says that we need evaluations, medication, anything. For a 5 year old, already being 2 years post-op with major heart surgery, is dealing with things well. In fact, she's dealt with her anxiety better than I ever could. The topic came up when the doctor asked me if Natalie sleeps well. I had to answer honestly- sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't. She wakes up crying a few hours after she falls asleep, and this happens at least once a week. She says that she didn't have a bad dream but just that she got scared all of the sudden.
But it's happening less than it used to. In fact, some weeks go by with pure, blissful, all night (for everyone) slumber.
But PTSD- it's something we're keeping an eye on. But right now, there's no need for serious intervention. I really want her to be a 5 year old and try to enjoy kindergarten first before I do anything else. She's most happiest when I leave her to run and play and enjoy life. Next to cuddling, of course. But yes, we're keeping a close eye.
Here's where I finally had a chance to prove that I'm not crazy during our visit- I've noticed that Natalie's tongue has looked weird for years now. "Natalie's tongue has looked weird for years now"..I know, it sounds so strange doesn't it? After realizing that she hates spicy foods, fizzy drinks, and hot foods, I knew something was up. But she was finally diagnosed with a virus of the tongue. It's totally benign, harmless, and the only thing to do is let it clear up on it's on. It also doesn't really bother people unless they eat the things that agitate it (again, spicy foods, hot foods, and fizzy stuff). I've noticed those spots on her tongue for at least a year now. We visit the dentist Wednesday for her 6 month checkup, so I'm hoping I'll get some more answers.
But she is great. Healthy, HUGE, and perfect. She is still out of the woods for any therapies but we were told that because of her continued in-toeing that dance and/or ballet classes would be good ideas. Poor kid just has that in-toeing going on. We've had years of therapy to help that out and it's just something that she does. I kind of shrug my shoulders with that one, because it never affects her running or activities. Kid just needs to dance. Isn't that a great prescription?
After we left the doctor's office and started walking home, we had a rottweiler break out of it's yard and come running after the kids. Both kids screamed in terror at it, I yelled at it and shockingly it ran away. Literally, the dog was about 8 feet away from James- darting at him and growling.. oh god..it was kind of scary. Really surreal because I've never had that happen to me or with the kids before. Luckily, like I said, we scared the living crap out of it and it ran back. I still can't get over how lucky that all turned out. I was 1 millisecond away from grabbing James' heavy Razor scooter and doing whatever I had to do.. then we came home to find that Natalie's bike has a flat. Poor kid has had a shitty day you guys. Sigh.