Friday, February 11, 2011

In Which Connor Meets A Couple Dozen New Medical Personnel

Today's developmental clinic did not exactly go as planned.

The clinic appointment itself wasn't that bad; it actually was shorter than we expected due to the fact that three of the specialists we were supposed to see weren't there.  So instead we just met with the developmental pediatrician, the neurologist and the geneticist.

We discovered a shocking thing during the appointment.  Connor has fingerprints!

Well, sort of anyway.  Upon being told that Connor didn't have fingerprints the geneticist pulled out an instrument that looked remarkably like a jeweler's loupe and took a close look at the end of the little guy's fingers.  Then he looked for a long time and said "hmmm..." a whole lot while I wondered what the heck was taking so long.  Finally he stood back up. 

"Huh.  Well I've never seen anything like that," he said.

Then he explained that Connor has fingerprints, but only on portions of his fingers.  It looks like there are places in which the prints tried to develop, but the development was arrested before they could finish.  So not only are the swirling patterns very shallow and incomplete, but they also don't follow any of the types of fingerprint patterns that you typically see.  The patches of pattern are interspersed with large patches of completely smooth skin and they probably don't do him any good as far as giving him traction for gripping, but he does in fact technically have fingerprints-- however rudimentary they might be.  I saw them through the little loupe thingy myself. 

So that was the end of my dreams of setting him up as an international spy and/or criminal.  Dang it. 

Anyway we went over a bunch more stuff which I will cover tomorrow as I don't want this to be the longest blog post in the universe, but I just had to tell you about the fingerprints now.  Oh, and also I should mention that Connor had a small seizure that morning en route to the doctor's office, and then another small seizure in the developmental ped's office during the exam.  Neither were apneic or a big deal, but I figured I'd give him a dose of Ativan when we got home and update his main neurologist.  The one we saw today was our backup neurologist-- we like having a spare.

I should have just gone home, but we had orders to get an x-ray series done of Connor's hips as well as a few shots of his spine to see what his scoliosis was looking like.  So we had just finished up those and were fixing to head down to the ultrasound clinic for a renal ultrasound when Connor had a seizure on the x-ray exam table. 

"Don't worry, he's just having a seizure." I told the tech as I positioned Connor on his side.  "We just came from the neurologist's office, in fact.  Connor might stop breathing, but it usually doesn't last very long and this happens all the time.  I have his emergency meds in his wheelchair."  When it became apparent that my son was having an apneic seizure, I rolled the little guy over and gave him three quick breaths and then he woke up.  The whole thing lasted about twenty seconds from start to finish.

They called a code.

So the radiology department is located just down the hall from the emergency room, and this was in the middle of a very busy day.  So within less than a minute we had three or four doctors staring down at my very pink, obviously breathing and now kind of crabby and sleepy child.  Every once in a while the radiology door would swing open and you could see the twenty-five or so other medical personnel standing outside with the gurney, staring into the room and waiting to see if they should come flooding in.  The ER docs gave Connor a quick once over, listened to my repeated explanation, gave us the all clear and trickled out. 

The radiology department, however, wasn't comfortable letting us go home until they found our neurologist and brought him down to give Connor the all clear.  The neurologist who wasn't in his office or answering his pager, I might add, because he was in a conference with the developmental pediatrician talking about Connor. 

After they failed to locate him physically or by phone, they ended up paging him over the overhead PA system.  While this was going on I got to pass the time with various members of the hospital staff by doing that familiar-but-still-just-as-awkward song and dance that pretty much every parent of a child with special needs knows extremely well.  I'm not the best person at accepting at accepting over-the-top praise, so these conversations have never been my favorites.  You know, the ones that go like this:

Person Without Special Needs Child:  (starry eyed expression) You're so strong/amazing/a saint/the perfect mother etc!
Me: Thanks, but I'm just parenting my kid.  Really he's a sweetheart and I'm lucky to have him.
PWSNC: But no, really, you are insert gushing adjective here.  I could never do what you do!
Me: Yes you could. 
PWSNC: (sad face) No I couldn't!  It just breaks my heart to think about your poor, pitiful little child and what horrible sacrifices you have to make all the time that we normal, non-saintly people don't have to make.
Me: Yes you could.  My kid is happy and not pitiful and I'm also happy and not a saint.  Let's talk about frogs.  Do you like frogs?
PWSNC: Oh, but no really you are a saint!  Let me tell you some more how saintly you are!
(Repeat 8 billion times until I give up and agree that I am due for canonization any day now or I manage to change the subject and/or cause a diversion and run away-- whichever comes first.)

Finally just as I was planning on snatching somebody's clipboard, throwing it in a random direction and running the other way with Connor, the neurologist walked through the swinging door with the developmental pediatrician in tow. He glanced at my child (who had been there long enough for the postictal state to wear off and was alternating between singing a happy little song and chewing on his socks at that point) and told everyone to let us go home.

So Connor didn't get his renal ultrasound done, but he did manage to give the entire department of a hospital a whole lot of paperwork to do and possibly some future additional training and/or CPR refresher courses.  I'm sure they'll thank us later.

What a day.



krlr said...

Between the frogs and the veggies, I've had the oddest mental pictures lately. And it was nice to Connor to keep the hospital peeps on their toes like that. Drilltime!

GB's Mom said...

I personally favor throwing the clipboard in the other direction!

MFA Mama said...

Oy gevald! What a're a much nicer person than I am, Jess. I get the song and dance you mention a lot, not because any one of my childrens' needs are as complex as Connor's so much I don't think as because all THREE of them have SOME special needs and THREE! children with SPECIAL NEEDS THREEEEE OMG AND THEY'RE BOYS OH I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DO IT wow I mean I COULDN'T EVEN HANDLE ONE LIKE THAT and you have (say it with me) THREEEEEEEEEEEEE...when someone is THAT obnoxious about it? On a couple of notable occasions I have been known to reply with "Yes, actually you would and you could, if they were YOUR *three* children, and if not then I don't think I would want to know you." *pointed glare*

I think some really stubborn part of me that is perhaps three years old just wants to convince them I'm not a saint BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

On the bright side, the SPECIAL! NEEDS! seem to discourage a lot of the "and no girls at home? Don't you want to try just one more time?" talk. Because that had gotten to the point where I was ready to respond with "Um, do you KNOW how many female infants I had to expose on hillsides to get an heir and two spares? NO THANK YOU!"

leah said...

I might use that "let's talk about frogs" line: it's brilliant!

Also, I hope you get the renal ultrasound done soon, sans seizures.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I like frogs. We catch them, keep them in a "frog house" for a few days, and feed them grasshoppers.

We can talk all about it ;D

However, I still think you're awesome.


Julia O'C said...

I, um, wow. What a day. I hope that you and Jer had a nice date night. Sounds like you really needed it. Frogs are very cool, though. There's a toy store here that sells miniature frogs and I'm really tempted. They're awfully cute.

I talked to my anatomy prof. about Connor today (we were studying fingerprints!) and she was blown away. I'm going to send her a link to your blog.

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