Monday, February 8, 2010

Charlotte's Dr. Appointment

We have been talking about a "big" Dr. appointment coming up for Charlotte for quite some time... We had decided recently that despite all of the support and encouragement we had been receiving that Charlotte was doing okay, we still, as her parents, had to trust our gut feeling and seek a second opinion. The only way I can explain this is to admit that we are like any other parents. We simply want the best for her. We tire daily of seeing her physically so far behind her peers and even children who are younger than her, and celebrate when we hear something smart or smart-alic come out of her mouth, just like any other kid her own age. We have been so enthusiastic and reassured by all of the progress she has made with walking and her cognitive skills, especially in the past 6 months, but continued to worry about her slow growth and high blood pressure. So, we committed to seeking a second opinion, solely for her benefit. Not to make her fit into a person she is not meant to be, but for reassurance that we as her parents have done all we physically can do to help her reach her maximum potential. To Children's Hospital, we went, on Feb. 6th.

Charlotte, showing off her painted fingernails, something I did with her a few weeks ago when we were both home sick. We had to find some fun and she loved it!
So, we met with Dr. Keating, recommended to us by another physician that we fully respect. Dr. Keating is a "Diagnostician" and we felt that his objective opinion would do one of two things. Tell us that we have opened/knocked on every door possible for our daughter, or, tell us we have dropped the ball and we have a few more avenues to pursue. We felt either recommendation would be bittersweet, but nothing compared to the questions that roll around in our minds about her and her well being each day. It seemed this was the only way to squelch those burning questions in our minds.
Dr. Keating reviewed ALL of her records before the appointment, was soft spoken, asked a few questions, examined Charlotte and pretty much gave us a "pat on the back". He assured us by saying that he was happy that as her parents, we had not pursued more aggressive ways to "feed" Charlotte to make her grow, and he fully supported the removal of her G-button (more on that later), and he was happy that we had already arrived at that decision without his approval. It just felt good to hear that from him too. He also stated that he doesn't think she is probably going to be a child who will benefit from Growth Hormone (something that has been stressing me out). I worry about administering it to her (injections) without much benefit. He thinks that even though she is very short, she is probably not "deficient" in growth hormone. It is important to test her, but ultimately, he feels that we will not find that injecting her with it will provide much benefit. Dr. Keating was impressed by the petite, feisty little firecracker she was, smart and methodical, looking very far less "worse for the wear" than her on paper medical record self portrait. Overall, he was rather impressed by our little lovely, and as her parents, all we can say is that we are too.

Charlotte, trying on a dress my mother made for me when I was a little girl. My mom says I wore it for Easter Sunday. I think Charlotte will too :)

As we shook hands with this Dr. Keating and exited Children's, I felt relief overcome me. I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't more that he thought of to help our daughter. But I was so thankful that he saw that we weren't there for a "quick fix" or to make her something she is not intended to be. I love our little lady, and will always love her no matter what size she is. I was so happy that we didn't end the appointment with another blood draw, or plans for several more! I am tired of seeing her hurt and not being able to take it all for her, just as we couldn't for Ryan. I LOVED the fact that maybe we can just love her more and not worry so much. I know I will still worry about her, especially her blood pressure and how that will affect her long term, but today, tomorrow, next week, we can just focus on letting her be the petite mighty girl she is. What a blessing to finally feel able to do that. I am disappointed in myself a little that I didn't trust what some of our physicians were saying more, but when you get conflicting messages, it is hard to know what is right. Honestly, I think we did what any parents would do. We just needed a little more confidence, and we did get that.

Getting ready for church one Sunday...

All in all, it was a good appointment, and since then, I have discovered felt some peace about it. I do still look at her and think "you are Soooo tiny" and just this weekend, she was walking around our house in her little leggings and t-shirt, like a new foal, sticks for legs and falling time after time. But, she gets up, she keeps trying and someday, things will probably be different. There will probably be a day that I don't remember that she fit into her size 12 month shorts when she was almost 4! I know Charlotte has so much ahead for her in life. She is the sunshine in my day, and almost everyday that I go to pick her up from school, I get tears in my eyes with the anticipation of her beaming smile running to me for a big hug. She means the world to Chris and I, and we would bend over backwards to give back to her a fraction of what she has brought into our lives.

Love you Sharlie Girl...

Mom & Dad

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got that second opinion to ease your mind. If it makes you feel any better about her fitting into 12 month clothes, Helen at 8 could fit into her shorts from when she was 4! (they were Daisy Dukes in length but were perfect around the waist!) And now at 10 her shorts are about the same around the waist as Nathan's and he's 5!!
My mom made me almost the same dress when I was little and Helen wore it when she was about 2. So pretty!

Karen Timpe