Friday, October 2, 2009

2 Month Dr Appt

Two months already?!

So it's that time again; time to get on up to the hospital and measure my heathen. Now my guess was like 13 or 14 pounds and 100 inches long because Lizzie seems bigger. Bigger and rounder and fuller and longer. All those adjectives. And more mature. More alert and vocal and squirmy and delicious. All those adjectives too....

We didn't get to go back for our 11:20 appt until 11:45 so of course the Milk Monster was on edge. Were we gonna feed her and put her to sleep or play with her? She doesn't like to wait while decisions are being made around her. It makes her antsy and impatient. She gets that from me.
By the time we got her on the scale, she was visibly angry, but she kept her composure as we weighed her and then stretched her out for her height too (which I find funny that they call height as it's really length but, meh, semantics)

Here's the raw data:
Height: 21.5 inches
Weight: 12 lb 2 oz

Ok... Height?... 21.5 inches? Like, barely an inch longer than at birth? Not. Possible. She is VISIBLY longer. Her feetsies reach down farther on the changing table and the pack n play. They wrap farther around me when I nurse. Sometimes when I take her for around for sunshine in the backyard, I have to tie her legs up in a bow to keep them from dragging the ground and getting dirty. I thought she was getting some "holy shazoly she's tall" from Daddy but I guess instead she is getting the "I feel taller than I look" from her Mommy. Sorry honey. And weight... NO WAY she only weighs barely over 12 pounds. She's borrowing my clothes practically!

All her bodily pieces and parts are where they are supposed to be and her development is actually a month or so further than she's supposed to be at. She's a baby genius I believe the technical term is. Must be her vastly superior milk supply....
That'd be THESE boys (pointing to my chesticles)...
And I'm sure a double dose of smart pants genes must help too :)

I'll talk about it more in detail later, but the doctor diagnosed her funny just-won't-go-away bruise on her nose as a strawberry birthmark. A what?!? Yeah, gimmie a minute... I'll get there...

Off we were to immunizations, which I think is crazy. Peds can't give shots? Correct. The idiot E-nothings running around aimlessly in droves have to have a job too. Which is exactly what we got. An E-2, been in the Navy 3 months; Hospitalman Apprentice Nahinanajad or whatever, No-Speaky-English-Well, thick accent, don't-know-what-you're-doing, shaky hand idiot E-nothing.

First of all, I ask him if I can nurse while she gets her shots (research shows babies feel less pain while nursing)
(confused look) (long pause) you can't....

Then he starts listing the shots she is getting and, get this....

Like, standardized 2 month shots. Holy Shit! I knew what they were and had to fill in the blank for him. And the last thing you want to do is play Mad Libs with a medical "professional" about to inject fluids containing dead viruses into your baby you just spent 9 months cooking in your belly with the best of intention and healthy habits. I was so angry I started sweating and my mouth filled with that sickeningly sweet saliva that means throwing up is imminent. As he is squirting the rota virus syrup into her mouth, his hands are SHAKING.
Not trembling. Not shuddering. SHAKING.
As in Parkinson's quality, 5.0 on the Richter scale, expensive vibrator fervor SHAKING.

He injected the first of 3 needles into her leg in a stabbing motion. Stabbing. She flipped out.
Second needle. Stabbing. And she was flailing so there was blood.
Third needle. He stabbed down as her leg went up and he wrestled with it until the syringe was empty. Leg spasm and needling gouging in all directions. More blood.
It was like a really bad horror movie with shitty acting and gratuitous bloodletting. I glared at him, told Stephen WTF and tried to calm Lizzie by popping her on the boob. I almost lost it but Stephen had tears in his eyes so I held back.

Out in the lobby, I had a mini meltdown where I cursed the hospital and that fucktard idiot. I couldn't keep my rage inside. I said we were changing doctors and I wanted to speak to someone, ANYONE, higher up than him and by God that was probably a janitor or a security guide but I didn't care, get his ass in here. I might have threatened to burn the hospital down too, I can't quite remember. Lizzie was still screaming and that Neanderthal corpsman had excused himself out of his room and across the wing. I was tossing F-Bombs like cheap beaded necklaces at Mardi Gras. Not loudly. Just continuously.

And I was being GOOD. I wanted to flip out into a Tasmanian Devil spiral and flatten the entire ward while telekenetically destroying them a;; with mind conjured fire ala Carrie style, but I couldn't because Stephen was in uniform and I didn't want HIM to look bad. A very horrible experience indeed. Oh, and apparently there is a numbing spray they have that he conveniently forgot to use. Yeah... seriously...

Now, to make myself clear, I do not begrudge junior personnel. I know everyone has to start out somewhere. And I don't even begrudge menial jobs because someone has to pump your gas and someone has to ask you if you want fries with that. Please God, just match people to jobs that are within their skill level!

There is a reason doctors make more than burger flippers. Every time I go to the drive thru at a fast food joint, they mess up mine or Stephen's food. And always is not an exaggerated word.
ALWAYS. 100%.
Whether it's something stupid like putting cheese on my burger, or tomatoes on Stephen's anything, or forgetting straws or sauce, whatever. Like the other day when Sonic messed up and put tomatoes on Stephen wrap and I sent it back and the Sprite was out so when they brought his new wrap I sent our Limeaids back along with my fries, which were supposed to be tater tots, and they came back with the drinks and HOLY FUCK another side of fries, which is where I gave up and screamed "And THAT'S why you will never make more than minimum wage!" as loud as I could with the windows rolled up. True story... So yeah...

If I am paying $4.99 for a shitty fake-food meal then I expect a few mistakes because adding cheese when I don't want it is what I consider a non-life-altering mistake, while stabbing my child during a botched round of normal immunizations is what I consider an unacceptable possibly-traumatizing medical mistake. They make A&E specials and really juicy lawsuits out of that shit. OMG Navy Corpsman, get your shit together!


K, Well I don't want to make this blog into a place to rant and be negative so on to the happy stuff :)

The doc put us in for a referral to a ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) specialist, which I thought was nice since I didn't know anything about strawberry birthmarks and an expert opinion is always welcomed. When I got home, I went straight to the laptop and did my usual Google research that is necessary after I come across something I don't understand. Google is both my friend and enemy.

The medical term for this thingy is a hemangioma.
Hers is the kind that is deep in the skin (cavernous) and not the kind that is raised and really red. As I did more research, I started to get more and more worried as two facts really stood out:
Most doctors want you to "wait it out" as they grow and then recede on their own (over years)
And the nose is the highest risk for permanent disfigurement. Disfigurement?! WTF?!?

My blood ran cold and I almost cried. There are experimental treatments and specialists who no longer believe in the "let it grow and when it goes away we can always do cosmetic surgery" method, but we have TRICARE for God's sake. They farm out stabbing babies to 18 year old kids and prescribe just 800mg ibuprofen to cancer patients (yup, she died, true story, girl I went to boot camp with, 2 bunks over). They scared me away with their decades old solution to my pilonidal too: carving out a few pounds of my ass and leaving an open wound with a vacuum pack. Scary. They don't even do that anymore. There are updated, less intensive, less invasive methods out there for pilonidal. They are so full of procedure and micromanaging that technology is 30 years old before being implemented in the Navy. It's true for medical and legal and even engineering on our boats. Normally it doesn't bother me. Today it did. We're talking about my beautiful baby girl's face she has to have forever and forever.

I started researching what I could do to demand a second opinion or request to be seen out of my network of providers to see a civilian "civilized" doctor. I started compiling a letter to my primary care physician and researching studies done on current therapies. I also added four specialists in the state of Virginia to my dream list, all are not only ENT doctors, but specialists in vascular anomalies and hemangiomas in particular. Another in Texas if I had to go there. I wanted the BIG GUNS! The best there was to decide what we would do and how we would spare Lizzie from any discomfort she didn't 100% have to experience. I knew TRICARE wouldn't pay for me to go to an expensive specialist off base when they had hundreds of experience-hungry newbies running around at Portsmouth wielding scalpels and eager to hone their chopping skills.

But I was prepared to FIGHT and BITCH and SET FIRES as appropriate. I dusted off my prayin' hands and started praying. Hard.

I waited 48 hours to call the appointment line so the referral could go through the system. When I asked the lady to please schedule me asap, she said she couldn't.
Why not?!?
Oh, because the clinic on base is FULL and there is no room for new appointments for at least two months and the referral has to be within 30 days of being referred and blah blah blah they had to farm me out to a civilian provider and I had to wait for 7-9 days to get the referral letter in the mail and....
I almost screamed into the phone and burst her ear drums I was so mad. UGH!!!!!
a CIVILIAN provider?
out in town?

and YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How often do you get referred out to a doc in town? Like NEVER! I was filled with a feeling of hope that literally felt like being filled with the light of happiness. A big grin broke out on my face and anxiety melted away from my body. Let's do this. While I was waiting for the letter could I get the doctor's name and office please?

David H. Darrow, MD
EVMS Center for Hemangiomas and Vascular Birthmarks
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters

Wow, that name sounds familiar! Thanks Mrs. Phone Appointment Maker Lady, have a good day :)

...and wouldn't you know....

That doctor is one of the four on my specialist list! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! I started dancing around like a leprechaun who'd found his (a mix between River Dance and Hammer Time I think.)
I experienced pure joy and I was so happy for Lizzie!

I could feel God in the room.
For a split second, I thought if I spun around he would be right there behind me. He wasn't, literally speaking, but yeah...

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
 Mathew 7:7-11

Such a long post but such a good story!
I cannot put into words how grateful I am.
I will keep everyone posted as we learn more!

1 comment:

katquilter said...

Well, that blog almost put tears in Gramma's eyes, thinking about the big, dumb, palooka stabbing my beautiful, precious grandbaby girl with his stinking needles....

But you are right.... take a breath.....

Good job tracking down acceptable alternatives....
I can't wait to see what happens next.... I love and always will love that precious Elizabeth unconditionally, but I have to admit I would prefer that she not have a birthmark on the tip of her nose!