Friday, March 12, 2010

Clinic - March 2010

Of course I hate clinic days, but for the sake of posterity, I feel like I have to occasionally post and preserve what these experiences are like too. As much as I dislike the drill, it's part of our lives.

And it's also interesting to see how the experience evolves as Jordan gets older. When Jordan was an infant, and I was bringing him to clinic twice a week, the experience felt like the most miserable, Kafka-esque maze of bureaucracy and medical inefficiency. I cringed every time they drew blood, missed a vein, drew blood again. Or every time they put adult sized cathodes on his tiny body, only to rip them off in a painful instant.

These days, the experience is different.

Hanging out in the waiting room, eating a two-pack, snack sized Milano cookie... at 8:30 in the morning.

Getting measured in Dr. A's office.

I break the news to Jordan the night before.

Telling him any earlier is useless. Telling him the night before gives him about an hour or two to digest the info and mentally prepare. He's become remarkably relaxed about it. A slight bit of anxiety, but it quickly dissipates. He goes to bed.

The harder part is telling Mina. I wait until the next morning, and inform her that she has to go to school, while we take Jordan to the hospital.

"What?" she says, "I want to go see the doctor too!! I want to go to the hospital too!"

Jordan smiles, like he is about to experience a special treat, all for himself.

I sigh.

I counter, "Mina, you can go on a special doctor appointment too! On April 2, you can go to the Dentist's office. You and Jordan BOTH have appointments, and you can go together!"

She smiles. Mollified for the time being.

I'm raising a duo of hypochondriacs.

At the clinic, Jordan sailed through the blood draw (!!!), the ekg, and even the echo - which took an hour. I can't believe this kid sometimes. He flinched a bit at the blood draw, but recovered quickly. He chatted with the EKG technician and discussed the merits of the small sticker nodes and the pain quotient on them. We lay on the table for an hour in a cold room while the Echo technician painstaking rubbed the sonogram mouse over his belly.

While we waited to speak to his cardiologist, Jordan played video games on the big console with the older kids. Then he sat down at a kid-sized table and drew pictures on some paper I brought with us. I tried to ignore the kid who sat down next to him and coughed non-stop in his face, while snot rolled down his nose. His mother sat there oblivious. (ARGH!!! Lady, every kid in that room is immuno-compromised. How can you ignore the looks of death we are all shooting your way!!!)

This is part of the reason why I don't pull Mina out of school to come with us. There's no reason for her to miss school, and there's no reason to bring her into a hospital environment which is pretty much just a breeding ground for infectious diseases of all kinds.

But, eventually, we saw the cardiologist. Jordan charmed her with his witty dialogue and wacky antics. He discussed made up symptoms to some illness he claimed to have experienced recently (I'm telling you - hypochondriac in the making). The doctor smiled and looked at us inquisitively. I shook my head.

Biopsy scheduled for next month. Blah. Results of blood tests next week. Other than that - looking good for now.
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