I love clinics. Not. (I’m being super mature today. Not.)

At least I know how they work now so it’s not so overwhelming.

I got the recorded reminder call two days before our appointment  with the following list of things to bring and do:

1. Your appointment is at 8:15. (We showed up at 8:40, and then didn’t have to wait around for  the appointment. Hehe.  :))

2. Bring all equipment  and braces to appointment. (I forgot.)

3. Bring your  insurance card (they didn’t ask for it), immunization record (didn’t have), and child’s social security number (couldn’t find).

4. Bring $ for parking. (It’s free on Fridays, duh.)

And here’s what they didn’t ask for:

1. $40 copay. (Apparently “clinic” doesn’t always mean “free.”)

2. Child. (Ha!)

3. List of questions  and child’s medical history. (Very necessary.)  

So I spoke with the doctor and we’re very glad our orthopedic guy (AFO-maker) suggested him.  This doctor  does NOT do surgeries, but instead looks at the whole body. He noticed that in every one of Laelia’s x-rays she was “backed up.”   We knew she was having trouble with constipation,  but we also knew this was normal for AMC kids, or kids with physical disabilities in general—something about not having the muscle strength to help with the digestive process or not being active enough. But I hadn’t given it much thought until she started bleeding every time she went #2. (To the teenage Laelia who is reading about her childhood. Yeah I put that on the Internet. And I showed it to your boyfriend. Love you!)

It turns out that  Laelia’s sacrum is not fully formed. X-rays clearly confirmed this. I remember doctors looking at her sacrum in the past, but there were always bigger issues at hand so it was never the main focus of attention. Now  it was the biggest issue we were looking at, and all the potty questions followed. I  felt bad for having a three-year old still in diapers  for one thing. (Although that is our next goal in  OT.) She goes #2 in the potty, but still goes #1 whenever, wherever.  The questions scared me a bit. I didn’t even laugh when my daughter removed her sock and threw it at the doctor’s back while he studied the x-rays. (Which was pretty funny.)

Fortunately there is an all-natural, tasteless  medicine that will help. The only problem is that  we have to give it to her daily, for the rest of her life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the fix, but having to give my daughter something everyday will be a challenge. Antibiotics everyday for her infection was hard enough. I know there are moms in much worse situations than I am, with real medicines and worries, and I won’t dwell on it, but I’m bummed about this news.

Laelia and I both get a little nervous about clinics. It’s always emotional no matter  how routine. I always come home a little down and out. So when Laelia saw the fountain outside of Children’s Hospital with statues of children playing in it, well…


So she really wanted to throw pennies in the fountain. “Pweeze Mama?”  And she was a bit scared and a bit weepy about going to clinic, meaning her little request was pathetic and heart-breaking. So I said she could. But when we approached the fountain (carrying the nine pennies I found in the bottom of my purse), we realized right away that this was NOT a coin fountain. But after a few seconds of internal debates,  we cheerfully threw pennies  anyway. Laelia’s wishes included chocolate pudding, a baby brother, a baby kangaroo, more sitting breaks  during PT (fat chance, kid!) and more pennies. (That’s my kid!) Then she  handed me a penny so I could make a wish. I wished for a nap. Laelia quickly informed me that she had made an earlier  wish that we would play and not nap when we got home. I must have missed it. Uh huh. Yeah. Wish voided. :)

So we walked out of there with a stack of prescriptions and they are going to try to add us to the muscle dystrophy clinic so the doctor can keep up with her. Arthrogryposis is neuro-muscular thing so they’re going to try to finagle us into that clinic. Unlike Seattle, San Diego doesn’t have an AMC clinic.

So that was our clinic day. It’s over now. Our brand of normal often gets interupted by these things, but now it’s back to real life. And if anyone from the hospital asks  if  we know how the  fountain got  clogged and flooded, we’ll just point out that we don’t have a baby kangaroo and demand our money back. :)

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