Hanging out in waiting rooms!
Seriously. This was the summer of appointments and my poor kids were such troopers! Our insurance period runs the fiscal year, aka October - September. Thanks to things like staples in Clyde's head last October, treatments for Clyde's Hirschsprung's, and you know, having a baby, we met our family out-of-pocket-maximum in May - meaning that aside from office appointment co-pays, all medical procedures and surgeries and therapies were freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. So you better believe that Chuck and I took a long look at our kids and each other and started dialin' up doctor's offices for all sorts of fun :).
We probably spent the most time at speech therapy. Jack was screened at the end of May and did therapy once a week all summer, ending yesterday. We are thrilled with his progress - he went from speaking very, very little to speaking a LOT... although still with some slight enunciation and pronunciation problems, haha. My favorite is exchanging 'L' sounds for 'Y' sounds, like when he tells me he yoves me or asks to sit on my yap :). We ended up putting both older boys in speech as well to work on their tongue thrust issues.
We'd been a bit worried about Will's congested-sounding voice for a while, so off he went to the ENT in July for a closer look at his adenoids. Sure enough, there was a significant blockage up there.
Chuck was at the appointment with him, so these were the pictures I got at home - Will was thrilled to be the center of attention and check out all of the equipment and informational posters :).
In a stroke of genius/paternal instinct, Chuck made an appt for Clyde to see the ENT as well and even went so far as to schedule an adenoid-removal surgery for Clyde the same day as Will's, with the plan to cancel if it didn't end up being necessary. Alas, a look up Clyde's nose/mouth revealed a serious issue there as well!
So, a Friday in mid-August found two little Izatt boys donning cute little hospital gowns for surgery! Funny story: Clyde and Will were across the way from each other in pre-op and Chuck and I talked back and forth and such. When the anesthesiologist came to check Will and talk to Chuck, I naturally followed the conversation from my seat in Clyde's little room, even smiling and nodding when he commented on how smart Will was. The anesthesiologist saw me and gave me kind of a funny look, and I realized he probably thought I was just some random lady creepily watching his interaction with a patient!
Sure enough, when the nurses sent him over to Clyde a few minutes later and referenced that these two boys were brothers, he said, "Ohhh, that makes more sense; I wondered why you were eavesdropping!"
Here the boys are post-surgery:
We found out that although their blockage rates were the same (about 80%), Clyde's adenoids were more difficult to remove and resulted in a rougher recovery :(. And a shout-out to a very patient baby girl who got to tag along for the fun! (Ooh, and an extra special shout-out to Grandma Pam for taking Jackers for an overnight stay. He had loads more fun with you for 24 hours than he would have with us!!!)
Here's a mish-mash of other assorted appointments:
Between the six of us, there were 76 appointments/procedures/tests/check-ups/surgeries in the four month span of June-September alone. YIKES. Some to note: postpartum visits, the aforementioned adenoidsectomies (sp?), another round of injections for Clyde in August (he actually went under anesthesia twice within a week), contrast x-ray testing for Carma in July when she was presenting with possible Hirschsprung's symptoms - very happily the tests showed a very normal digestive system!, suspicious moles removed from me, weekly physical therapy for Clyde, regular dentist appts (not technically medical, but whatev), Chuck's physical for Scout camp, and a different/new-to-us surgery for Clyde last week, which reunited us with his pediatric surgeon who did the original pull-through surgery when Clyde was a baby.
Here are some shots from later last week; Clyde's post-op visit fell on the same day as Clyde's and Will's last speech therapy so I sat in waiting room chairs a LOT that day...
This last year has obviously been very heavy on medical treatments, and it leaves me feeling grateful for so many things: our fantastic insurance! I looked today, and our insurance has been billed for $76,000 in the last year - and a few claims haven't even shown up yet, including Clyde's surgery, which will add another 5-8 thousand. Our family's portion for all services rendered during this insurance period, while pretty significant to us, pales in comparison to that amount. I'm also so grateful for the advancements and research and treatments presently in use that have benefited our family. Of course, I'm very grateful for the relatively minor natures of our complaints - we aren't facing anything life-threatening. And finally, I'm grateful for all of the good friends who have so willingly watched various kids... mostly Jack... when certain appointments or procedures would have been rendered impossible when accompanied by a squirrely, curious two-year-old.
Of course, one good aspect of waiting room monotony is watching this cute girl inchworm her way around and also just be sooo darling:
So now our insurance period starts over and I'll have to reacquaint myself with wording like 'deductible' and 'patient's portion', bleh. I've strictly forbidden everyone from getting injured or seriously sick... which I expect fully to jinx it and lead us to a broken bone within weeks :).