Friday, April 04, 2014

OUR MORNING IN RADIOLOGY: HIGHS & LOWS

This morning, the twins' long awaited swallow study finally arrived.  Though they had sent us several reminders with full instructions, I was still a little frantic last night, realizing that I hadn't read everything and didn't have a copy of their shot records.  I decided it could all be figured out when we arrived, and thankfully, I was right.  John graciously agreed to come with me, because we had to have some other adult, and I didn't have any other options.  Here are the highs and lows of this visit.

Low:  William and Violet could not eat or drink for three hours prior to their study, so we woke them early to get in a feeding as close to that window as possible.

Afterlight

High:  We got there about 15 minutes early, which significantly decreased stress.  (It's the same place we came for an ultrasound on Lily a couple of years ago, so we had no trouble finding the place.)  And, the waiting room was playing Disney Jr, which meant the girls could have sat there all day.  We were armed with snack traps, sippy cups and electronics for the girls and lots of food options for the babies, in case they needed to use any of ours for the study.

Afterlight

Low:  Sadly, after a bit of paperwork, we were transferred to a smaller, Disney Jr.-less waiting room for the rest of our visit.

High:  I took each baby back separately and got to experience the study, which was fascinating.  They added barium to varying consistencies of formula and food.  The barium shows up on the x-ray, and you get to watch as the liquid moves through their little tubes inside.  Technology like this really does amaze me.  By this point, both babies were really hungry, and neither of them had much issue eating anything that was offered to them, which was such a relief.  They did well, and everyone commented on how cute and sweet they were.

Afterlight
Afterlight
Afterlight

Low:  Our family made a bit of a splash, so nurses started coming back to the waiting room to see everyone.  Neither girl was interested in acting the least bit polite or kind.  Getting them to say "Hi" and/or make eye contact was like pulling teeth.  Few things are as painful as trying to get your child - who is old enough and only intermittently cooperative - to try to be gracious to a stranger.  One nurse actually accused Bella of rolling her eyes at her, which I don't think was intentional, but I did feel pretty bad about the whole thing.

Afterlight

High:  Everyone we worked with was really wonderful, and our primary nurse came back to explain all of the results and recommendations to us.  She was extremely thorough and helpful.

Low:  By the time she came back there, all children were pretty much done.  Which meant that as this woman was trying to explain intricate formula mixing instructions, I was feeding Violet puffs, trying to get Lily to stop climbing on the chairs and discouraging Bella from stepping on fallen puffs on purpose just to hear the crunch.  William was nodding off in John's arms.

High:  Because John is awesome, he took all children with him to the playground outside, so that I could actually hear and understand all of the information.

Low:  The deal is that they have a host of minor medical issues that we will continue to address.  Nothing is super serious, which is great news, and they will grow out of much of it.  But, the next 6-12 months will include a lot of me thickening any liquids that they get so they don't aspirate on them. Should be fun.

As we left, I found myself thankful for many things.  Though they have far more medical issues than Lily and Bella ever did, William and Violet are still quite healthy, especially given what they have gone through.  They are little miracle people, and I never forget that.  We live in a place where we have access to fabulous medical care, and because of the state we live in and the delays that the twins have, we get help financially, which is a great blessing.  Especially when we just keep making appointments with new doctors.

When the receptionist took down all possible information about our lives, she asked what I did for a living.  It reminded me how grateful I am to be able to stay home during this time in my children's lives.  I know that isn't right or possible for all families, but I am so thankful that I have the opportunity and the desire to do it.  I will be taking them to any appointment necessary to get the care they need, and I'm grateful for that chance.

Peace out radiology - unfortunately, I know we will be back!

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