"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." - Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Needing a Break

From doctors, that is.

Honestly, I feel a little silly saying that because Marissa only had five appointments in January, not including her speech therapy. To me, and I'm sure to many of you, that is kind of a low number. I think back to Marissa's first year and a half and remember that I took her to at least two doctor appointments a week, a majority of the time. Then, we had a record month in November '08 when we did not have one single doctor appointment. That was followed by a year where doctor appointments were the exception, not the rule. Marissa got comfortable knowing I was not going to be taking her to get poked and prodded all the time. October and April always seem to be pretty busy (every six month check ups) but she always tolerated it OK.

Then last month happened. Marissa has gotten to the point where she has convinced herself that every time the car stops, we are going into a doctor's office. With last week's g-tube appointment, she started crying, coughing, gagging, and puking as soon as I opened the van door to get her out. This was part of the reason that Mama Bear came out in full force and was not going to leave that appointment without her g-tube getting changed out. Marissa had been crying non-stop for a half hour before the nurse came in and told us the supplies had not come. I was not going to put her through all that for nothing, only to repeat the whole traumatizing scenario the next week. I put my foot down.

Just this last Saturday, Jeremy and I decided to go shopping for a new bed (yay tax refunds!). I pulled into the parking lot, put the van in park and Marissa started crying and puking. UGH!

I pray that the time never comes that she starts crying every time I put her in the car but the pattern is leading that way. Marissa's anxiety has progressively gotten worse. It started with her crying as soon as the doctor came in the exam room. It moved on to her crying as soon as we got into the exam room. Then she would start crying as soon as we settled into the waiting room. Then, as soon as I started checking us in. Now it is when I park the van. I just wish I knew what to do to ease her extreme anxiety and fear.

Of course, we have another appointment today. This one is the nutritionist to see what we need to do to pack a few pounds on Marissa in preparation for her possible surgery. She has been holding steady at about 28 pounds for several months and Dr. P said she would be a better candidate for the surgery if she was a little bigger. I am hoping, after today, our doctor appointments will ease up. The next one I have scheduled is March 1 to see Dr. P. I hope and pray we can have three doctor free weeks.

Marissa deserves a break.


Momof5 said...

I'm sending good vibes your way for your little one! So sorry about her anxiety. I may have an idea, but it's a surprise.......you'll see. I love ya! God bless your day.

Hope said...

*Hugs* I'm in a similar situation with Ava, so I'm sorry I don't have any magic advice. I do want you to know you're not alone.

Marissa has been through hell in her short life. She does need a break. She's a sweet child that needs to actually be a child. You deserve a break too. To enjoy her childhood with her.

The VW's said...

First of all, I LOVE that picture of Marissa and I LOVE that quote that you put on the top of your blog!

Now on to your post.....I'm so sorry that Marissa struggles so much with going to appointments! This must be so difficult for her and you! It makes me sad to think of how she and you must feel during all of this!

I wish that I had some magic cure, but I don't. I guess I'm blessed that Gavin is mostly blissfully unaware of what is going on. He doesn't catch on that something is not good until they place him on the scale or rub an alcohol wipe on his skin.

Marissa is a smart little lady and obviously a sensitive little soul! Hopefully things will get better as she ages!

As for not really having that many appointments anymore.....I think that once you spend months in the hospital and months going to appointment after appointment with your child, just having to go to the doctor anymore AT ALL sucks! I hate going to any appointments, regardless of if it's been a little time or a lot of time in between! I've had my fill for life!

Sounds like you and Marissa have had your fill as well! Hang in there Momma! I'll be thinking of you guys! Love, Hugs and Prayers!!!

Nana and PaPa said...

Boy! This is a tough one. I don't have any ideas right now as to how to break her cycle of thoughts of "bad stuff" happening everytime she goes somewhere. I hope with time she will cognitively begin to understand the difference between going "somewhere" and going to the doctor's office. I wish I had a better answer. She's such a sweet toot and you have definately "grown into" the Mom you need to be for her. But you're right....you both deserve a break today...and tomorrrow...and....well...you get the picture. I'll pray that there will be a good resolution to this situation. I'm anxious to know what Shannon P. has up her sleeve that might help. Love you guys.
Nana & PaPa

John and Jenna Gensic said...

I know what you mean about the doctor visits. Mikan doesn't get upset about the car rides, but as soon as we enter an office room, he freaks. He doesn't tolerate being weighed or measured or having his lungs listened to, or anything that he has to be horizontal for. Poor kiddos, they go through a lot :(

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

Poor girl! Damn appointments!

Janice said...

Have you tried getting her a little toy doctors kit with all the cool instruments to play with. She can play doctor on you and maybe relieve some of her anxiety. I'm not saying take her anguish out on you - lol - she might though. But you know what I mean. An outlet.

Love her sweet little face and those expressive hands.

Michelle and Sean said...

Totally with you there. Mags hates them too. But I don't think we are to the same extent yet. Poor Marissa it so sad and hard when they don't want to do it but you know its best for them. I hope it gets better soon. I hope she will be able to gain weight well.

We will pray for things to get better for you guys!!

Colleen said...

Poor little Rissa Roo! That must be so heartbreaking seeing her feel that way. I wish I knew how to make it easier for you. I hope your next appointments go well and she will feel more at ease. Hugs and prayers!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking take her in the car more often, but to places she loves, or to places where she is pleasantly suprised. Even if the car ride has no other purpose. Example: Go for a car ride, stop the car, she starts doing her protest, then...what's this? We're at the park just to have fun? Or even stage elmo somewhere, then go through all the regular motions of an errand that makes her do the gag thing when you park. Go through all the same motions of getting her out of the car, fit and all, then let her find elmo, then go back home, with that being the only mission of the car ride. I know this would be somewhat time consuming, and probably very trying for Momma Bear (your words, not mine), but it's an idea. See ya soon

Anonymous said...

I like your qoute at the top of the page. Can I tell you my quote? "Average people are the most special people, that's why God made so many of them" -Micheal Scott on The Office Season 5

Tamara said...

I love that photo! SO CUTE, what an expression, it belongs on a greeting card for doctors....

"Oh cwap! Sowwy doc I dus fogot dat I's had da apntmet tuday... oood well, mabe du nxt tim I's wil membr!"

I agree Little Miss, I would grow a healthy dislike for the people in the white jackets too!

Hoping this break is a good long one and stays this route for a long time!


Dana said...

This would be heartbreaking to deal with. I'm guessing you've tried telling her exactly what to expect. I even prepare Laneah days before. She has learned which doctors will hurt her and which ones are just check -ups.

Also it may not be possible but I looked at our docotrs and weeded out the appointments we didn't have to have. For example, some can be switched to once a year or every 18 months. Our GI doctor we are suppose to see every six months. If all is going well, I call in her weight and see him only when there is a problem.

Good Luck. I hope things get better. My heart goes out to her.

Does she get stickers? We started Laneah a sticker book from all the doctor appointments. I got a cheap photo album from the dollar store. Then we take it with us and she can add her stickers. She can only have it at doctor's appointments.

Wendi Taylor said...

I don't mean this to sound like an attack or accusation and I hope it doesn't come off that way... but do you tell Marissa when you are going to doctor's appointments? Do you tell her where you are going when it is NOT a doctor's appointment? Have you ever lied to her and said you were going somewhere else, and then taken her to the doctor? Kids' anxiety generally stems from not knowing what is going to happen. It may help to sit down with her before appointments and explain when you are going, and what is going to happen. Just a thought.