Wednesday, September 5, 2012


We've been to 2 doctors 3 times in 11 days. 

The first appointment (on a Friday) was a regular checkup for Sam and Drew.  They have been really healthy since we came home and I've been very relieved.  The boys talked about their doctor visit for several days and we even practiced reflexes and breathing beforehand.  Needless to say, they were both pretty excited.  Our doctor was fantastic with both of them and they talked non-stop to her and answered all of her questions.  Both have grown taller and gained weight since we've been home.  She was really impressed with their English and some of their other abilities - considering they've been in the US only 6 months.

Then came the dreaded (by me) words "They each need their 4 year immunizations."  I thought, "How am I going to handle this?"  The nurse suggested one boy at a time while the other went to the nurse's station.  I volunteered Drew first for shots.  Sam went down to entertain the nurses, while I held Drew in a bear hug and the nurse held his legs down so she could give him all 5 shots.  The first shot drew a cry and tears, the next 3 shots brought on more tears and the final shot (the stinging one) brought out a cry and a look of "why are you doing this to me?"I could only hold/console him and tell him he was brave.  Drew quickly calmed down when the nurse mentioned candy and toys.

She opened the door and I heard Sam telling the nurses that Pa and Gammy had come to see him and brought presents and corn.  (Remember Sam miming eating corn on the cob - he's been fascinated with it since then).  We traded out the boys and it was Sam's turn.  He questioned everything but when I told him it was the same for Drew, he was ok with it.  Until the first shot - he gasped loudly and gave me look that wasn't friendly.  His eyes filled with tears but he didn't cry out and the nurse told him he was brave and mentioned candy and he was better.

Our second appointment was also planned well in advance and took place the following Friday.  Shortly after Drew was born, he developed a staph infection in his left knee that has caused his leg to bow out.  The infection was treated but the infection had damaged his left leg growth plate and some of the cartilage.  We knew that he would require surgery at some point, but felt it was better to have the surgery here than in Hungary.  In May, I had taken him to an orthopedic doctor who quickly referred him to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Dallas.  We drove to Dallas Thursday night because his first appointment was at 8:30 Friday morning.  Drew was excited to be alone with us, but a little wary after his last doctor experience.  I had told him that he wouldn't get any shots, but I'm sure he was still thinking about them. 

Let me tell you, being at Scottish Rite was one of the most humbling yet uplifting experiences of my life.  Out of all the children we saw in the waiting rooms, hallways, play areas, Drew was the only one who had 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 arms and 2 legs.  Every other child was missing at least one (and usually multiple) limbs.  But they weren't sitting around feeling sorry for themselves, they were laughing and playing and chasing each other - they were just being kids.  If you are not familiar with the work this incredible hospital performs every day, please check them out.

Drew's appointments went well.  He will soon need a surgery to straighten out his leg, otherwise his knee could be badly or irreparably damaged.  He will probably require another surgery in 8-10 years since he is still growing.  We felt extremely comfortable with the doctors.  The doctors are the best in their fields.

We returned home Friday evening and the next morning, Sam woke up with one side of his face swollen.  I looked in his mouth and one side of his throat was swollen.  He wasn't running any fever, ate well and had lots of energy.  This probably makes me sound like a bad mom, but I waited until Tuesday to take him to the doctor.  I just kept thinking that if it was serious, he would act differently or have a fever or lose his appetite.  Tuesday morning he had a fever of 99 so I decided to take him back to his first doctor.  He was pretty excited to get candy again and didn't mention the shots.  The doc took one look at his throat and said "It's strep."  I feel pretty lucky because this is the first time I've heard those words from a doctor.  Gus has never had strep before which is nothing short of a miracle because it's swept through his old school a few times.  So I call up the hubby to say that Sam needs to come to his office for the rest of the day.  I fill his prescription, grab some lunch (Chick FilA), and run by the house for a sleeping bag.  I leave him with Aaron and within 2 hours, Sam is worn out and has no energy.  After I left work at 5, I picked up Drew and had to get Gus from a friend's house.  Aaron called me at 5:30 to say that Sam's temp was 105.  I make it home and Sam's lethargic and covered in sweat.  We give him some ibuprofen and his fever finally starts to come down around 7pm. 

Sam was quickly back to his old self and looks forward to the next time he's sick so he can go to the doctor, get ChickFilA and stay at Oil Vac with Dad.  He's mentioned it at least once day since last Wednesday :)  Yes, I'm serious.

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