Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bones and Buddies

Yesterday I took Jarrah to the doctor to check how her clavicle is healing. It's been 4.5 weeks already--can you believe it? I decided to combine the visit with her 4-year-old annual exam, because our doctor is really far away. I mean, it's totally worth it--I love her. How many doctors are going to respond to my e-mails with the subject line "Please Talk Me Off The Ledge" in the middle of the night? Probably just this one. (And by the way, I'm not suicidal--just an amplified reference to late-night motherly distress.) Unfortunately, we didn't get to see "our" doctor the day that Jarrah had her accident.

Everything looks fine. She's got a little lump in that spot which Doc says is new bone forming, and will subside in a few months. I can barely notice it myself unless I'm groping both clavicles at the same time. So she can resume all her normal activities, and start T-ball, and--in the oft-repeated claim that proves we don't share DNA--"get back to running."

It was the annual exam part that started the trouble (because, really, do we ever have a doctor visit under two hours?) She's in the 90th percentile for height at 42.5 inches (no surprise there) and has dropped to the 70th for weight at 41 lbs. (all previous exams have found her in the 90-somethings for that, too.) She has 20-20 vision, based on an impressive reading of the shape-covered preschool eye chart (I love how when she got to the flag she shouted "SQUARE!")

We were practically out the door when the perky nurse shoved a pointy device into her ears, which is some new-ish kind of hearing test more accurate for this demographic because it relies on a sonar report rather than the child identifying tones. The first ear was a breeze, but the second ear was not cooperating, and she kept switching out the squishy heads--green then yellow then red then blue. Finally, she shook her head ruefully and said "Well, that ear's not going to pass. We'll need to get you a referral for an ENT."

Readers, if you know me, or have been reading this blog for, say, longer than five posts, you know that I'm not a calm woman. Most of my day transpires in an elevated, frantic state. So it's with no small pride that I tell you that I did NOT freak out. I thought for a minute, and recalled that last year, they excavated a motherlode of ear wax out of my kid's head during the regular exam, and wondered aloud if ear wax could interfere with the reading. "Well, yes, it could. Let's take a look in there." And soon enough she was exclaiming over the results of my hunch.

We went back to the office, and the nurse tried to remove some wax with a long, pokey stick. Reasonably, Jarrah did not like this, and after one chunk was removed, she cried and said that was enough of that for today. Jarrah is a very determined child, and no amount of begging, bribing and threatening will change her mind about something once it's made up. She locked her fist around the nurse's wrist (the one holding the instrument) in case she got any funny ideas. And when the nurse went to get the doctor, Jarrah grabbed my hands and clamped them over her ears, resisting with surprising strength when I tried to free them. I didn't really like that the nurse said "But you're four now. You should be a big girl." She's not THAT big. I mean, really.

While we waited (having now thrown off everybody's schedule) I had a long talk with Jarrah about reality and options. I explained that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do for the greater good. "But Mommy," she wailed. "I don't WANT to do things I don't want to do." Was anyone ever more frank and reasonable? She also said, "I don't like how there are surprises at the doctor." You and me both, sister. You and me both.

Ultimately, our wonderful doc handled the situation without further trauma. She looked in the ears, determined there was indeed a lot of wax, and suggested we do the kindergarten ear test instead, the one where you wear one blue and one red giant, rubbery-smelling headphone, and sit in a booth listening to little noises that sound like "Eeeeeeeeeeee!" but super-quiet. Anyway, that was not happening. Jarrah was delighted, and totally cooperative, but she just didn't get the logistics behind raising the hand for the ear that heard the tone and all that. We were out of options when I said--still amazingly calm--"Can we try the sonar thing one more time?" Once again, we went through the pageant of earpiece colors (I should mention that this whole experience was set to crescendos of lusty screaming, as a large crowd of shot kids had come through, and that was certainly relaxing for us all), but after about four times, it finally worked, and the ear passed! I've never been so proud of an ear in my entire life. Way to go, ear! You put your nose to the grindstone and accomplished your goal! Wait...ear with nose...something is getting a little Cubist here.

And that was that, Readers. Another year, another visit. Hopefully, we can avoid broken bones before the next one.

I also wanted to let you know that we've had an explosion of imaginary friends at our place these days. It's no wonder Jarrah brings home drawings crowded with dozens of amoeba-like figures with the title "My Family." In addition to Maine and Crick, who are apparently with us permanently now, we have a "baby" named Braden ("he's a girl") and--my absolute favorite of Jarrah's names to date--we have Star Wars and Away. That should read: "Starwarsandaway."

Many's the delightful family outing we've been having, me, David, Jarrah, Maine, Crick, Braden and StarWarsAndAway. Luckily, all their car seats fit in my Maxima, and they are willing to share chairs with Jarrah at restaurants. She also shares her meals with them, very generously, too. When we ask Jarrah how StarWarsAndAway got her name, she looks at us doubtfully, almost pityingly, and says something like "It's just her name."

Of course it is. What is my problem?


Amanda said...

I am glad everything turned out so well!!

Your little one is just adorable.I love the things that come out of Jarrah's mouth!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...


I am 48 years old and THAT is not too old to object to someone coming near my with a long, pokey stick (unless it happened to be a hot doctor, of course).

Pay no attention to that nurse. She was wrong to say that. I am very proud of you for speaking up for yourself. That is what a smart and big girl does. Only a baby who doesn't know better would sit still for someone coming near her with a long, pokey stick (unless it happened to be a hot doctor, of course).

Love, Cheri

P.S. We are heading in to spring, darling Jarrah. Soon it will be time for another swim. Only big girls swim in my pool. Can't wait!


Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

P.S. Say hello to StarWarsAndAway for me.

Anonymous said...

LOL, Cheri! I love the part about the hot doctor.

Sam, I'm so glad that all ended well. What a line about not liking surprises at the doctor. Whoa.

And congratulations on your expanding family!

Miss J

LunaMoonbeam said...

Oh, I'm so glad her bone is (mostly) mended...

and that is TOO funny about the earwax!

Heather - The Wanna-be Super Mom said...

I needed a good laugh, and your kid ALWAYS comes through for that! Starwarsandaway! That is awesome. Our cousin went through that "he's a girl" and "she's a boy" phase when she was four!

Melissa said...

I'm glad the bones are healing fine. Did the doc talk to you about Debrox for Jarrah's ears? It worked wonders for Linda.

Let me know.

The Wades said...

One time the doc fished a very generous amount of wax out of my older son's ear after much softening, prodding, etc. Wow and I mean WOW!!! I am impressed that you thought of the wax possibility. My first thought would have been ear cancer, degenerative eardrum disease or the like.

I got a huge smile from, "When we ask Jarrah how StarWarsAndAway got her name, she looks at us doubtfully, almost pityingly, and says something like 'It's just her name.'" I can totally imagine her saying that without ever having met her. Cute stuff!

Anonymous said...

I love how SWaA is a girl. :) lix