July. It is that time of year again when the appointments I made months ago rear their ugly heads on the kitchen calendar (yes, I am old school and still use a wall calendar for keeping track of my life.) Every summer around this time Cody has his yearly follow-up appointments at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. I am not complaining. A year between follow-ups is great. It used to be every month, then every three months, then six months and then I about cried when they said they were comfortable with every year. I don’t know if we have ever really made it a full year without going there. With the increase in seizure activity last year we have added visits for simple EEGs, or been there as an in patient for a twenty-four hour EEG (that was fun), or arrived to their emergency room frazzled and scared after Cody seized in the car while we were out running errands.
Children’s Hospital is great. They do their best to fit our appointments into one day so we don’t have to drive all the way up there more than once. It has gotten harder for them to do so since one of Cody’s doctors is only in the clinic one day a month. This year we have two days of appointments, tomorrow and next Thursday. Tomorrow will be easy, just one appointment with the Neurodevelopment clinic. It was in this clinic a few years ago, as we watch Cody walk up and down the hall, that the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy was first spoken. It was also in this clinic that the Neurodevelopment doctor, after looking over Cody’s history, flat out told us we were lucky. Next Thursday we have an appointment with Neurology, a haste MRI, and two appointments with the Neurosurgery clinic. Thursday will be taxing on all of us.
The trips up to Children’s have gotten much easier as the kids have gotten older. No one is nursing. No one is potty training. No one requires an afternoon nap (unless you include me!). There are no diapers to deal with, no strollers to push, and I don’t have to constantly ply them with snacks to make them sit still. It is also easier to explain to Cody and Carter what is happening and why.
We try to fit in a trip to the zoo or at least a park so that the hospital visit is not central to the day. The doctors visits in and of themselves are rather uneventful, luckily, and the day mostly consists of waiting around for the fifteen minutes or so that we get to chat with this doctor or that doctor. Each and every shunt scan has come back normal and no one is talking seriously about seizure medication.
Every time I step across the threshold of Children’s Hospital for our follow-up appointments, I think about how lucky we are. Fingers crossed for another round of boring, uneventful doctors visits.