Back in August, I finally decided to get an appointment for Vivian to see a pediatrician. After trying so many different things with her and still seeing a lot of issues it seemed like the right call. We were very lucky to get in with a great pediatrician very quickly - it was two weeks between the referral appointment with our family doctor and the appointment with the pediatrician.
The initial appointment with the pediatrician ended up being a little intimidating. Basically I went through a run-down of Vivian's history to let them know what the main issues were that we were dealing with. I walked out with a handful of paperwork and information to set up another series of appointments for Vivian - hearing test, vision test, bloodwork, urine samples, and psychological assessments. It was overwhelming and a bit confusing until I understood what the process is. Basically my understanding is that public health right now is all about being proactive and casting a wide net. The way I was going about things by looking into issues that could turn into something else later, but also could very well be something that she grows out of, is the way they want to handle things now. It becomes much more difficult to effect positive change if you wait until a kid is older and things are more set in. This way we can shape Vivian along the way and give her any assistance that she needs.
The whole idea of casting a wide net is interesting too. Whereas it used to be more that you would list characteristics of your child and a pediatrician would look at them all and then maybe rush a little too quickly to diagnose and label them, now they are all about the process of elimination. So by sending Vivian for so many tests we can eliminate what isn't going on with her, and then see what we are left with. I'm really pleased with this method (even though it is a lot of work) because I don't want to see her be misdiagnosed as being ADD or something and being prescribed something that she doesn't need.
So first up was the bloodwork - which was quite the ordeal. My biggest recommendation if you ever have to take your own kid for bloodwork is to bring a stroller. It was awful getting her blood drawn, and I just had to strap her into the stroller and wheel her screaming out through the hospital. I have no idea how I could have gotten her out of there without the stroller.
Anyway, the results of her bloodwork came back to reveal that she's anemic. This was something that I suspected because of a few different things that she was doing. What's the number one symptom of anemia that I kept seeing listed? Irritability. It was so good to find out that this was one of the things that's been going on with her because it is such a simple problem. She now gets an iron supplement twice a day and so far it seems to be really helping! It's easier to redirect her when she's upset, and I haven't been seeing the massive meltdowns that used to be a weekly occurrence. Since she got rid of the bottle her eating habits have improved a lot too, so that could all work itself out too.
Up next are hearing and vision tests. I'm hoping that she clears everything else and it ends up being just the anemia that was causing such a problem. It's amazing the things you can find out from some bloodwork!