Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cleft Team Appointment, & Other Misc. Ramblings

Yesterday afternoon was Aiden's cleft team appointment. After the hassle of a hurried pre-authorization from the insurance company, I thought I would play it safe and call to make sure it really had gone through. Marilou is awesome and always on the ball so I didn't doubt that it had all been done. She gave me the authorization number since I didn't have time to run over there to get a copy of it or wait for it in the mail. Once we arrived at the team clinic, we checked in and they immediately had trouble locating the authorization for the appointment. I handed them the slip of paper with the number written on it but of course that wasn't good enough. The receptionist had us sit down while she tried to sort it out. Much to my surprise we were called back a few minutes later (and much to Andrew's delight because it got him out of doing his homework for a few more minutes).

Once back in the room, Dr. Elmendorf walked in right behind us and got things started. He asked all the regular questions, did all the regular exams, and then proceeded to endulge Aiden in a game of patty cake. We addressed the issue of his sacral dimple again and are going to request that authoriztion be given for an ultrasound since they run in my family. Not a major concern, but something worth looking into. In the midst of his exam the nurse came in and asked to speak to me. They couldn't find anything authorizing our visit. UGH!!! I thought we were going to be kicked out in the cold rain. I explained what had happened (she knew most of it, she is the one that had dropped the ball) and then told her that the authorization number was at the front desk. That was finally the end of all of that, but what a hassle.

Next in to see Aiden was the orthodontist, whom we know very well and love to death, Dr. Garcia. She said that she had seen his name on the board earlier in the day and had told everyone that her boyfriend was coming to see her that afternoon. They of course just all laughed at her. She scooped Aiden up and lavished him with a million kisses. Her job is done with him for now but she just loves him to pieces and couldn't pass up the opportunity to love on him again. Our time with her was spent talking about life, her upcoming trip home for the holidays, her ultrasound this coming Friday to find out if her baby is a boy or girl, discussing names, and everything else under the sun (or clouds and rain as it was yesterday). She always shows such interest in not only Aiden as the patient, but all the kids. She is currently working with one other family (Baby H., UCLP) but is dissapointed with his resuts because they are not as faithful and dedicated as we and her last baby (Catalina, BCLP, repaired a few weeks ago) were. It takes a major commitment that not everyone has the time or patience for. After big hugs to everyone and one delivered Christmas card (saved me a stamp, and the only card delivered so far), she was out the door and we waited for the next member of the team.

The dentist was next in the room. We had never met with a dentist before. Past team meetings have been less then desirable with us seeing only the head of the team and then waiting around for nothing. I kept my expectations low and they were exceeded this time. The dentist checked out his teeth, I mean tooth. Poor guy only has one but seems to be working on a whole mouth full to break through at the same time. He was impressed with the repair of his cleft and could not believe what a great job the NAM had done. He is hoping, just like the rest of us, that we have avoided the future bone graft surgery. We are to follow up with a pediatric dentist of our choice, or go to him if we would like, when Aiden is closer to a year old, or when he has a few more teeth. I need to interview our current pediatric dentist for Andrew and Alexis and see how many cleft kids he has treated. I want to make sure he knows what he is doing since there are different struggles associated with the teeth in a cleft affected kiddo.

Next to evaluate Aiden was the plastic surgeon. Not his plastic surgeon, Dr. Martin, but the one on team rotation for the week. She explained that we should start massaging the scar, which is what we had just been told last week when we went for his 3rd post-op appointment with Dr. Martin. We were told by Dr. M. to us Mederma for the scar, but she suggested to just use someting like a flavored chapstick since he is fighting the massage when the taste of the Mederma gets on his lips and tongue (he wiggles so much there is no way to avoid getting it in his mouth). We can do the chapstick thing till he calms down and tolerates the massage more, then move on to the Mederma or just plain old Vit. E. Wish we would have been told that before we spent $23 on the little bottle of Mederma. Oh well. She was also impressed with what the NAM had done and stated that she had worked on NAM kids with another hospital before and was glad to see it being implemented at Loma Linda finally.

Lastly, we were seen by speech. We had already had a referal to see a speech team with the local hospital since I didn't think we were going to be seen by the team till March of next year. I knew he was doing ok since we had already been through that evaluation, but was curious to see what she said, so I didn't tell her about the other evaluation and let her come to her own conclusions. She asked all the typical questions, heard him babble for a few minutes, gave us a piece of paper to show us what he should be doing at which stage and games we can play to help him reach those milestones, and was out the door.

By the time we were done it was now 5:30, pitch black, and the place was shut down for the day. They never did get our co-pay, but I don't doubt for one second that bill will show up in the mail in the next day or so. They are always on top of that. All in all it was a more productive appointment then the past 2 we have had. We actually got to meet with some of the other doctors this time and felt like it was more comprehensive and not so much a waste of time. He did weigh in at 18.5 lbs and 28 1/2 inches long, so no real weight or height change since a few weeks ago at his pediatric appointment.

On to other news. Yesterday's rain was not fun, considering I like to wear flip flops 365 days of the years, but along with the rain comes a beautiful aftermath. These pictures do not do justice to how beautiful the mountains look now that they have a light dusting of snow on them. This is the view from my backyard and from my street. I love our mountains! I love seeing the snow but not having to dig my car out of it in the morning.

We have clear, blue skies today, with a little chill coming off the mountains. And that is your weather report for the day here in sunny, southern CA.

About the move: We have finally decided on a place. We went with the upstairs (YUCK), three bedroom, two bath condo, with the stacker washer and dryer that would allow only one dog. It is right across the street from the kids school and has a pool that we are looking forward to using in the spring and summer. We are set to move in around the 1st of Jan, but the lady said we could start moving stuff over whenever we want and has already give me the key to the place. We are waiting on the key to the garage, as that is the first things we would like to move and get organized. She agreed to put all new carpet in the place and that should be installed later this week. Once that is done I am going to slowly start taking things over that we don't NEED the next three weeks. I am hoping the move is as smooth as possible. Now I just need to nail down a person who will adopt Sally. I am super sad about this but know that there is no way we could keep two dogs. I have mapped out and measured the entire place and have arranged all the furniture on miniature scale models, so I have a good idea where everything is going to go. When I go over there to have the carpet installed I am going to camp out in the kitchen with the kids and line all the cabinets and cupboards while we are waiting. My current place is a mess, with boxes all over the place and things out of place. I need to get it put back to some what of a sane place before Christmas gets here so we are not wading through boxes.

I think that is all for now. Off to run and pick up Alexis from preschool and do my dreaded grocery shopping. Walking the fine line between keeping food in the house but not overstocking the cupboards with things I am going to have to move. We do have to eat between now and the 1st so I guess I need to stop procrastinating and do some shopping.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a busy day! It's good to know little Aiden is doing well, and how cool would that be to avoid the bone graft? Abby will need to have it done. I've talked to a couple of kids who have had it done and they say it's really not that bad. I'm sure their parents had a harder time with it though!

    Beautiful mountains. It must be exciting to see snow way down in So. Cal. I used to live in Salinas and I don't think we ever saw snow there.

    Best wishes on the move. I don't envy you! I'm so glad we know we are staying put, although slightly disappointed we won't have the excitement of living in the big city.

    Have a good day!