When I take Finn to see our pediatrician for regular checkups, the doctor goes down a checklist of things that need to be addressed for children with Down syndrome. Where he got this checklist, I don't know. He's a wonderful doctor. There are so many things I love about him; he's warm and personable, he always takes the time to sit down and make me feel as though our family matters to him, in the thirteen + years he's been our pediatrician, he's never once rushed though an appointment with us, and although he and I don't always see eye to eye on every issue, like vaccines and infant sleep issues, he always listens to my concerns and respects my feelings concerning my kids.
He's not an expert about Down syndrome, though. I think he said that in all the years he's practiced, he's only had two or three other patients with Ds. Which is fine. So he uses this checklist.
So at Finn's two-year well check a couple of weeks ago, he's going down the checklist. And he mentions that it's time for Finn to have his hearing and vision checked again. I told him flat out that I'm not taking Finn in for the booth hearing test again - it's a waste of time because the results are always ambiguous, they'll just tell me that Finn needs to have a sedated ABR which I am NOT going to do, and I have no reason to think that Finn's hearing is impaired. He agreed with me, but he did say that maybe we should at least go back to the ENT to make sure Finn's tubes are still in place (the pediatrician couldn't tell). I said okay. He also mentioned that Finn should go back to the opthamologist to have his vision checked again.
We got the forms in the mail a few days ago from our insurance carrier approving the referrals to the ENT and to the opthamologist. A little while ago I picked up the phone to call both of those doctors and schedule appointments for Finn, as well as the cardiologist to schedule the sedated echo which our insurance company also approved.
But then I put the phone down without dialing.
Sometimes I get tired of all the specialists, of all the tests and screenings Finn is "supposed" to be subjected to. And it's not even as though he's got a list of doctors a mile long like some kids with Ds do - Finn's a very healthy little boy. And I guess that's the thing: he IS healthy. So why does he have to undergo all these screenings? I certainly don't take any of my other kids to any doctors unless they present symptoms of a problem.
I realize that along with Down syndrome comes a greater risk of a lot of things, and a lot of those things are silent - there may not be any outward signs of certain conditions. I'm fine with doing periodic blood draws to check his thyroid function. I realize that he actually was born with a hole in his heart and that it's necessary to monitor that. I'm even okay with having his vision checked once in a while. Do I really need to take him to the ENT (which requires taking up an entire morning driving across town, waiting in a packed waiting room for a really long time, and paying a $20 co-pay for the privilege of all of this) just to see if his tubes are still in? I know they'll fall out eventually, but if he's not getting ear infections or showing any of the other issues he was having prior to getting tubes, then what's the point of checking?
I know there are parents out there who feel strongly about subjecting their kids to every screening available. I'm sure it goes along with wanting to do what's best for our kids to ensure their good health, but over time I've become less and less enamored of all the special medical treatment our kids are supposed to be subjected to just because they have Ds. Having Ds isn't a disease or an illness.
Anyway, I didn't mean for this to become another post I give from atop my soapbox. Really, I am interested in anyone's thoughts on NOT taking Finn back to the ENT until/unless I start seeing clear indications that his tubes are out and he needs new ones.
Adieu - After more than two years and 555 posts (556 counting this one!), I'm saying goodbye to Adventures in Motherhood. I'm ready for a change, and I've started ...
6 years ago