Kinda Crunchy Mom

April 20, 2008

Almost that time again

Filed under: MCAD — by mcadmom @ 3:05 pm
Tags: ,

This week Olivia goes in for her annual visit at the metabolic clinic in Detroit.  I always have mixed feelings about these visits.  Although I am so grateful for the doctors and staff at the clinic, every visit makes me feel overwhelming inadequacy and stress.  I am already dreading the appointment.

The routine goes like this:

Wake Olivia at 7, thread her into clothes and convince her to eat something.  Grab the bag packed with enough toys, clothes and food to last a month and shove everything into the car and leave by 7:45.

Fight white-knuckled through rush hour traffic for the “leisurely” 2 hour drive–most of which is on I-75–during which Olivia fusses (translate–howls) in the back seat.

Get to Children’s and give the car the the valet (my favorite part!), and haul up to the 6th floor “pod”.

–a note here–For a facility that specializes in children, the metabolic clinic is about as un-child friendly as a proctologist’s office.  I could rant more, but I’m sure I will after the visit.

Sit for a while and wait, then we are ushered into our exam room.  The rooms each have a child-sized table and chairs and the table has some sort of magnetic “track” built in to the top, under plexiglass.  It is interesting for, oh, five minutes.  Only 3 hours and 55 minutes to go.

Then the parade of practitioners comes in, one at a time, each with similar questions.  We go over everything from:

Olivia’s diet, weight, height, developmental level, personality, illnesses, etc

Review records from her pediatrician, early on coordinator and the genetic doctors

Then the fun part where I get to explain that no, we haven’t conceived again, yes, we want to, no, we aren’t doing the IVF thing, yes we will call them if we do, etc.  Every time I want to hand over six months of charting and say,”There you go–as you can see we tried last month, a lot, but apparrently without success.”

The dietitian looks at her food diary and usually admonishes me for something, like letting her eat avocado one too many times, or the mini amounts of veggies she ate the day before.  It always works that way too–two days before the visit Olivia decides she wants to live on cheerios and frozen blueberries so it looks like we starve her.

The nurse (I’m sure she is a very nice person, but as long as I’m venting…) has some inane developmental test for Olivia to perform.  When she was one she had three blocks and a cup and the nurse asked her to put the block in the cup.  Olivia did everything but–she put the block on the floor and placed the cup over it, she placed the block on top of the overturned cup, she banged the blocks together, drank from the cup–everything but putting the block into the cup.  I sat there, sweaty and trying not to shriek, “PUTTHEBLOCKINTHECUP!!!” over and over, wondering what this test meant in terms of her long term development.  The nurse eventually gave up, and I was in a total panic.  I asked her what that means and she responded,

“Nothing, really.  Most kids aren’t able to do that until they’re 18 months.”

I almost strangled her.

Then we meet with the genetic counselor who goes over every excruciating detail of our family histories.  Looking back, the first few visits I really went a little overbaord.  I guess I was hoping they would have some magical trigger link between my thrid cousin’s eczema and MCAD, but I really don’t think it mattered.

Then all of the people meet in a little room with the genetic physician and comapre notes and then we get to see the doctor.  I am sad because our favorite doctor moved to Florida so we’ll be seeing a new one this year.  We’ll see…  Usually the doctor examines my exhausted child, looks at everything, asks all of the same questions, and then they talk about her growth chart.  Olivia is at 95/95 right now, so I know that will be an issue.  It is in perfect proportion, I know, but they analyze everything, remember? 

The thing about the clinic is that they really do mean well, but they have no idea what life is really like for the families–and I don’t think they care.  I’ve sat through many four hour visits and I still don’t know where the bathroom is.  I’ve never had anyone offer me a cup of coffee or glass of water, and how they think that table thingy is going to entertain a child for the marathon visit is beyond me. 

During the second or third visit I asked someone if all of the visits were going to be 4 hours long and she looked at me like I had trees sprouting out of my head.  I don’t think she had any idea that the appointments really do take that long.  Every single thing I do as a mom is questioned and discussed–what we play with, what she eats (of course), what we do for a living, etc, and it is so intrusive and exhausting.  By the end of the visit, I literally feel shattered as a mother, like every choice I make is a bad one.  Olivia is cranky, bored and tired, and she has one more bonus before the two hour ride home–

The blood draw.  It’s awful, is all I can say.

Luckily there is an Au Bon Pain in the lobby where I buy something full of sugar and we stuff our faces before trekking home.


1 Comment »

  1. I just wanted to post a comment and say that I personally know this mother and her beautiful daughter Olivia. If any mother out there is struggling to feed their child or is in need of support dealing with MCAD, do not hesitate to contact Diane.

    She is just as funny in person as she is on this Blog and as a SAHM, as well, I know how much a good laugh is needed.

    Comment by mommy2mygirlz — April 20, 2008 @ 9:50 pm |Reply

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