Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Elisabeth's 2 year pediatrician check-up.

***Warning. This post is a slight rant. Read at your own risk.

I took Ellie for her 2 year check-up recently. She did NOT like the scales. She is supposed to lie down on this fancy table for the nurse to weigh her and then measure how long she is. Nope. Wasn't gonna happen. She even refused to sit on the table. We think she weighs just under 25 pounds. That's about what I expected.

To put that into perspective, both Will and Ben weighed over 20 pounds by 9 months. As you can see, Ellie's a bit smaller than they were!!

So then our pediatrician comes into the room. He reviewed her stats and placed her on "The Chart" where she is about 10th percentile for height and below 30th percentile for weight. His words were - "she's perfect."

Let me tell you how much I LOVE a doctor who doesn't flip out about where a child falls on the charts!! These charts are truly meaningless. After all, if you lined up 100 women who were born the exact same day I was born would my position in the line for height or weight indicate health? Only on the extreme ends. And can't you usually tell by looking at a person if they are at an unhealthy weight? I'm pretty sure my stats would be about like Ellie's. (Ha! Ha!)

Another expected thing was that he scolded me for not taking her to have a blood test done for lead. This is a very Rhode Island/ New England thing. The state is all about having children tested for lead poisoning. Annoys me to death. We are supposed to do it at 1, 2, and 3 years. My pedi recommends 1 & 2 years.

I complied with the boys but since they were both fine, we live in a low risk home, and Ellie clearly shows no signs or symptoms of lead poisoning I just haven't put us all through the trauma of a blood test (they will take blood from her arm just like for an adult!!).

He gave me 2 reasons to have the test done. 1. He will have them test the blood for other stuff as well, like iron levels. 2. She cannot enter the school system without having this test done.

OK. How much do you think that last reason concerns me? And how much do you think it annoys me? Seriously folks. I understand requiring immunizations to go to school; we don't want anyone catching anything. But to require me to test for something that is NOT contagious seems like an invasion of privacy to me!

We do plan to get the blood test done soon. But only because of testing for anemia and other stuff like that. NOT because of the lead.

And my final annoyance is that the American Pediatrics Yada Yada Yada has changed their recommendations for well visits. Now ALL 2.5 years should have a well visit. To check for delayed development (think autism spectrum). That means I'm supposed to take Ellie back in 6 months, pay $25 for them to weigh and measure her, and let the doctor watch her for 2 minutes in order to once again pronounce her perfect. I am not worried about Ellie being on the spectrum! Of my 3 children she is the most advanced developmentally. Her verbal skills are incredible. You've seen evidence of her climbing skills. And if she knows you fairly well her relational skills will get you hugs, kisses and an earful of words.

Having said all of that, I'll probably take her for the visit anyway. But only because I'll already be at the pediatrician's office for Ben's 4 year old visit and probably a well visit for Sam as well. Nothing like killing 3 birds with one stone!

On a lighter note, Will is getting very bold. Before the doctor left the room Will says, "Dr. S., this week my dad brought home a Curious George video from the library and in it the Man with the Yellow Hat had to go to the doctor for a check-up so George got to go along, too. While they were there George got to listen to his heartbeat with the doctor's ...." At that point he couldn't think of the right word. Our doctor smiled and asked if Will would like to listen to his own heartbeat. You should have seen the grin and head nod on Will!

So Will listened to his heartbeat with a real doctor's stethoscope. He was thrilled. Maybe one day he'll become a doctor just like his great-grandfather William was. Or not. Either way a doctor took time to listen to and encourage a 5 year old boy. Just another reason why I heart my pediatrician!

4 comments:

Marc and Charity said...

That is great that you love your pediatrician so much. I've never heard of the lead testing...why is it so high up there?

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

House paint inside and out used to have lead in it. The old houses in the area are covered in the stuff. Generally all you have to do is paint over it with a modern paint and it's not a big deal. But the old tenement houses in the city (mostly Providence) are not known for their upkeep. The biggest danger is not children chewing on window sills and such but the paint flakes and dust that fall to the floor or ground. As children crawl and play they put their hands and toys in their mouths along with the lead paint dust. Eventually they develop lead poisoning.

Don't get me wrong. This is a very real threat to the children in the low income housing in Rhode Island. The statistics are real about lead poisoning (as are the lawsuits against landlords).

What annoys me is the blanket edict for everyone to take action. My children do not live in "at risk" housing and do not frequent areas that are "at risk," nor do they show signs of lead poisoning.

I guess the short answer to Charity's question is that RI (specifically Providence, Pawtucket, and Cranston) has an abundance of low income housing where lots of lead paint chips and dust can be found. The parents in these homes don't have the resources to protect their children and the landlords don't care. It's sad, really.

Alicia said...

I don't think that was too "ranting" at all. I think it's good to have doctors who are balanced about the growth chart. Mine have always checked that the heigh and weight percentages are close and that there isn't a sudden change in the child's own curve.

Amy said...

Yes, Ellie is "perfect"! I can't understand why at 2 years old they're still trying to weigh them on the table or measure them that way either. My guys were NOT interested which meant by the time the dr. came in they weren't too thrilled either. Thankfully he did most of their check with them on my lap and only had them on the table for the necessities. Anyway, I didn't know about the 2.5 appt. Yuck! I was so glad when they reached 2 and I had a whole year in between appts! :)

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