Elise and Will both had well-child checks and immunizations today. Here are the updates for the two of them:
Elise–Elise is a worrier. I imagine that she must be a little like I was as a kid because Mom always called me a worrier. I am learning how to help her through her worries, but made several mistakes yesterday. The first mistake was mentioning that we were going to the doctor today. She knew already that the next time she went to the doctor would be for shots, so that got her started thinking about shots. Then I made my second mistake. In order to help her realize why we do shots I told her about some of the illnesses that the shots help to prevent. Now she is terrified of mumps. She calls it the puffing up sickness and is sure that she might get it. Not only is she a worrier, but she is very bright and so can spot any flaws in my logic. “Mom,” she says, “what if I get sick tonight! before I get the shot tomorrow?” I had already told her that Uncle Ben had had mumps and he’s fine, but now I was worried she’d ask me if he had had his shot before he got it (which he had). Thankfully she didn’t spot that hole. So all this morning and last evening we’ve been having conversations about the shots and mumps and throwing up. Yes, throwing up. She says she doesn’t like throwing up and was quite upset that they didn’t have a shot for that. Sigh . . .
She was weighed and measured first. 33 1/2 lbs. and 40 in. tall. 10th percentile for both weight and height, but the doctor assures me this is fine. He says she looks perfect, but since they don’t have measurements on her for awhile (I haven’t had her in for a well check since she was 2), he wants to weigh her again when we do Will’s 9 month check-up. That way we can make sure she is continuing to grow, but otherwise, she is just small. He asked about her eating habits, which I am pretty sure are normal for a 4-yr-old, but I did tell him she eats very little. I asked him about vitamins, which he said don’t hurt if she likes them, but not to force them if she doesn’t, but rather just make sure she is eating a variety of foods. We’ve never tried vitamins, so we might try them just to see if she likes them. Her ears, eyes, heart, lungs, stomach, and everything else looks great. He asked if her eyesight has been checked, which it hasn’t, but he said she is tracking really well, and he doubts there is a problem. Nevertheless, the recommendation is to check them before kindergarten. Elise was very comfortable and chatted about everything from throwing up to ballet. I did ask his opinion on ballet as a sport and if there were any health issues to watch for if she sticks with it. For her age he said that there is nothing and that ballet is actually one of the better sports as far as injuries because they remain so limber and flexible. If she were to continue into her teenage years then there are some worries with ankles and feet, but that is just the cost of the sport.
Will–Will of course is not a worrier. 🙂 He was happy and calm this morning as he always is at 8:00 in the morning after eating. He weighs 17 lbs and is 26 inches long. He is in the 95th percentile. Dr. Youmans says this is not necessarily an indication that he will be large as an adult though. Everything looks good for him as well except for some chapped skin on the cheeks, a diaper rash and a small dry area of skin that needs medication. Oh, and he has some congestion that just showed up in the last couple of days, but is not a problem unless it interferes with eating, which it doesn’t right now. We discussed starting Will on solid food. We are welcome to start “playing around” with it now if we want, but Will definitely does not need it. We don’t have to give him any until he is a year old if he continues to grow as he is now. If we do start any now, we need to not overdo it because there is a chance that we could make him overweight, which is not good. So, I’ll be discussing this more with John before we do anything.
Then came time for shots. Will was first. He started crying and then Elise started crying. I was there myself, so the nurse had me take Elise out of the room while she finished with Will. Elise started telling me she wanted to wait until she was 5 to get her shots (but was a little worried about getting mumps before then). Sigh . . . I told her that we were not waiting (I did not want to go through the anticipation for no reason and spend the next several weeks or months listening to her worry about getting sick because she didn’t get them). As soon as the nurse returned with Elise’s shots Elise started yelling “I don’t want a shot, I don’t want a shot.” Will was already calmed down and starting to get sleepy, so the doctor was kind enough to hold him for me. I held Elise while she got a total of three shots. Two in one arm and one in the other. The whole time she was screaming pretty loudly, but finally started to calm down by the third one. I talked her into stopping her tears so that she wouldn’t upset Will and then we rejoined Will and got 3 prizes for Elise (one for each shot).
The one thing I am a little frustrated with is that we were unable to get the chicken pox booster for Elise. Two years ago I gave her the chicken pox vaccine without thinking through the fact that I was willingly placing her in a group of guinea pigs as the shot was fairly new. I wish I had waited just to see if she could get it naturally. Now they are recommending boosters, and the doctor expects they will continue to recomend boosters their whole life. I asked if by some rare occurence Elise were to get the chicken pox now naturally even after being vaccinated if then we wouldn’t have to get any more boosters, and he said “no.” The shot apparently changes their system so that they can not guarantee they are safe even after getting it. Unfortunately the clinic was back-ordered on the shot, so that means I’ll have to take Elise to the health department to get it. And I had told her that the shots she got today would be it for a long time. I have learned my lesson and will not mention this other shot to her until we are ready to get it. She doesn’t have to have it until she is 6, so maybe we’ll wait awhile.