7/21/08

Torturing Asher

Do you have that piece of paper handy? The one with the long list of things that, according to the doctor, might be wrong with Asher? I mean, it's been quite a year. There was concern that he was missing part of his digestive system (xrays at Children's=no abnormalities). There was concern that he had the worst case of reflux ever to hit a baby (he drinks barium at 2 months, at Children's, has another xray=we find out he indeed has reflux, but just the usual variety). And then there was the concern that there was a hole in the digestive system (more xrays). And then we saw a GI specialist, etc.... Oh! And don't forget all that went wrong with the circumsicion and the the urology appointments. Don't forget that, that's fun too...

Asher is strapped in to some sort of hold-the-baby-upright-device with his arms over his head for these xrays. He stares at me and screams with terror in his eyes and I want to curl up in a corner and point at the xray tech., making sure he sees that it's HER, not ME!!!

Today? Well, today. We had Asher's one-year-visit. I was all pleased as punch on the way there, thinking of how I FINALLY don't have to bring up any concerns. I mean, he's even been pooping the last couple of days. I was so excited to tell the doctor. I never knew I could get so excited about someone's bowels, but it's been a long road. So I told her and she was pleased as punch too. Then she did his physical and became concerned about his hips being abnormal. And they are, I too saw that one is higher than the other. But another xray? I guess. To rule out the possibility that one hip is out of joint. Off to xray we went... nothing wrong.

THEN. THE BIG HEAD. CONCERN ABOUT THE BIG HEAD.

Body = 40th percentile Head=99th percentile

Doctor suggests cat-scan of huge head.

What da heck is a mom to do? I mean, if your doctor recommends something do you flatly say, "No, that's silly, lady you don't have a clue." I tried the, it-runs-in-the-family approach, but she still doesn't feel confident that there is absolutely no chance that something else isn't wrong.

She did say his head has continued growing at the same rate at each appointment, which is normal, and she also mentioned it's perfect shape (I know, I know, I worked hard on that).

This is my question (GET TO THE POINT ALREADY, RIGHT?) :
Yes, there's a minuscule chance there's a cyst or fluid or something. But very likely, Asher is just simply a genius with a really big brain, which makes his head large...
That being said, as a parent, HOW do you NOT do the cat scan (a fifteen minute procedure where he is sedated mind you)? Because if by some small horrifying chance something is wrong, and we opt out and find out later....

(Let me also throw in- for good measure -that our insurance will only cover part of this test and we haven't won the lottery lately).

Not that you can decide this for me, but what's your input? What would you do?

Someday when Asher has an appointment with no concerns whatsoever, I will throw a little victory party. We will have cake. It will be on that very day that he speaks his first sentence and he'll say, "geez ma, I'm so glad you didn't torture me with any body stretching contraptions today, thanks a bunch!"

13 clicked right here to comment:

C said...

well... you already know what I am going to say, buuttt, I'll say it anyway. :)

SOMEBODY has to be in the 99th percentile ~ and *gasp* someone is even in the 100th percentile!

I think it would be more disconcerting if he was in the 101(th) percentile.

You're the mom. You see babyface every day. Do YOU think there is a problem. Does Asher think there is a problem (crying more/less, sleeping ore/less, eating more/less ...ya know the list...)?

If Ped hadn't said anything, would you have left there wondering why she didn't comment on his head size?

Go with your gut. Mama bear ain't gonna let her cubs down - if she feels there's a need, a-cat-scan-she-will-go! :)

If not, she may recommend to her diagnostically happy Ped, that maybe a 3-month well check visit would be a better first step...

After all, we don't want to "Torture Asher!" :)

Now. Go be healthy!
xo, crock

Kimberly said...

I agree with c, I really do, but I'd do the procedure anyway. Just to be sure. Otherwise it would always weigh on my mind.

Sabrina said...

This is crazy! You and my BFF rachel have had so many similarities with your babies! Her baby seth had: Colic, internal issues, head issues, penis issues...
You guys should start a club or something! :)

Brillig said...

Oh. Dear. This is all too familiar to me. I mean, Isaac's ailments are different, but the process of finding out what's wrong is so familiar. The x-ray torture device? Yeah, i know all about it. It's so horrid.

My son has a large head too... which apparently is part and parcel with his autism (one of the many issues he has to deal with).

As Kimberly said, it would always be on my mind if I didn't check and just find out for sure...

But, as c said, you'll make the right choice for you and your family. I have no doubt about that.

Crossing my fingers for you...

Shellie said...

Kinda funny there was a Regence Blue Cross ad right across from this post when I read it, maybe they should pay for the procedure out of gratitude for your advertising? I'm no good at advice, I chose to rush a kid right in to make sure he didn't need stitches one day only to wait 3 hours and find out that it healed while we waited, so the next time, seeing as how it was night, I bandaged it up real well and when it wasn't fused together in the morning, took him in and found out it should have been sutured,but now it's too late-it will give him an infection. I never guess right, but based on the fact that apparently stitches are not indispensable, unless it's on the face or bleeding profusely, we are just using super glue from now on. As for the CAT scan...the best advice I can give is go with your gut. Maybe if he continues to grow at the same rate and it doesn't seem to be getting worse, it's not that necessary???

charrette said...

Wow - it sounds like Asher's medical history has been a living hell...for both of you.

You realize, of course, that doctors are recommending these outlandish tests at the drop of a hat (read:first sign of anything not picture-perfect) to PROTECT THEMSELVES from malpractice suits. (Thank the insurance industry and the frivolous lawsuits gang). That said, I have to go with c, and trust your maternal instinct. Half an hour of torture might be worth a lifetime's peace of mind.

Ellen said...

just fyi, because i'm sure it's what you really wanna know... i think that torture device is called a pigg-o-stat. i've had one sitting outside my office for a week now while our clinic gets new x-ray equipment.

i'm not a parent, so i don't have a right to an opinion on parenting issues such as these :)

heather said...

wow, lots of lovely ladies with so much humor and spark. And validation. And concern. Blogs rock the party.
Don't know what we're going to do yet, but I'm sure I'll ramble on about it real soon!

Abra said...

I know you don't know me, and I've only read a few of your posts... but... I've had a baby in one of those upright chest things with their arms up over their heads and those big huge eyes pinned at me wondering... "what the heck?"
I've had to hold a ventilating mask to my five month old while he screams, and then again in a month when he's conceded to the fact that "this is life" and he's quiet, one little hand helping to hold that mask on. (my oldest had RSV and then childhood asthma) My youngest, was born with a skull fracture and a bleeding of the brain (due to birth induced skull fracture.) I know what it's like to worry. I also know I would do the test. Just to be sure. Because five years down the road... when he's ready for kindergarten... and not toilet trained, and having wicked temper tantrums that would rival any 2 year old you don't want to wonder.... like I am right now what if?????
Not intending to scare you AT all. I'm sure your son is fine (Asher btw the coolest name ever I love it!) I just know that I should have followed up on my son a bit better and done the second cat scan....

heather said...

Oh. And Ellen,
OF COURSE the torture device is called something with "pigg" in it. Of course! I got a good laugh. And then I actually kind of enjoyed knowing what it's called. I'm weird.

MidnightCafe said...

Vespera's birth mom says that having a large head is a sign of giftedness, and children with large heads will have special powers. Maybe he'll be a superhero?

But, seriously, I'm with c, in case I didn't communicate that well enough yesterday.

Tiffany said...

Heather,
If your gut is telling you that Asher is fine, just wait a little while. When Chloe had her UTI and they wanted to do a VCUG at childrens, i jst knew she was ok. We did do the test becuase the pediatrician said that she could have bladder reflux which would hurt her kidneys. BUT this procedure traumatized Chloe for 13 months. She was exposed to 49 x-rays. AND I was right, she was just fine. After that experience, I say go with your gut and wait a little while!
Good Luck!
Love ya,
Tiff

Kristen said...

If it were me, I would probably google every possible medical diagnosis for large heads, choose the disease that sounded most life-threatening, and assume my child was afflicted with it. I would mourn, grieve, and prepare myself for the shock of their death. Until my doctor told me otherwise.

Oh wait, I already did that, when my own son's head was measuring 99%. Come to think of it, that is a really bad, bad plan. Please don't do what I did. ;)

I wouldn't blame you for skipping the exam, if he has no other symptoms. But don't go googling symptoms now! I agree with c, somebody has to have a huge head.

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