The ortho visit

Early in spring, Anna had a checkup with the pediatric geneticist. At that time, she noted some kyphoscoliosis in Anna that she wanted checked out by an orthopedic doctor. It was a six-month wait to get into the Specialty Care Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center and today was our appointment. They said to expect the appointment to last 2-4 hours! Wow. So we packed up a ton of stuff to keep us entertained. Anna was just excited to leave school early. 🙂

The clinic is located inside of the children’s hospital. We had to park way out and then find our way through the maze of the hospital corridors only to discover that the clinic’s entrance is only from the outside of the hospital on the rear side. Oy! What an ordeal just to find the place! Then we had to sign in just to get registered and the place was packed. There were many very involved kiddos waiting to be seen and Anna is both fascinated and scared by kids who are nonverbal and in wheelchairs. She doesn’t realize how to interact appropriately and definitely made a few moms uncomfortable with all of her questions. Ten minutes later, we were called to check-in then we had to wait again to be called back. By the time they came for us, Anna was starting to withdraw and had her hands on her ears.

They first wanted x-rays. That surprised me and I didn’t have a chance to prepare her. But she handled it very well and the quiet of the x-ray room was a welcome respite from the chaos of the lobby area. Unfortunately, we had to go back to the waiting room to be called into an exam room. That whole process took another 30 minutes.

Then it was blood pressure, weight, height, exam room… where I then had to fill out yet another info sheet on Anna’s history. A nurse practitioner came in and began asking the same questions that I was writing (so frustrating, don’t you think? Why isn’t there a central repository database with each individual’s patient’s history, medications, and allergies?). Then we waited for the doctor. And waited. And waited. Thank goodness I brought my laptop with a Max and Ruby DVD for Anna. We also brought snacks, Audrey (Anna’s favorite baby doll) with her assorted accessories, and some other activities. We even ended up turning on the TV at one point. We waited almost 2 hours for the ortho to come in.

When he shows up, he doesn’t introduce himself, he doesn’t apologize about the wait, he just starts asking me questions. Anna pipes up, “What took you so long?” I could’ve kissed her! That’s my girl! Ha! He dodged the question and reviewed her history. He said the x-rays showed a slight scoliosis, 6-7 degrees, and a mild kyphosis (hunchback). Between her hunching and her lordosis (swayback), her hyperextended knees are worse. But none of these issues are worrisome yet and the ortho recommended that her pediatrician follow her and if they get worse, to come back in. He also noted some mild (+2?) clonus in her ankle and foot. I’m not sure exactly what that is… I think tightening? So we arrived at 12:30 and left at 3:30 to spend 10 minutes with a dismissive ortho… typical.

Anna was so stressed by the time we hit the highway, she was asleep. Bless her heart.

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