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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mom of the Year and Other Happenings

Yesterday was a big day. Quinn had a follow-up appointment at his ENT, we had our evaluation for Early Intervention (EI) services, and I locked him in the car and had to call the Fire Department to come and rescue him. Yep. That happened.

Let's start with the ENT. Quinn passed the initial hearing screening that all newborns get in the hospital before being discharged, but because he received antibiotics in the NICU, which can sometimes cause hearing loss, I needed to schedule a follow-up test to verify that all was still well. Last week, I bundled him up and drove 45 minutes to Sugarland, where he was given the quick screen once more and told that he failed, which would make the longer test we were planning to take that day a big waste of time, as he would invariably fail that one too. They suspected fluid build-up and referred me to a different ENT closer to home (though not after charging me a $50 copay for my 2-minute visit). So yesterday we went for our follow-up and waited 45 minutes before being seen by a doctor, who tried to look in his teeny-tiny ear canals, told us she couldn't see anything and asked that we come back in a month (and, of course, charged us $50 for her time, even though it was mine that was so carelessly wasted). And go figure, Quinn was ready to eat right when we left. I figured we would be home in 15 minutes, so I strapped him back in his car seat and trudged to the car, $100 poorer and without any real information about my now-screaming guy's hearing except to learn that we would need to wait it out.

By the time I got to the car, I gave up on trying to wait to feed him and broke out the bottle while standing next to the car in the garage. The owner of the car parked next to mine started to back out, nearly running me over (I don't think she saw me), so I closed Quinn's door to get out of her way, leaving my purse, keys, and Quinn inside.

And now the doors were locked. Shit.

At this point I frantically wave down the woman backing out next to me and beg to borrow her phone. She was reluctant at first, and who can blame her? She was a young mother in a dark parking garage being flagged down by a strange, crazy woman banging on her window and likely making little to no sense, but she eventually agreed to help. I honestly wasn't sure who to call first. I tried a locksmith, who said "we don't do that, call 911" and hung up. Thanks, jackass. I followed his advice anyway and the Fire Department arrived within minutes. It took a while to get my door open and they were clearly irritated by the whole situation, but saved the day nonetheless. I'm just so glad I didn't pull such a stunt in July, as I would have almost immediately broken a window to rescue the little dude from brutal Texas heat. While he survived angry but unscathed, I was a stressed and shaken mess and spent most of the afternoon ensuring that he wasn't suffering from a late-onset heat stroke. Before you assume that a baby can't get heatstroke in February, kindly remember that this is Houston and it was 80 degrees yesterday.

Later that day, our local Early Childhood Intervention representative came to evaluate Quinn and determine which therapies he would be receiving over the next year. After a lengthy examination (and an Occupational Therapist who arrived at our house over an hour late with insincere apologies), we learned that Quinn is meeting all his milestones and doesn't need much in the way of services right now: he'll receive Occupational Therapy twice a month and basic developmental services once a month. As he gets older, we'll reexamine his development and determine if he needs more or less therapy. Kids with Ds suffer from low muscle tone, which is the main reason that they lag behind on gross motor skills, but we learned Quinn's tone is actually pretty good. On a scale of 1-10, she gave him a 6, whereas most kids with Ds probably fall somewhere in the 3-4 range. So while it's still not as high as typically-developing children (who would be at an 8 or 9), he's at a pretty decent starting place. Now I just need to find Nurse Kathy and let her know that her assessment of Quinn's excessive "floppiness" as she termed it, like everything else she said, was inaccurate. I probably shouldn't be so excited to prove her wrong, but I get quite a thrill out of calling attention to her stupidity.

Looking back on the busy and emotionally-exhausting day, I'm taking stock in the fact that my little man's development is where it should be and trying to remember that his failed hearing test doesn't mean much at this point. As long as we stay on top of things, any hearing issues he faces in the coming months are easily treated with either time or tubes in his ears. The only thing I should be worried about right now is my own sleep-deprived state, which may or may not have been responsible for locking my infant son in a hot car for 45 minutes. Who knows what other careless things I'm capable of doing before Quinn learns to sleep through the night?