Monday, February 13, 2012

Another small vindication

Today was Music Man's visit to the pediatrician for his annual physical. We suspected he was in good health, but it's important to be sure that things aren't missed. Going to the doctor is a bit of a challenge with Music Man. We have found ways to make it work (well, at least make it more tolerable), but it's still something that I'm glad we only have to cope with not much more than annually.

First of all, this time I started at a disadvantage. My social story for going to the doctor has disappeared. I knew when I upgraded "Stories2Learn" on my phone that there was a chance of that happening, but I made sure to back it up so that I could have it, at least on the computer if not in the phone. But I can't find it anywhere. So, for the first time in probably 4 doctor's visits, I didn't have that to help prepare him. I should say that I need to create a new social story anyway -- that one is out of date. Our pediatrician has changed offices since I made it and several pages of the story are now literally inaccurate.

But he knew where we were going when we got off the highway. He started saying her name. I told him we were going to the doctor's office, so between the multitude of cues, he recognized our destination. We parked the car, walked across the parking lot and then walked into the building. Music Man made it very clear he did NOT want a ride on the elevator, so we took the stairs. We found the office, checked in and sat down to wait in the waiting room.

We get to know waiting rooms quite well. You see, Music Man doesn't like going to the doctor. But he doesn't mind the waiting rooms. He finds ways to keep himself occupied. So, we tell the staff to not bring us back to the exam rooms until we know we can be in and out quickly. We would rather wait for her in the waiting room than in the exam room. And they learned this as we did, so they are very willing to give Music Man that option. We even did some of the assessments in the waiting room. The nurse listened to his heart, checked his temperature and even did a vision test while we were waiting. The vision test led to a question of whether we need to see an ophthalmologist (he was very uncooperative and we aren't sure if he was just being stubborn or if he couldn't see the chart from 10 feet).

The consequence of waiting for the doctor in the waiting room rather than in the exam room is that I tend to get frustrated. Our appointment was for 9:30, for which we arrived approximately 5 minutes early. We didn't leave the waiting room until about 11:15. We saw many patients come and go while we continued to wait. Music Man was fine. I was getting antsy, frustrated, and anxious.

But when we did go in, as was promised the doctor was in the exam room waiting for us. Music Man went in with minimal complaints (with his iPhone in hand) and we were able to conduct the exam. He didn't like it when she tried to check his eyes or ears, but otherwise was a reasonably good patient, as long as we didn't try to take the phone away. He even allowed me to have a short conversation with her without insisting we leave. THIS is new. She was so pleased to see the progress that he has made since she saw him in September when we were there for his immunizations.

So, everyone who sees our Music Man sees the progress!!!!! It's so nice to know that I'm not the only one noticing the positive changes that are happening and it points out to me just how far he has come. Whatever piece was missing seems to have found its way into that oh-so-smart brain of his. It feels so nice to be vindicated in this way. And it's the type of thing that I truly hope will continue.

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