I recently found a family doctor who knows a thing or two about ASD, asthma, and allergies and the relationship between them. She's willing to talk to me about biomedical interventions, alternative vaccination schedules and antibiotics as treatment of last resort. She's working to help me connect the dots between several of Sky's health oddities as well as between what is going on with him and what is going on with his little sibs. These all sound like logical issues to address, but the fact is, it has been nearly impossible to put together any type of wholistic plan of treatment because there are actually very few primary care physicians who can offer more than the most superficial support.
So it's great, and I feel a little like a giddy teenager in love (only with a tad more middle-aged pessimism) whenever we go to see her. The only catch: her office is 40 minutes away. So now whenever we go to the doctor, it's more like a day trip than a simple errand. It wouldn't be a big deal if I could just remember this before we leave the house. Today, for example, it wasn't until we got to the doctor's office that I realized I had no snacks, no pacifier, and no short-sleeved change of clothes for the baby and no reasonable means of occupying Pink P. Sigh. To make matters worse, despite the long drive, neither Stow or Pink P fell asleep on the way there, so they were both super grumpy.
First stop, Pink P's new allergist. Now, I know you're going to tell me I should've anticipated this (though, you should probably know me better by now): The allergist wanted to do allergy testing. I know! Can you believe it? Crazy! Pink P had blood tests when she was two, but now that she's four, she's old enough for a skin test. So, she had to do one, even though I hadn't prepared her for the possibility with preemptive bribes and social stories. So, of course, she panicked, but before that, Stow had a diaper blowout and I discovered that all I had in the diaper bag was a onsies that is too small and a long-sleeved T-shirt. So while trying to deal with Stow slime, I also had to attempt various bribery techniques (because, despite the fact the nurse and the allergist were also in the room, they apparently had No.Idea.How.To.Calm.A.Child who is about to get a scratch test). In the end, Disney Jr. on my phone and promise of a new toy pony did the trick, but not before I received several disapproving looks from the nurse. (I was feeling like a pushover until the scratch test yielded large, extremely itchy welts on Pink P's back. Then I figured maybe she deserved a new pony.)
Next stop, our new pediatrician. Since we were going to be in town anyway, I'd decided to get Stow's pesky cough checked out. Turns out not only did he have severe bronchitis, he also had a raging (as in bubble producing) ear infection. You know it's bad when the doctor says, "I don't think we need to hospitalize him, but..." (Would it kill you to have a fever or be a little fussy, Stow? I know it'd help me take you to the doctor before you've managed to get yourself deathly ill! Sheesh.) Besides the cough and the ear infection, Stow also managed to produce a case of hives during the 10-minute drive from Pink P's allergist's office to the pediatrician's. But then it went away. And came back again. And went away again. And we still have no idea what caused it.
By the time we got home, we'd been gone five hours. It felt more like an eternity.