Friday, February 25, 2011

And Then the Angels Sang

Yesterday we took Finn to the pediatrician finally to discuss the tic behavior he has been displaying the last few months. We waited first to get some video footage to show the doctor (hopefully you understand that I'd prefer not to upload it here), and then to find a time where M. and I could both be home for the appointment - it's been a busy time for us work-wise lately!

I actually considered cancelling the appointment, because Finn has not been doing the tic (ticking? I'm not sure what verb to use here) very much at all lately. But we went anyway, and I am really glad we did. It ended up being a very productive appointment.

When Finn's name was called to go back to an exam room, I actually left him with M. and went back by myself with our laptop, so that I could talk to the doctor first and show her the videos. We told Finn that he was at the doctor's office for a check up - I don't want to make a big deal about the tics in front of Finn, or to make him feel like there is something "wrong" with him - and I really didn't like the idea of talking about Finn in detail while he was sitting right there. So I went alone, and it really was for the best, though unfortunately it meant that M. didn't get to hear the discussion with the doctor.

I described the behaviors to her to refresh her memory (we had discussed it briefly once before during an appointment for Lucy), and she asked me a few questions: Is there a history of Tourette's Syndrome in the family? (not that I'm aware of, but some minor repetitive motion/muscle twitching in a couple of people) Is Finn anxious, depressed, sad? (sometimes anxious/hard on himself, but happy) Does he sleep well? (doesn't nap anymore AT ALL, but does sleep well at night) Etc.

Then I showed her two videos, and she found them very helpful and interesting. She agreed that the videos showed a motor tic - so we are not dealing with seizures, thank goodness. And she also said that the annoying noise he made for a while back in December was a vocal tic. The rest of the conversation was as I expected, given the reading I had done on this kind of thing already. She wanted to test his blood for Strep antibodies, because Strep infection can cause/exacerbate tics and other behaviors (called PANDAS, an acronym that is too long to define). I suspect that his test will be negative, though. And then she told me that she would refer us to a neurologist if this got to the point where treatment is needed (for the tics, not Strep - that is just treated by antibiotics). Typically treatment is only used in cases where tics interfere with a child's/person's life, because the medication used is similar/the same as how they treat ADHD - it contains a sedative. Not ideal. But a neurologist would be the one to see to find out all our options.

I'm hoping we never get to that point. Right now, these tics come and go - this, too, is very typical. And so far, they haven't interfered in Finn's life much at all. I'm not even sure the other kids at daycare ever noticed the two he's had so far, so beyond creating two worried/anxious parents, the effect on Finn's life has been negligible. The way forward will most likely simply be - nothing. We will do nothing. But I am so, so glad that we brought this to the doctor. She made several notes in his chart, so our concerns have been documented, should it ever become important in the future. And though I know this is selfish and not the point AT ALL, I feel validated and empowered as a parent, because I had REASONABLE concerns (rather than the "panic over nothing" I often feel I have when parenting and illness are combined) and I handled them sensitively and well with the doctor. Better yet, as far as Finn is aware, he is a perfectly healthy child (which he IS) who was a total rock star when his blood was drawn. Which he proudly described to his friends when he got back to school after the appointment.

And then, after an intense and exhausting-though-relatively-brief doctor's appointment, and the resulting attempt to cram 8+ hours of work into a 6 hour work day, my reward came:

It's so shiny! And clean! And shiny!

Look at all the space we have!

This is almost all the food that was cramming our old refrigerator (we did throw out a few questionable items rather than subject them to further sitting-and-rotting in the new fridge), and there is much, much room for more. Like, whole empty shelves room for more! I'm in love.


  1. Super glad you got him checked out!

    I didn't know until we bought our new fridge that they now make stainless steel wipes for getting fingerprints off. I use them in between cleaner visits.

  2. We're all so happy to hear that your doctor's visit went well. Big hugs to everyone. -- Finn's NC Fan Club
    P.S. Enjoy you're beeeatiful fridge!!