This morning we spent some more quality time at the doctor's office. Over the past 5 months, Jellybean has had way more than his fair share of doctor's visits - visits to our pediatrician, to a specialist in Iowa City for his sickle cell, visits to another specialist in Des Moines, visits for immunizations, a visit to the eye doctor, visits for additional testing in Des Moines, and today a visit with the pediatric cardiologist. He's had lots of blood tests, additional immunizations, ultrasounds, chest X-Rays, an EKG, and a transcranial doppler (not to mention other routine tests for parasites and such when he first got home). No kid likes going to the doctor, but Jellybean has additional reason to be nervous when we announce another visit to the clinic.
But the thing is, he's FINE. Yes, he has sickle cell....and because he is almost 6 years old, the doctors have lots of tests they want to run. Because he wasn't diagnosed until he was 5, the doctors have no base-line history for him, which means they have to get everything now. He has never been sick since coming home (knock on wood). He is healthy. He is athletic. He is active. He gets plenty of sleep, drinks plenty water, and he eats well. He FEELS FINE. All of which makes it difficult to explain to him that he needs to go to the doctor AGAIN. How do you explain to a 5 year-old (who feels fine) that he needs to go to the doctor, but his little brother doesn't have to go? I can't just say "the doctor will help you feel better".
We have done our best to explain things to him and to help him understand that all of these doctor visits will help him STAY healthy. He has done so great with all of these visits (even though he freaks out when he sees a needle). And today I feel like we're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Today is the first time we've left the doctor's office without having to schedule another appointment. Woo Hoo! I *think* we are done with all of the baseline testing that needs to be done and we are now in the "maintenance and prevention" phase. It feels good to have a schedule free of doctor visits (for now).