Thursday, September 25, 2008
Can of Worms
Sadie goes to Headstart, which is basically Preschool for Poor People. That's just what they should call it. That should be on the sign that hangs on the building. :) Anyways, I love Headstart - Dylan was in it for two years, and it is a fantastic program. (By the way, Barack Obama wants to triple funding for Headstart, which would enable so many more kids to have access to free preschool. I'm a fan of that idea.) They not only begin to teach letters, numbers, etc., but they also teach about feelings, and sharing, and using words instead of fists. Stuff like that. The teacher meets with each parent, like, three times a year, and they formulate goals especially for that kid. Then the teacher specifically carries out plans to reach these goals, keeping meticulous track of what she has done to implement these goals and the results. They also give the kids at least one meal per day (Sadie goes in the morning, and she has both breakfast and lunch there, for free), check their heads for lice once a week, check their hearing, check their teeth, check their vision, and have an on-site psychologist to make sure the kids are doing alright. It's awesome. I couldn't be more pleased with it, and I'm so grateful that Sadie got in.
Anyways, because it's a governmental program, there are all kinds of requirements, and one of them is to get your child a well-child check at his doctor's office and a well-teeth check at his dentist's office. You have to take forms to each of these people, and they fill them out, and then you return them to the Headstart center. If you don't get these done within 45 days of the first day of school, your child is mercilessly kicked out of Headstart. Most people whose kids are in Headstart are on Medicaid, but we are in that weird bracket between Headstart monetary requirements and Medicaid monetary requirements, so Headstart is really nice and pays for these exams.
So we went to the well-child check last week, and I was absolutely confident that there would be nothing wrong, because Sadie has been sick maybe once in her entire life. With the flu. And that's it. She is sooo healthy.
Well... it didn't go so well. Apparently there was protein in her pee (?), so the doctor told me I had to get another pee sample, this time from her first pee in the morning. I obviously had to collect both pee samples, meaning that Sadie peed all over my hand while I was trying to catch some in cups. Luckily, the second pee sample showed no protein, so we were good. Phew.
Well, then her blood sample showed that she was anemic (we went through this with Dylan). So I had to take her to the hospital to get two huge vials of blood taken from the inside of her elbow to see if she truly was anemic. There were a few days between the well-child visit and the blood draw, so I made sure she took her vitamins, just to help with the whole iron-in-the-blood factor. She was very, very upset about getting her blood drawn, obviously, but they made her feel better when they gave her a sucker and then a teddy bear which was, ironically, a blood-red color. Weird. And a bit macabre. And funny. Well, the vitamins did their job. Turns out she's not anemic after all. So we were good with that. Phew.
Well, then the doctor looked at her eyes with one of those little light pointer things, and he said that one of her eyes was moving independently of the other, like a weird lazy-eye thing. He asked me if I had ever seen her eyes cross, and I can honestly say, no. So he's all, "Well, I can't sign off on this well-child form until you take Sadie to an opthomologist and get her eyes checked." Sheesh. Luckily, Headstart offered to pay for the opthomologist, and I'm so grateful, because I was trying to figure out how I was going to pay for it, since we have no vision in our insurance.
So her appointment is next week, and I am justifiably nervous. What if she has some kind of weird lazy eye problem? What if she has to wear glasses? I'm getting an anxiety attack just thinking about it. My sister, Beads, and I have this conversation all the time. Invariably, in grade school, Glasses = Nerd. The end. Yet I can't expect a three-year old to wear contact lenses. And the thought of her getting made fun of all during grade school is enough to make me want to throw up. And yet, I wonder if being the Glasses Girl, and therefore, a nerd, all throughout grade school, made me into the person who I am now. And I like that person okay. I think it probably made me more compassionate and kind. So maybe it's a good thing? I just don't want to see my daughter suffer. Yet she will have to suffer, in different ways, all through her life, because that's just the way life is. I can't shelter her from suffering. So I don't know. I know I'm probably all worried for nothing - chances are, the opthomologist won't find any problems. But I still think about it a lot.
So I'm a little bitter that a teeny, tiny well-child exam turned up all sorts of extra visits and tests and pains in the butt. A huge can of worms.