How does Mason do with all the doctor's visits and therapies?
He's cheerful! As a matter of fact I whine and complain more about it then he ever does. The hour drive each way is my least favorite part of appointments. Sitting in waiting rooms, dealing with medical professionals and having to explain his medical history yet again, having students or residents who think they know more than mom - it all drives me batty. Mason wheels through it all with a smile on his face.
He is wary of strangers, especially if they speak loudly. He isn't a fan of male doctors and nurses unless he knows them well. This wariness spills over into everyday life. If you see us out and about at church or elsewhere Mason will probably be silent and ignore your attempts to talk with him. He'll wheel away if you come too close while you are talking to him. It is quite a difference from life at home where he talks non-stop, asks questions, and tells people what to do. As I type this he's saying the following to daddy (I'm typing his exact words):
"You use that screwdriver fix mouse? Mommy, Daddy need that screwdriver fix his mouse. What this? Batteries? I going to charge this. Daddy we need this battery. I can't open it. We need scissors."
Seriously, the boy didn't say two words when he turned 2 years old in January and now he speaks paragraphs at a time. But have a stranger talk to him and he'll clam up. Once he gets comfortable he'll talk again but it takes a while and it helps if you talk quietly to him.
We try to do a few things to help smooth this medical appointments roller coaster.
- Music and audio books in the van. Mason likes music and enjoys listening to stories. He's easy in the van which is a total blessing.
- Things to look forward to. We talk about what we'll do, who we'll see, or where we're going. For example today was, "We're going to take pictures with your Curious George toy and get stickers." That would be the x-ray for the bone density scan. This Friday we'll talk about seeing Margaret, our nurse coordinator at Myelo Clinic, and walking to see the fish tank at the hospital.
- Food and drinks. We ALWAYS pack a cooler with snacks, a meal, and drinks. Even a quick appointment of 45 minutes has us gone from home nearly 3 hours with the driving. Our average appointment is 4.5 hours out of the house but the many cast change appointments in the last two months averaged 5.5 hours each. Mason and Mommy bring food so we're always able to snack during long waits or on the drive home.
- Paper, pen, and playdough. We bring along a small baggie of things to do but these three almost always are Mason's top choices.
- Kindle Fire with videos. We have a Kindle Fire just for Mason. He uses it each night during his hour long enema. He also brings it along to appointments. The only rule right now is he doesn't use it on the drive, it is used when we are actually at the appointment. He occasionally paints on a free app, but usually he just turns on a video to watch.