This morning the twins had their 6-year-old check-up. Edward has lost several pounds in the last year, and he was none too plump to begin with. Elizabeth has gained only half a pound in the last year. Both of them seem healthy, but these new measurements mean their height and weight percentiles have drifted apart to a point that caused the doctor to hem and haw throughout the appointment, wondering if/what he should do. Because on one hand: both children look/seem fine. But on the other hand: unexplained weight loss is one of red-light-alert markers of Issues. But back to the first hand: it can also be a normal part of growth. But back to the other hand: Edward is a little pale and has under-eye circles, and it's hard to know if that's He Gets It From His Mother, or if it's More Markers. And both of them are a little PICKY with the eating, so perhaps a nutritional thing? Hem, hem, haw, haw.
The pediatrician finally came down on the side of "I'm sure they're both fine, but..." and he sent Edward for blood work. (Elizabeth did gain SOME weight, and her percentiles didn't gap as much further as Edward's did, and she doesn't have under-eye circles, so for now he's not sending her.)
Have you...accompanied a child for a blood-draw? Oh dear mercy. I should have known from the expression on the technician's face, which was the look of someone hoping the kidney stone at least passes quickly if it can't pass painlessly. I'd mistaken it for "not having a good day," but no, it was the face of experience.
In case you have a similar event in your future, Edward would like you to know that it hurts more than a mosquito bite and it was very scary and it went on much longer than he expected. I too was surprised how long it went on, and how many adults (three) it took to keep still even a child who is TRYING to hold still. I think if I had to do it again, I'd prepare the child by saying things like "It will seem like it's going to go on FOREVER, but it will not, and the more you can hold still, the faster it will go and the less it will hurt; it may seem very scary and weird, and it IS scary and weird, but it's also fine and it's what's supposed to happen, and I will be right there with you, and I have had this done too and it was weird but fine." (I would also put in more solid information about what exactly would happen, but I'm sparing those of you who would rather not think about it.)
Afterward, I made it worse by being too shaken to remember I'd said BEFORE the appointment that on our way out AFTER the appointment we could get a package of Doritos from the vending machine to eat with lunch. We were all the way home, and Edward almost halfway back to normal, when he realized. So instead we had lunch at Wendy's, and something is going wrong with the Wendy's near us so the order was screwed up in three different ways, one of which was the "Assembling everything else right away even though there's a 5-minute wait on one item, which means everything else gets cold/melted" error, and that added to my frazzled/unsettled feeling.
ALSO, Elizabeth got to skip the blood draw but she got referred to an ENT for her enlarged tonsils, which do look alarming. I'd never noticed them until the dentist mentioned them, and even I could tell something wasn't right: they take up nearly her whole throat. So I had to call the specialist and make an appointment, and that meant having to work through a suspicious receptionist who seemed to think I might be trying to SNEAK IN a visit to an ENT. And she kept asking me questions like "Do you have our business card?" which, why/how would I have their business card? And then she said I needed to call my insurance company to get a referral, and I said I had a referral, and she said no the other kind of referral, and also I would need to call my insurance company, and I said okay and thank you very much and wished an oxygen mask would drop out of my phone at times like this.
I called the insurance company and had to dial THREE TIMES before I got into the system, because I kept messing up (OMG SO MANY "For ___, press 8" menus, with the options spoken SO SLOWLY and none of them what I needed), and then I finally got through to someone, and she was nice as toast, I don't think I've ever spoken to a nicer insurance person. But still. I didn't have the address of the ENT doctor I'd made the appointment with, and after she very nicely went to see if she could look it up, I realized I DID have at least a PARTIAL address (street and city) that would have been helpful. And then I didn't have the ENT doctor's first name, and didn't know how to spell his last name, and ack. And then she confirmed that it was fine to see him, and she was wrapping up the call when I said, "Wait, and do I need some sort of...other referral?," and OH YES INDEED I DO. And to get this referral, I had to CALL BACK the pediatrician and ask for it. Meanwhile, of course I was thinking I DID have "a referral from my pediatrician," since I had a piece of paper that said across the top "Thistletown Pediatrics Referral". Could this perhaps be made a little less confusing SOMEHOW?
Perhaps because of being rather TENDER from this morning's events, I started crying IMMEDIATELY after clicking through a link Paul sent me to Dear Photograph. People line up a photo against the real life background. I don't know why that's so very, very touching, but it just IS. I suppose it's in the category of "Time: Oh How It Flees." I don't think the "Dear Photograph" format for the captions works (wait, WHO is writing WHAT to WHOM?), but the photos themselves are great.