Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Which One Nurse Practitioner is Worth More Than 5 Doctors

I've always tried to avoid seeing the nurse practitioner, in favor of the M.D.'s at our local pediatric clinic. In order to get an appointment in the immediate future, I took the appointment with the nurse practitioner and hoped for the best.

Walking into the pediatrician's office was met with worried cries from Nolan.

"Don't want hurt me!"

These things break a mother's heart.

Most doctor's appointments are filled with some kind of pain for Nolan- either shots or the horrid ENT ear-cleaning appointments. I won't even mention the urology appointments. I reassured him that we were "just talking" today, and he warily consented to enter the exam room.

The nurse practitioner did weigh him (25 pounds, 12 ounces- go, Nexium!) and asked about the "staring spells" we were seeing. I described them to her, and told her we had a video. She hit the icon for Internet Explorer- turns out they do have internet access. Unfortunately, their internet doesn't work very often. After repeated "Server is Busy" messages, we gave up on that idea.

She asked about his hearing loss. I told her it was congenital and sensorineural. She asked if he had ever seen a neurologist.

"No, Never."

"Not ever?"

She was a bit incredulous that he hadn't seen one, with the GI symptoms and hearing loss of unexplained origin. She then asked if he had any other neurological symptoms.

"Just a little head-lag thing."

She watched me demonstrate. This is something that hasn't been to the top of the "priority list," because Nolan's motor development is normal and this is just one strange little quirk in the whole Nolan puzzle.

"Who found that? One of the doctors here?"

"No, I did. I showed the pediatrician and she wasn't too concerned."

Her eyes widened with surprise and the smile disappeared. This was something that definitely called for a neurology consult. There are now three neurological anomalies- the hearing loss, head lag, and staring episodes (which may or may not be absence seizures).

Nolan is on the fast track to get an appointment with a neurologist up at Buffalo Children's. She said they will probably do a sedated EEG, and she wants to get him in for a consult immediately. She will call back this afternoon or tomorrow morning with the appointment time.

One more specialist to add to the roster....


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Go N.P.!

Poor little guy... "don't want hurt me!"

Well, at least today was "only talking", which might reduce some fear for future appointments.

Praying for Nolan,


Vivie said...

Go Nolan!!! Nexium sure is a lifesaver.he catches up quicklyyyyy!!

About the internet explorer - uh , didn't you had your flipcam with you ? at some point you sure could show you from this?

xraevision said...

I have found that telling everyone I need swift attention for my son actually works: nurses, receptionists, therapists, social workers and doctors of all sorts. Sometimes you just have to get the ball rolling, and going straight to the top isn't always the fastest route.

Awesome that you found this nurse practitioner to expedite your appointment. I hope and pray that it's nothing too serious.

leah said...

My flipcam is set to erase all movies after I download them to the computer. I figured since it is 2010, the pediatrician's office should have internet access.

leah said...

Julie, I appreciate your prayers more than you know!

AimeeTheSuperMom said...

I hate that feeling I get when a doctor suggests seeing yet another doctor. It's that "oh no. Please don't let them find another thing wrong with my baby" feeling. And then at the same time, I'm just glad someone is finally listening to me and doing something for my kiddo. We've had a lot of that with Liam. We had a lot of it with CJ, too, but things have gotten much easier with him.

Liam and I are praying for you and Nolan. Keep us posted. And keep growing, Nolan!! You're a good four pounds heavier than Liam now.

Julia said...

Thank goodness! I hope all the pieces of the puzzle start to come together soon. And thanks for coming up yesterday -- we enjoyed having you!

Terena said...

excellent. Give that NP a gold star for taking you seriously.

Kimmy K said...

Hooray for the NP, though I may be a little biased towards nurses! I have often wondered why a child with NEURAL hearing loss didn't need a consult with a neurologist. Good luck with the appointment.