Owen walks the line between “a normal kid who gets sick a lot” and “a kid who gets sick so often there may be a larger underlying cause that we haven’t yet unearthed”. When our pediatrician suggested we see a pulmonologist (lung specialist) after Owen’s 3rd bout of pneumonia, I was worried. Well, I was both worried about them finding something gravely wrong, and relieved, because I have been thinking about this for at least the last few months, and a trip to the specialist would finally put my mind at rest.
A little Googling about pulmonologists and asthma and pneumonia and recurrent respiratory infections had me tossing all kinds of scary words around my head. Cystic fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, etc. I banned Benjamin from Googling entirely because I knew he would be overwhelmed by what he read. But my pediatrician put my mind at ease when he assured me that Owen didn’t fit the picture of a child with any of these illnesses. The kid is thriving. He’s growing in the 75th %ile, he’s running and jumping and climbing. He’s talking and laughing and stacking blocks. He has a wicked sense of humor and a unique personality. He is, in a word, perfect. You know, except for the whole “getting sick a lot” stuff.
So by the time this appointment rolled around, I wasn’t nervous at all.
Until we pulled into the parking lot.
And there we were, at Children’s Hospital. Healthy, happy, normal kids don’t find themselves at Children’s Hospital on a random Friday. Do they?
Benjamin is the worrywart of the two of us, so when we’re in a scary situation, I usually have to suck it up and play totally cool so that he doesn’t fall apart. Relationships are all about balance, right? Sometimes he’s the rock, and sometimes I am. We seem to take turns. When he’s misty-eyed, I am all business. And so it was this morning.
To be honest, though, the appointment was… nothing. Owen got weighed and had his blood pressure and oxygen levels taken. When we met with the doctor, she asked us a million questions, starting with Owen’s birth. It was an incredibly comprehensive visit. We talked about everything; even those things I always say, “This probably isn’t related, but…” about. She listened to Owen’s breathing and looked carefully at his 4 previous chest x-rays. His lungs sound great today!
He’s so active! And so smart!
She taught me a lot about asthma. And kids with asthma. And how to treat asthma. And respiratory infections. And what we can do to prevent them and support Owen’s immune system through them. We decided on a new course of treatment that will address his asthma. In three months we’ll see her again to check-in. Hopefully at that point Owen will not have had pneumonia again and we can do a clean chest x-ray.
Everything that she said resonated 100% with what our pedi had said to me in the past, which really made me feel like Owen is in incredible hands with his current doctor. The pulmonologist even went out of her way to say that our doctor has done everything right and has treated Owen exactly as she would have. That meant a lot to me, because since I am not the expert in this case, I’m always questioning if the path we’re taking is the best one.
I won’t go into the details of Owen’s health and treatment since that is between us and his doctors, but I will say that the specialist felt confident there was no need to go into further immune testing at this point. She puts Owen firmly in the “normal kid who gets sick a lot” camp. That is great news!
Now I believe it. No more Googling. No more worrying.