Friday, October 10, 2008

Count Your Blessings!

Yesterday I was reminded of just how lucky our family is. How blessed we are to have a healthy family and how good God is to us!

Before Evan was born, we decided to finally take Nathan to a dermatologist to see what they would say about his skin. He has bumps on his face, arms and legs that looks like little pimples. When it started, I thought it was just baby acne and didn't think much of it. When it didn't ever go away, we asked the peditrian about it. He said it is keratosis pilaris. It's a blockage of the hair folicals by a buildup of keratin. Supposed to be extremely common, hereditary, and not curable. I have it on my arms and my Dad has it on his arms too. It doesn't seem to bother Nathan at all, it is just very noticable and his cheeks get really red when he runs and plays a lot. Mostly I am concerned that he will be made fun of at school and would like for him to have smooth, nice skin - at least on his face.

So James found a dermatologist to try at the Children's hospital. We made the appointment so long ago (I can't even remember - something like February), but they were so busy we couldn't get in until October. Our date finally came and we went yesterday. It turned out to be a very frustrating adventure. First we found out we would not be seeing a doctor but a nurse practioner. Not a problem but a little annoying since we waited so long to be seen. It was as 1:15 - the middle of my pump time! - so I pumped on the way. We brought Evan so she could look at his skin too and he was having a truly aweful day of teething. No real naps and super fussy, he fell asleep on the way only to wake up as soon as we arrived. James has a big deadline on the 15th, so he really needed to be at the office and was a little stressed.

And it was at the children's hospital. From the minute we walked in the door we saw family after family coming in with children in wheel chairs, with severe problems, very ill. At one point in waiting I even saw a young child wheeled through with so many tubes that you almost couldn't see the child. Parents everywhere looked concerned but almost like this was just another trip to the doctor. I knew we were glimpsing a world we knew nothing about. Praise God we had never experienced the true pain and concern these parents did. Our sweet boys could run and play. They could talk and sit up straight. They were carefree and healthy. I have so often been reminded since Nathan and Evan were born just how lucky we are to have 2 healthy boys. It's a miracle from God. A true blessing. Sitting there waiting our turn I just thanked God over and over for our health.

With all that surrounding us, the wait was long and unpleasant. Our paperwork from the doctor stressed the need to be on time. Our appointment was for 1:30 but we were to be there no later than 1:15 or our appointment would be cancelled. We did not get seen until after 2 pm. "The doctor is running a little late." After about 15 minutes of waiting, Evan became a fussy fountain of spitup all over James. And I do mean all over. Not just a small spit up either - a true gusher. I, of couse, in my ability to pack everything and the kitchen sink in a single diaper bag, forgot all the burp rags except the ONE in the car carrier. I have spare clothes, extra bibs, snacks, bandaides, drinks, milk, breast pump and other parts but no burp rags! Ugh!!

In the midst of it all, Nathan was an angel. He enjoyed playing with a big activity box in our waiting area (with magnetized mazes and a cool one that was round, spun and had a little chip that moved through a maze. He also played with Daddy, wandering up and down our hallway, "You can't step on that red circle. Whatever you do, don't step on the purple circle" etc. At one point a very pretty lady came in with her son and daughter and sat right by the activity box. Nathan was spinning the round maze around and around - not to really do the actual maze, but to spin it. The two children played on other sides of the box and everyone eyed eachother. I was doing my usual mother hover stance by Nathan so finally I told Nathan not to stare but say hello. That broke the ice a little. Soon the other little boy (maybe 4 or 5 yrs old) came over to the spinning side and started to spin it with Nathan.

Nathan was such a riot. I was hopeful he would share okay. Instead he started cheering the boy on. Jumping up and down as the other boy spun the round maze over and over. Nathan started saying over and over "That's it! That's how you do it! Spin it again, spin it again!" It was really fun to watch. The little girl was shy but played and looked at me a lot. At one point the mom asked how old Nathan was and I told her 3. She just smiled and shook her head "crystal clear! crystal clear" she kept saying of Nathan's speech. I was very proud. Then her daughter stepped closer to me and said something I wasn't entirely sure of but really sounded like "No one got shot". She looked up at me with big brown eyes. Then she said "My daddy got shot." Her face would have broken your heart and mine sunk. "I'm so sorry" I said, "is he okay?" She rubbed her eye and just looked at me while she shook her head no. Before I could really respond they were called for their appointment.

It left me with even more to think about.

When we finally saw the nurse, our 10 minute visit did not seem much worth the wait. The news was nothing we had not heard already and not encouraging at all. According to her it is keratosis pilaris, extremely common, there is nothing we can do and it won't go away. Evan will probably get it too.

To say the least. I was disappointed. I had hoped for encouragement, options, ideas. We left with a prescription for a lotion that only helps some people and can cause the skin to burn. Gee...thanks...we'll think about it.

So I am back to the drawing board, scouring the internet and searching for answers. Yes, I am the woman who won't take no for an answer.

But in the mean time, I will try to take from this doctor's visit what I can. To appreciate what we have, never take our health for granted and praise God that our "problems" pale so much in comparison to those around us.

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