Rachel had an appointment with an ENT today. For a kid who is almost never sick she sure has seen a lot of doctors - our family physician, a pediatric orthopedic specialist, another pediatric orthopedic specialist at Shriner's and his still-in-training colleague, a pediatric gastrointologist, and now an ENT. Actually the ENT is the only doc that has actually suggested any sort of treatment - the rest were just diagnosing. Rachel has had "flat tympanograms" on several hearing tests over the past year, indicating that she has fluid behind her eardrums. This probably has a big impact on her speech articulation delays. So, we were referred to the ENT. He was a really nice guy and spent a lot of time chatting with Rae and making sure I understood everything. He recommended that Rachel have tubes put in both ears, which is what we had expected. She is scheduled for surgery (it will only take 15 minutes) on December 2nd.
I always feel a sort of dread about doctors' offices and my girls. There is always so much paperwork and so much of it is useless to them. On every form there is a section about Family History or Birth History or Early Development and I have to just leave it blank because I have no information about my daughters' early lives. At all. All I can say is they have no scars, so they must not have had surgery. And here's what illnesses they've had since I've known them. In Rachel's case, the sum of her known medical history is her hand diagnosis, her immunizations as to date, and the fact that she had a virus with a fever and vomiting once. That's all. In the doctor's office I get a glimpse of the depth of my daughters' loss. Of what they are missing. Of the huge blank spaces in their lives that will never be filled in. And how they will be reminded of that every time they fill out a medical form.