9 years old and Growing Stronger Everyday

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Tomorrow is Gavin Alexander’s 9th birthday. I can’t believe that 9 years have gone by already. Likewise, I can’t believe all that we have survived and endured over the past 9 years. Wow.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read about Thursday’s 9 year well-child check-up. If you don’t, hold on tight because it was a bumpy ride!

First things first, the stats:

Height: 54.3in/4ft 5.3in (75%)
Weight: 63lb 2oz (51%)
BP: 80/62
Vision: 20/25

My darling bottomless pit has only gained 2oz in the past few months. Dr. H doesn’t seem worried. In fact, he said he’s very happy with Gavin’s height and weight because he’s consistantly gaining and growing. I guess, in the end, that’s all that truly matters. Although between you and me, I wouldn’t mind if some weight stuck to him because it’s getting next to impossible to find pants that are both long enough and slim enough to fit him. (lol)

He hasn’t really grown any either. I mean he’s grown like 0.3in but that doesn’t seem like much. As long as Dr. H is happy though, I’m good.

Gavin had taken his “Funfolio” with him to the appointment to help keep him distracted. (That think is amazing!) So while Rob and I talked to Dr. H, Gavin sat and drew pictures and played. We discussed the fact that Gavin was due for a chickenpox booster. Dr. H said that we could do a blood test to see if the booster was necessary but that would mean the possibility of having to bring Gavin back in at another time for the booster shot anyway. We opted out of that. Then we discussed the fact that Gavin has never had bloodwork. No liver panel. Or kidney functions. Or CBC. Or even a lead level. While none of us relished the fact that the bloodwork was obviously necessary, we did agree that it had to be done. Dr. H even schmoozed the Lab Ladies into sending a Lab Tech up to do the bloodwork while we had him held down for the booster shot. Apparently because of Gavin’s PICA we need to do lead levels on him more frequently than usual to make sure that he isn’t slowly poisoning himself. (Yippee.) After we talked and caught Dr. H up (this was his first time seeing Gavin for a well-child appointment), he did his exam. Everything was perfect.

Then we discussed the fact that Gavin has dextracardia. Dr. H seemed a little…excited by the fact that Gavin has dextrocardia. (lol) He said that he had learned about it in medical school but had never actually seen a case before so he wanted to do some research and get back to me about it. He said depending on what he learns in his research he may want to schedule some tests to see the extent of the dextrocardia’s effect on Gavin. Dextrocardia is incredibly rare. The rarest form is when the heart is flipped and lies on the right side of the chest and nothing else is effected. There are other forms where all the organs in the body are flipped and on the opposite side, which is the most common form of dextrocardia. There can also be lung and other issues tied to the dextrocardia. So we are waiting to hear back from Dr. H about what he would like us to do on that.

After the exam and all of the grown-up talk, Dr. H left to see another patient while the nurses gathered and the Lab Tech made her way up to our room. The point of no return had arrived.

Dr. H had wanted to be in the room to help us during the shot and bloodwork but once Gavin figured out what was about to go down, well the anxiety was too much for him so we opted to get started without him. It took 2 nurses, 1 Lab Tech, Rob and myself to hold Gavin down for his booster shot. We opted to lay him on the exam table so that we could just transition from the shot to the bloodwork. When Rob picked Gavin up to lay him on the table Gavin flung his legs out trying to hook his feet under the exam table and a chair to keep us from laying him down. Let me tell you, he may look little but my boy is a scrapper! He fought hard! Luckily I had the presence of mind to tell Rob to leave Gavin’s shoes off otherwise things would have been pretty painful on my end. Dr. H’s nurse that always treats Emmett John, Christine, was the one giving the booster. God bless her. I’ve never seen anyone give a shot so quick in my life!

Not only is Gavin strong but he has a set of lungs on him! He screamed. He begged. He pleaded. It was horrible and heart-breaking for me as his mother (and Rob as his father) to hear him. He was desperate and begging us to stop it and “don’t let them do this to me”. At one point I could do little else besides hide in the corner and shake. Well, during all of the hullabaloo Dr. H was in the neighboring exam room and he began to BEAT on the wall. He hit it so hard you could see the wall shaking! It was crazy. Just after we got the booster in, while Gavin was catching his breath and before he had figured out the Lab Tech’s role Dr. H came rushing into the room. He walked over to Gavin’s side and began helped to hold him still. All the while telling Gavin, “It’s okay buddy. I’m here. It’s almost over but we have to do it.” It was so nice to see how much he cared about my special little boy. Well, Gavin wasn’t having any of it. He looked Dr. H in the eye and screamed as loudly as he could, “I.Don’t.Like.You.Anymore!” Dr. H just took it in stride and told Gavin, “I know you don’t but it has to be done buddy. I’m sorry.” In the end, the Lab Tech took 6 vials of blood so that they could run all of the necessary tests. Gavin was hysterical during the whole thing. The Tech was awesome. Gavin has never had bloodwork done before, unless you count the bloodwork he had done 9 years ago in the hospital. I’m really curious what it will show.

Overall, the day was one of our more stressful with Gavin. At least more stressful and unrelated to court or Gavin’s meltdowns for anger-based-reasons. I’m so glad to have it over and done with though. On the bright side, Gavin doesn’t have to get any more shots – booster or otherwise – until he’s like 15 years old. Woo who! In the end, he played the drama card for a little while after the appointment but he made a full recovery by Friday. Plus, as a bonus for…surviving…he got to spend the night at Grandma W’s house! Then Grandpa W asked if he could spend Friday night there as well. Woo who! So Gavin got a cool reward for having survived the day. And Mommy and Daddy got some time to recover. (lol)