Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Excuse me while I whine just a little bit

I really have nothing to whine about. Some parents we know are at the hospital or the doctor's office All.The.Time. We are so lucky. Quinn is healthy, happy, and making great progress. But we are at the doctor's office more than most "regular" kids, and I am feeling a bit bummed about our last ordeal and some upcoming ones.

As readers of this blog know, Quinn has never, ever been a great sleeper. We have had some brief weeks of reprieve from frequent waking, and clonidine has certainly helped with falling asleep, but in general, Quinn's sleep is terrible.

So last night we took him to a sleep lab for an overnight evaluation. (Which, by the way, took approximately six months to get approved by insurance and scheduled...but that's another story.) The sleep lab people were as nice as they could be, but let's face it, taking your kid to the hospital always sucks. Quinn cried when they attached all the monitoring stuff to him (head electrodes covered by the weird little hat, plus monitors for his legs, heart, and breathing). I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn more about why his sleep is so disrupted, but sad that we have to do it in the first place.

We also need to schedule the following additional medical visits for him:
  • Dermatology appointment for the large birthmark on his face, which, because it is getting ever darker, concerns the pediatrician
  • Eye surgery to correct his strabismus
  • Probably a repeat of the ear tube surgery since apparently at least one tube has fallen out, and one ear is "gunky" again (we learned this at the audiologist visit a few weeks ago)
  • Possibly another visit to the MIND Institute if we decide to enroll Quinn in the minocycline trial
I'm sure we'll all feel better tomorrow after some rest. We'll just focus on holiday fun (that'll be the next post). Maybe another visit to Holiday Lane will cheer me up.

One of the houses on Holiday Lane this year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advocacy works again!

It's been awhile since I posted, but we just got great news this morning, and it's of the type I always try to publicize. About two weeks ago we received a flier noting that our son's preschool was being moved to a new cite as of January 3. This flier was not very informative about why or how this change would occur, and it did not give any specific information about the new site, other than the address. Then this week, we received a letter which provided slightly more information and invited us to attend a parent meeting at the new site so we could see it and ask questions.

The new site was woefully inadequate. I will not go into all the details here, but without significant building improvements - unlikely to be completed by January 3 - the site would not have provided a sound educational experience, at least for children in special education preschool.

Luckily, all of the parents in my son's class attended, and we asked many pointed questions. Our concern, distress, and frustration were clear. At the meeting, I asked if the move was a "done deal" and was told that it was. A fellow parent and I started preparing a formal letter to challenge this transition.

However, today we got a surprise from the administration - a letter stating that because of our input at the meeting, the children would be able to complete the school year in the current site! Great news for the current situation, and a reminder that advocacy works - at least sometimes.