Consider this an intermission. A moment where I have no wisdom to share, no knowledge or research I’m compelled to report, and no breaking news I feel I have to detail. This is a day where those words don’t come easily for me and thus I’ll give you a brief intermission. The reason? I’ve heard terrible news today about children going missing, children who have been hurt and children who have been killed. It’s left me a bit breathless. I’ve found myself unable to finish 5 posts that I’ve started. This past weekend I flew out to Minnesota for a 24 hour visit to support a dear friend who just lost her father. It’s Wednesday now and I’m still a bit consumed by it. And more, I’ve been sick for the last 7 days, feeling fairly miserable. As I wring myself out and attempt to stand back up after a long week for me personally, I acknowledge this: often we lack control of all that we’d like. Everything from our own health, our family’s health, the safety and vulnerability of our friends and loved ones, and even our own future.
Yet the saving grace can be that our lives can feel entirely whole in a single moment. A single moment of simplicity amidst a slanted sun. The bare bones moments away from technology and away from a clock– those moment surrounded by those we love. Those moments that define and then refine who and what we cherish most. Read full post »
Ever wonder how the CDC makes the vaccine schedule? For example, how they decide when to start a dosing series (at birth versus a year of age versus age 11) or why pediatricians and other clinicians recommend the number of shots that we do?
Ever want to let them know your thoughts about how the schedule feels to you and what values you feel should contribute to changes?
This morning as I was getting ready for the day, my 2 1/2 year old was watching Sesame Street. In the show, the segments change every few minutes or so and seem to weave old-school 1970′s content (familiar to me) with newly created vignettes that have a modern feel and construction. I like it nearly as much as the boys. One of the stories this morning was about tooth fairies. An animated group of fairies were detailing how they got to the tooth under a child’s pillow (lifting up the child) to replace it with a golden coin. Mind you, I was coming and going from the room and didn’t view the whole story. However at one point, the fairies accidentally turn on the child’s TV and worry it might wake the child, ultimately uncovering their work and secret magic.
A joint statement published in 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians Pediatric Committee, and Emergency Nurses Association Pediatric Committee spelled out the need for reform in emergency care when it comes to caring for children.
The bottom line is this: if your child has an emergency and you have the luxury of time and choice of where to go, go to an ER at a Children’s Hospital or a pediatrician-staffed emergency room. Collect $200 and pass go. Learn from my mistakes.
Driving the joint statement was concern from both pediatricians and ER physicians about inconsistent care for children in Emergency Departments (EDs) that do not normally specialize in the care of children. The statement outlines strategies to prepare EDs around the country to care for children based on some sobering statistics… Read full post »
Being a parent is entirely overwhelming. Yes I know, we hold it together about 99.9% of the time, but there are these little windows where our fractures are evident. Or where our Mama/Papa-Achilles is wide open, taught and stretched. Or the beats of time where we get to let our knees buckle beneath the weight of our world. Where we give into the love we feel, the desperation of certain moments, the lack of control over things, and the slipping moments that occur each and every day as our children grow–where we feel we lose parts of them, and then simultaneously gain bits and pieces of who they become.
A pediatric partner of mine once told me that she felt the toddler and preschool years were the most intimate time of parenthood. I think about it all the time. It actually haunts me on some level, as if I’ll lose this proximity with my boys as time marches forward. That I won’t have this utter closeness. That the kisses at the cubby really will come to an end.
Last night, I buckled a little bit. I was also reminded that my pediatrician partner may be wrong.
Before bed, O (he’s 2 1/2 now) and I somehow migrated into his bedroom alone. Usually we read books together with his brother, but last night it was just the two of us while the husband read to F. He reached for a dreaded book and handed it to me. I wanted to shake my head. It was clear: he insisted. Of course I consented to read it but as I opened the cover, my stomach flipped. I knew I was in for a doozy. It had been a tiring day and I was weak in the knees with love for my boys. The book: Read full post »
A recently published study proposed and evaluated a new autism screening checklist for the 1-year well baby check-up. I had a hard time getting my hands on the study (crazy but true–even pediatricians sometimes are boxed out of research studies), but read lots about it first in the press. I was excited about the potential for early screening. The checklist, designed to be administered by a pediatrician, intends to improve early detection and diagnosis of autism. The goal: to enable early intervention and treatment for at-risk children. It’s clear that early intervention improves autistic children’s outcome with autism spectrum disorders but the media may have provided false information and false hope. So before you expect this checklist at your baby’s next 1-year check up, let me explain what the study found, my concerns about the results, and how the checklist may become useful.
I take care in using any screening tool–any intervention can cause unnecessary harm. My main concern resides around false positives (when a test suggests there is a problem when in reality there isn’t) and the numbers from this study… Read full post »
My phone wasn’t working well today so I stood in line at the “genius” bar this afternoon to resolve the problem. To be clear, that was 2 1/2 hours ago and I’m home with the promise from a very nice genius that it would be activated by the time I reached my home. It didn’t happen and I’m phoneless (a new thing for me) so it’s quiet around here. In lieu of being able to communicate by phone, I’ll share something I learned while waiting for help. It turns out to have shaped my thoughts for the afternoon.
While at the store, I ran into a researcher who works at the interface of vaccine hesitancy and immunization rates. We got to talking about his work, my writing and work in clinic, and what will ultimately help families. I mentioned what I really want is for families to get good information from their pediatricians (online and off) so when they immunize their children, they rest easy knowing that their children are protected. He asked a question, well two questions, that I didn’t have the answer to in my own life. I wonder, do you? Read full post »
Seattle Children’s provides healthcare for the special needs of children regardless
of race, sex, creed, ethnicity or disability. Financial assistance for medically
necessary services is based on family income and hospital resources and is provided
to children under age 21 whose primary residence is in Washington, Alaska, Montana