Thursday, April 29, 2004

From the "It's always something" file

My daughter had her 14-year-old pediatrics check-up last week, and in most ways it went very well. The patient was far more talkative than she's been in the past, and is by most measures a healthy kid -- not overweight, straight of spine, appropriate physical development, active and glowing through a mild case of acne. Physical health has always been a strong suit with my kids; their prenatal and early-life experiences left them neurologically challenged, but since then they've hardly had a sick day between them. So the one glitch in the exam seemed to come straight out of left field: My otherwise healthy teen has high blood pressure.

The more they took it, the higher it got, probably because we were all fluttering around her, doctor and nurses and mom, demanding that she relax. The doctor suggested we come back in a week and try again; today was the day, and darned if it wasn't still high, 153/85. If it's high again next week, we'll get a referral to a cardiologist. And the thought of bringing another specialist into the care of my children when we'd gotten most everything else more or less figured out just fills me with exhaustion.

Once more, I'm going to have to get out all the orphanage physical records, research possible post-institutionalization-related explanations (lead poisoning? a genetic connection that we'll never be able to discover since we have no medical records on the birth family?) Once more, we'll have to go through tests and all the waiting and discomfort that goes with them. Once more, I'll be second-guessing professionals, who will no doubt be second-guessing me. Maybe -- please, oh please -- her BP will be back down next week, and we can avoid this whole complicated mess. Then I'll only have to worry about what this all is doing to my blood pressure.

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