At 4 a.m. on Thursday morning, Blake and I pulled away from the farm with Tate and Eliza for a day of appointments at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison. It was dark. Pouring rain. And freeezzzziinnnggg cold!!
We travel to Madison (about 2 and 3/4 hours away) for three of the littles doctors – the pediatric neurosurgeon, the pediatric urologist, and the pediatric orthopedic surgeon. We do not have these pediatric specialties offered at our local hospital. We still have to have an insurance approval for each time we need to use a service that is outside of our local network, even though this is a constant need. This means that Tate and Eliza have to have a referral from a local doctor for their appointments, or for any testing, and then we have to wait to receive an authorization letter in the mail that we have to have in hand when we arrive at AFCH the day of their appointments there. I am just now starting to get a system down as to how to handle these referrals and authorizations, and have been super duper blessed with local doctors and their employees as they constantly help me achieve what we need!
We only stopped once along the way, and because there would be no sedation for the MRI’s when we arrived, I was able to feed everyone breakfast while we drove. Tate and Eliza are awesome travelers!
The scenery on the drive to Madison is beautiful!
We pulled down into the parking deck, got the littles dressed, and headed off to the first floor for their MRI’s.
We learned that one of the neurosurgeon’s at this hospital developed these “quick” brain and “quick spine” MRI’s. The littles only have to be in the machine for about 15 or 20 minutes per MRI. Because of this, and because they can wiggle just a smidge and still have the MRI turn out, we do not need to go through the process of sedation. Sedated MRI’s take hours, so this is ALL good! Our local doctor wrote a letter to our insurance telling them how much better this is, and we actually were approved to have these MRI’s in Madison instead of locally with sedation! That is really good too! Except for a four year old, laying strapped down to a table in a huge loud machine is very scary.
Blake went with Tate and then Eliza to MRI, and was able to be in the machine as much as he could to comfort them. I stayed in the cubicle and comforted them once each one was done.
At least we had Curious George to keep us distracted!
We had a big break after MRI was done, and Eliza was struggling. Her awesome, organized, always on top of everything Mama left her therapy brush at home. Good one. So we went to the cafeteria to have a snack, hoping that would help!
We still had quite a bit of time, so we headed to Target. It was close by, had a parking garage (remember the freezing cold, pouring rain part?) and also had a Starbucks inside of it. Score.
My always thinking hubby picked up Eliza and galloped through the parking garage, bouncing and bouncing and bouncing her as they galloped! It would have been a great photo opportunity, but I was making a mad dash for the door with Tate because it was freezing cold! It helped her though, and now she was able to cope with the big day again. Good job, honey!
Finally it was time for the dock-a-ter! We love the waiting room magnetic tables.
The MRI’s looked GREAT!! We talked to our neurosurgeon about a plan moving forward, especially for our Tate since they are just getting to know all about his insides. We asked a lot of questions. And then we had to say goodbye to our doctor because she is moving out-of-state at the end of May. We were teary eyed for sure. She holds a special place in our hearts!!
I stayed to work on schedule plans for their next appointments for later this year, and Blake headed to the waiting room with the littles. When I came out, I found my littles had turned into superheroes!! We love you, AFCH!!
It was lunch time, and we were starved. So off to Whole Foods we went, got some lunch, and sat there to eat it. Yum!!
We ran to the van in the freezing cold rain, strapped in the littles, and Blake and I counted backward from ten until this happened! We did not make it to zero. And they did not flinch until we were home.
Since we have been home, our little superheroes have LIVED in their costumes! It is SUPER cute. They even got their biggest brother to be a superhero for awhile. (I will spare you the video of him jumping from the couches!)
Friday morning we were at it again, as Tate and Eliza both had therapy evaluations at the local school. It was a busy two hours, and such a blessing! We go again next Friday to finish it up, and then we will see if Tate or Eliza need any intervention and if we qualify.
We are SO blessed with a huge team of loving doctors and loving people who help Tate and Eliza medically! Tate and Eliza both are so strong and brave – they have been through SO much.
We love you so much Tate Owen and Eliza Claire!!!