Monday, March 31, 2008

Akiva's Tune-up

There may be many things that are hard to get used to here, but this, I could grow accustomed to easily. That is, once I know to pack for a 'three-day tour.' Akiva went in for a tune up the other day - brakes, new tires, whole new getup. All except for a paint job - they don't do exteriors. (Sorry, that's a joke for those with a kid with special needs - hahaha.)

We made an appointment at Hadassah/Har Hatzofim for Tuesday. We had a made an appt at the clinic for kids with Down Syndrome (Tues is DS day and Monday is CF day, etc) in Feb but it was cancelled due to the inch of snow that fell that day. We rescheduled and went last week. We were told that it would be a long day and we packed what we felt was a respectable amount of provisions for Akiva - 2 small yogurts, sandwich, some fruit and a drink. For ourselves, we assumed that coffee or a bite of his sandwich would sustain us until we finished and dropped him off of school later that morning. BOY, WERE WE WRONG.

We arrived at 8:30am and staggered out at about 3:30pm. And here's the kicker, didn't pay anything - at least nothing extra for our pains, except for the few prescriptions the next day for his ear gunk (nis35, or about $10).

Akiva visited with (in addition to paperwork filled out and handled with the guy at the front desk, the nurse in charge of seeing that we went to the right stations, the nurse at the eye area....):
1. Ear Doctor - wax buildup (see, it's like a car) and some redness. Lots of drops for each ear and nose too and tomorrow he goes for a clean out.
2. Eye Doctor and optometrist - this was interesting because optho and opto don't get along but in this case, they conferred, discussed and Akiva will go back for followup once he gets his new glasses (tomorrow we'll order) and once we figure out what's next (maybe more surgery), etc, as he is very nearsighted.
3. Physical therapist. He could use more therapy - duh - and maybe new orthotics too - double duh - and otherwise looks good. Akiva meanwhile had begun to descend into that sort of deep quiet that he can do, accompanied by chewing on his fingers for enjoyment and making a loud noise to tune out all other noise. I was beginning to wish I could do the same.
4. Dietician. This was a bit of a hoot for me. In typical Israeli fashion, she informed me that he needs more dairy calcium. Why does he drink rice milk? Why would I do that? I told her that he is congested much of the year and that we're careful with calcium and there are other ways of getting your calcium than just in milk and dairy stuff. She told me a yogurt a day and what about hard cheese, etc, etc. I felt like saying, 'honey, you're preaching to the food choir here,' 'I know my stuff...' but Ira glared at me that I should be quiet and let her finish her lecture. I did.
5. Social worker. This was great. A nice religious, former American which helped in terms of language and talking. We chatted freely and openly about life with Akiva and the things we could use help with - life with Akiva and feelings of fatigue, finding after-school activities, help in the house, handicapped parking permit.....

In between, Akiva shuttled back and forth for his eye drops, eye exam and arm wrestles with Picado and his father, who's name I can't remember but it was something like Kussinum, which is thank you in Hungarian, a lovely Ethiopian duo. We talked about languages that we know and don't know - I know English better than Hebrew and he knows Hebrew better than Amharic.

6. The doctor. At the end of the day, we met with Dr. Tannenbaum, a lovely guy, who helped us summarize everything up and also talked with us about side issues, from toileting problems (still a work in progress) to other developmental matters. He ultimately drew blood on Akiva for a host of minor things to be checked and then.....we were done.

Yes, we had work to do and things to follow up on but we had handled everything....except the dentist. We still have to find out about that.
And because it was Hadassah, which is a Maccabi (our HMO), we didn't pay anything extra. Meaning, other than what we pay quarterly.

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