It was a very hard thing to leave my little girl behind in MN while I headed off to Honduras. At first I convinced myself that I would either be back with her or would send for her within a few months of being apart. I cried and cried those first days back in Honduras without her. My heart ached for her. The days passed and I cried less. I loved hearing updates about her new school, her friends, her awesome teacher she had. She seemed happy. I was happy for her.
A few weeks into the school year, she went to the dentist. She had lost a tooth while I was there and I could see the tooth behind the lost one was starting to rot. Great. I can get her to brush, but I can't get the girl to floss. She had just been to the dentist in Honduras and had a filling done there. But I realized they had not done x-rays and I was worried about possible further decay between other teeth. I made an appointment for her at her old dentist and my parents brought her in. They did the x-rays and turns out 3 other teeth were starting to rot too! Fortunately these were baby teeth. The x-rays revealed that she was about to lose them soon too because there was no root and you could see the adult tooth behind. The following week she was numbed up and the rotten teeth were pulled. Because there was no root the procedure was cake. Easy and over within 15-20 minutes. Now if we could just get her to floss now!
A few weeks later she had an appointment with her general practitioner for a check-up. Sister inherited a condition from her father where she has high cholesterol and it can be a health issue down the road if not properly monitored. Well, her cholesterol keeps going up and up. We found out that it will always continue to rise because of her genetics, regardless of diet. Her father died of a heart attack at 35 years old. He did not live a healthy lifestyle though so dug himself an early grave, unfortunately. So, we have to monitor her levels and watch her diet somewhat. In to the doctor she went to get some blood work done. After the results showed a continued rise from the last level check, off to the heart doctor she went at the wonderful Children's Heart Clinic in Minneapolis to have a few more tests done and be evaluated for possible statin treatment. She also saw a nutritionist/ lipid counselor that discussed with Sister (and grandma) about her diet, which was very insightful. She goes back in a few months to check her levels again and will most likely start medications sometime this summer.
I was so grateful and relieved for her to have such wonderful care in the states. To learn about the things that she needs to live a long and healthy life and how to treat this type of thing. I also am so relieved she got her teeth taken care of too! Here in Honduras, I tend to worry and wonder if we are getting good care. I seem to view doctors as unqualified until they prove themselves otherwise. My husband on the other hand. If there is an "md" after their name...they are qualified. Very frustrating for the both of us. One thing that is really awesome is that we get these typed up summaries of her medical issues and findings from her tests. They are the communications that go between doctors and a copy is sent to us. Great communication! The care Sister has received is beyond anything I think she would have received in Honduras.
But wait! There's more! I knew with the above two issues that there was a positive reason for her to be in the states; but it gets better.
Sister also has some learning issues. Nothing major. The girl is bright as can be. But she struggles with reading and writing. I have thought that she has something called disgraphia. I believe she could very well have this, but it's hard to say unless she is actually tested for it. She also has hand tremors and struggles with dexterity which includes writing. It's like a double whammy. Her brain has a hard time telling her hand what to write and then when she does try to get it out, her hand is shaking and it becomes almost painful for her to write. She still practices cursive writing, but it is very difficult for her and she will likely adopt some form of printing as her way of writing in the long term. Fine by me. Her reading has struggled at times. She was below grade level in 2nd grade and had extra help to get her up to grade level. I always wondered why she had such a hard time because I always read her books, worked with her on her reading when they started in Kindergarden, etc.
A few weeks ago the kids in her school were given a survey to screen for possible reading issues. And sure enough Sister was flagged as needing further testing. She was tested for something called Irlen Syndrome and found to have this. It is a visual perceptual disorder affecting primarily reading and writing based activities. Somewhat easy to treat with the use of tinted lenses in glasses and colored overlay sheets. Sister's color is purple. I truly, truly hope and pray that this will help her. It's hard to see your child struggle. I used to get so frustrated with her, not understanding what she was going through. When I finally realized what was going on and told her I was sorry for pushing her and not understanding her, making her feel badly...she got down on her knees and said, "Thank you, mommy! Thank you, thank you!" I gave her a big hug. She was validated and I was humbled.
Again...I realize that the Lord had reasons that she should be in the states and I am at peace with it.
Sis and I have been spending a lot more time on the phone lately. It's nice to spend time with her every day talking about everything and nothing, singing songs, telling stories, but I can't wait to see her face-to-face. I think I'm going to hug her for three days.
I am gearing up for our trip back to MN sometime in April... hopefully. I'm in a wedding and my presence has been requested. We are trying to get Baby's US citizenship registered so that she can get her passport and travel; but we will be on our 3rd attempt at the consulates office on Monday. That's a whole other story....