I’ve mentioned before that August has a hemangioma on his right elbow. Most medical professionals will tell you that this is a “birthmark.” That’s a simplified explanation. In reality, it’s a cluster of blood vessels gone mad. They’re more common in girls than boys, more common in Caucasians as opposed to other minorities, more common in twins, and more common in premature babies. We’re batting three out of four with this group and both the twins have one although Louie’s is barely noticeable.

In about 15% of cases, these vessels gone mad can grow so rapidly that the skin that covers them actually breaks down, and the thing splits down the middle in a huge gaping ulcer. Yummy, right?


Well a week or so ago, August’s hemangioma began to scab and I just knew we were headed for an ulceration. I got the name of a doctor who treated someone else’s child very successfully, and we grabbed a cancellation spot.


Oh, but I have forgotten the pain that is a new doctor. August has a beautiful, practically spotless medical record, and as a result, the doctors and nurses talk to me like I’m new at this. I am not.


Doc doesn’t realize that THIS housewife with spit-up on her shoulder ain’t your average bear.


The recommended treatment for hemangiomas is a blood pressure medication. “Before he can take it, August will have to have some something called an EKG that measures the pulses of the heart.”

EKG? I think I’ve heard of that–in fact, I think Charlie’s had a dozen, and Louie’s had a couple as well.


“To get the EKG done, you will have to go to Children’s Hospital.”

Ok, I’ll go there. The only pediatric electro phys specialist in the state gave me a hug the last time he saw me. Because he’d just cardioverted the second of my sons to have uncontrollable SVT. But I guess I can see your guy.


“Sometimes, after having an EKG, they might have to do some further checking with a test called an Echo.”

I think I’ve heard of that one too. . .


“Try not to be alarmed if that happens.”

I am really difficult to scare at this point.


“Once he begins the medication, you’ll have to find a compounding pharmacy.”

Yeah, that’s the only kind we go to–we’re pharmacy snobs, actually.


“And here’s a syringe so you can give him a precise dose.”

Thanks. I’ve got my own syringes, actually, but yours is cute. I know that the doses are tiny, but don’t worry about me–I can practically draw meds in my sleep.


Okay, I didn’t really say any of that stuff–but I thought it really loudly.


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  1. I hate the new doctor curve! I’ll admit I’ve said some of those things – nicely – when dealing with J’s new doctors. He and I have the same rare syndrome; I know it inside and out. Most of his docs have taken me speaking up very well and immediately changed their tone and wording, such that we’ve had good conversations about his care. The doctor that got defensive? I’ll find someone new.

  2. This made me laugh. One of my father in law’s favorite sayings is “This aint my first rodeo darlin.”

  3. Darn it, I just want to eat those boys up! So adorable.

  4. Hahahaha.

    See, this is why I got my butt out of bed and went to NICU rounds every morning while on maternity leave. I wanted those residents to know that some of us have done more than they can dream of.

    Just like the residents in April who didn’t want to send A home from the hospital on oxygen….

    We don’t do new doctors anymore if I can help it – we’ve seen so many, we know docs in nearly every specialty as it is. Pulmonolgy may be my one new doctor with the baby – I hate hate hate hate driving downtown to Childrens’ because I hate the hospital and the clinic setup….and I don’t think she needs their vent-and-trach-capable staff, since she has neither, so maybe we’ll find someone closer to home to manage her O2 when we get her out of the NICU.

    • I hear ya. I just knew it would be difficult to find someone who did drug therapy as opposed to steroid and the research is showing that the drug is much more effective. So, to a new doctor at a new practice :( Usually I do everything in the same system, so I don’t have to worrying about continuity.

  5. I’m glad you had enough self control! I on the other hand do not, I’m usually told, “there’s a new guy here,” or “there are residents today.” “BE NICE!”

    • He really didn’t give me a chance to jump in. Our neurologist purposely sends the fellows/residents in to meet me and then she comes in and we chuckle about the things they say.

  6. Katy, I know you! How ever did you hold your tongue?

  7. P.S. Augie loves the camera!

  8. You are becoming a Professional Mom! You are amazing. And you were freaking out about becoming one. I love you.

  9. Thank you, Nadine! Love you too.

  10. Romy had a crazy hemangioma too. Hers was underneath her left eye and was the cavernous type so we weren’t worried about ulcerations, but more about her actual eyesight in that eye. It looked like she had a really bad black eye and was it nearly swollen shut. I actually had a few people ask if I hit her. They put her on propranolol and it was gone withing weeks! We just had to constantly get her blood pressure taken for a while though. Hope it works just as well for your little guy!

  11. That’s all so true that you have to laugh about it.

    I have a habit of scaring off the med students. It’s not my fault really. We’re in a smallish city with a big med school They keep sending them in before the specialists and i just talk until they look confused and say they’ll go brief the doctor now. You can see how good they are by how long they listen.

    One asked me for his complete medical history when we were on a routine follow up appointment. I mean really??? Needless to say she stopped me before i was done and said ” I’ll go get the doctor now….”



  12. well good thing you didn’t have to look at the silly full of himself doctor you had all that awesome cuteness to keep you distracted 😀

  13. I do not have kids – I can only imagine when the patient is smaller than I! I just moved, and had to find new doctors. I’ve done ok – a few misses, but also a few hits. I really like my new neuroopthamologist (finally moved to a place with more than one), but I did almost give his nurse a heart attack. I forgot to tell her about my upbeating nystagmus. I realized after the initial exam when she ran out of the room that she was getting the doctor from some other room to tell me something was VERY wrong. He came in, I handed him my chart, and it all worked out. I try not to second guess them or tell them what htey are going to see so as not to sway them, but sometimes it is better to put all my cards on the table right away.

    However, if I was as cute as those guys (I don’t really know who is who) I would think the doctor would be so distracted by the cuteness he might say something ridiculous. maybe in baby talk.

  14. Oh my gosh. So annoying. I am sure. Cute photo.

  15. This totally made me smile. Hey, if this whole Mom thing doesn’t work out, you can be a medical professional, Katie. He, he.

    The boys are so yummy!!! When are you going to let me hold them?

  16. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t even read the post because I was transfixed by the beauty of those babies!! Congrats!

  17. You crack me up! Ben had a hemangioma too…on the side of his nose. I thought it was adorable and was kind of sad when it went away.

    Your boys are so freakin’ adorable! Thanks for the pic!