Monday, October 22, 2007

In which KayTar relates her first experience

Last night KayTar was up late due to sleeping off the sedation all day long. She, Josh, and I were laying in our bed. She was thrashing around and giggling, sticking her toes up to our faces while exclaiming, "Poo-wee! Tinky peet!", snuggling up beside me and saying, "Oh MomMom. Oh KayTar." Suddenly she stopped playing and looked up at the ceiling.

"Go a-docdah a-day. Bye Town. Bye Docdahs. See you a-morrow."

"No baby, we don't have to go back tomorrow."

"See you ext eek!"

"Yeah sweetie, we'll see them next week."

Then she started talking in a very quiet serious voice, it was mostly unintelligible gook, but then I heard "Da IV. (pointing to her hand booboo) Hab da IV. Bye nurse!"

Sigh.

I don't know if it counts as relating as an experience. I told her several times yesterday that we were "going to the doctor today". And she always continues to say "Bye docdahs! Bye Town!" for hours, sometimes days after her appointments. I think saying the words help calm her when she starts thinking about it, like saying "Bye!" to the doctors will keep them at bay. However, we weren't discussing the doctor or our day when she stopped to tell us "Go a-docdah a-day." It was really a spontaneous statement, a window into her day and her mind. While we we laughing and playing, internally she was still dwelling on the day's events, and she was able to let us know.

It was really exciting, hearing her share her thoughts for the first time, but it was crushing at the same time. How I wish she could have crossed this milestone in a way that didn't reinforce how doctored her life is, that her first related experience might have been, "See cat a-day." or "Go playground a-day." or "Go wimming a-day." I wish her thought life wasn't full of reenactments of her somewhat frightening day, that she didn't have to will the doctors away by repeating "Bye docdahs!" the nights and days after our appointments. I wish she didn't have the freeways and exits on the way to our pediatrician and hospital memorized. I wish she didn't visit enough to recognize our pediatrician's office building from the street and call out, "Bye Docdah (Ped's Name)!" as we pass it. But she does and part of me knows it is a positive thing. She understands enough to know what is happening, to know that even when things are a little scary, eventually we go home and everything is okay. She knows how to calm herself. She knows how to peptalk herself through procedures. She used to be completely terrified of all doctors and nurses, she would scream through entire visits, hysterical, inconsolable, but now she knows that doctors aren't all bad. She has a good enough time in run of the mill appointments, talking to and playing with the doctors. I know that her mental rehearsal of the appointments, the power she feels in the word, "Bye.", her awareness of where we are and where we are going, all work together to help her feel some control over the situation. I know that is a good thing. I just wish she didn't have need of it all.

She's been playing next to me while I write. She just looked up and said, "MomMom. Hab IV. (pointing to her hand again) Bye docdahs. See you a-morrow. See you ext eek."

That girl. She makes and breaks my heart.

My supergirl in repose.

23 comments:

slouching mom said...

Kyla. That child is amazing. She has stolen my heart. I hope to meet her someday.

Janet said...

She really is an incredible little girl.

When you finally have some answers, and the doctor visits are less and less a part of her life, these memories will fade and be replaced with stories of parks and ice cream.

Becca said...

She is incredible.

Kellan said...

I am falling in love with your sweet baby. I loved this post and felt like I could hear sweet KayTar speaking to you. I'm glad she doesn't have to go to the doctor today!

bubandpie said...

Fear is a powerful stimulant to memory formation, I think. Bub's first anecdote also focused on a scary event - I've almost wondered whether I should try to scare him more often, just to build up some good episodic memory skills.

But how many kids include "I.V." among their first words? Poor sweetie.

Christine said...

i heart kaytar and kyla.

laundrylessons said...

What a sweet girl. You capture her moments so well. I can't wait to open your page one day and hear about Kaytar's day, as reported by her...it will happen.

Katie said...

Oh Kaytar, must you break your mother's heart while also bringing joy?! What a child!

Amy said...

That is so great she related her 1st experience, but sad that it was about docs and iv's :(

She really is an incredible, amazing girl.

ewe are here said...

What an incredibly brave girl you have there.

Mimi said...

She is so mature for her age, really. I can feel your joy and your sadness all mingled here. But really, this is a good thing, this leap to processing the past verbally. It's so clear she understands what's going on, and you're right that all this helps her deal with the discomfort of the visits to the doctor--she knows they'll be over, she knows they're not all awful.

What a kid. In a cape, no less.

Kristin said...

Wow. What a huge and exciting step, yeah I agree you totally wish it was about something fun. But still...

KayTar's day from her point of view. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Ben & Bennie said...

I tell ya Kyla, that post got to me. Ben can't communicate as well as Kaytar but he definitely reveals to us that he knows when he's just arrived at a doctor's appointment. The kid goes from a happy grinning little boy to shut eyes and a locked out world.

~aj~ said...

That is a fantastic milestone and I can't wait for the day for her to talk about playgrounds, kitties and good friends.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh. Make and break my heart too here!

I think it is an insight into her mind.

Julie
Using My Words

crazymumma said...

...she is WonderKaytar!

Lisa b said...

oh how heartbreaking but so inspiring that she feels calmed by telling them 'bye' what a strong little girl.

Aliki2006 said...

It is good that she can articulate all this, but hard, too.

I remember how difficult it was to hear Tessa talk about her head pain--I mean really articulate it, as opposed to just crying.

She's a beautiful girl--I love the cape picture!

Beck said...

Oh, my heart.
The Baby was SO scared of her pediatrician that she would start shaking when we pulled into the parking lot - but a few months have passed and the other day we found ourselves in the same parking lot and she was oblivious. Time had worked it's magic and I hope that KayTar gets to forget, too.

Junie's Blog said...

It's so great she actually is relating an experience . . . I just wish she would relate maybe more of the happier times too! I'm just glad it's over! Only a few more days to wait?!?!? *sigh*

nomotherearth said...

She truly is Super. She could teach us a thing or two, that one.

flutter said...

I am so in love with your family. Just in love.

kittenpie said...

Coping skills. Children are incredible with the coping skills. What seems so awful is just their normal, and they find a way to integrate, and it is truly amazing. I had only a fraction of that experience of learning to just take it with all the medical crap when I was pregnant, and I was so proud of myself. You must just burst over her.