Reese is a healthy, thriving, 6-year-old who loves tennis, swimming, art, riding her bike, and eating pizza. There is nothing Quinn can do that Reese can’t. Besides the obvious height difference, the two are pretty evenly matched. This is amazing! Reese approaches everything with her trademark grit and determination. I’m pretty proud of my little girl.
At this time, Reese feels no residual effects from the trauma her body went through in 2018. I pray that this miracle lasts a lifetime. What a blessing, to feel healthy and strong! This is something I don’t take for granted and it’s at the forefront of my mind with covid. My family has been avoiding groups & indoor spaces since March 13. I know many of you are too, it really isn’t that hard. So we spend a lot of time together. I know that I will never say, “Gosh, I wish we hadn’t had all that extra time as a family.” I seriously love it. I pray for a return to normal, but at the same time, I appreciate this bonus time with my favorite people!!
Reese is a 1st grader! She and her sister, Quinn, began school at the end of August. I chose e-learning for my girls, so they are home with me. This is a natural fit because, as most of you know, I am a teacher. One of my greatest joys has been teaching my own children. I have a small “class”, because the twins’ younger sister, Claire, is here, too! The curriculum is rich and these sweet girls get along so well. Life at the yellow house is good.
The only medical problem Reese has currently is adrenal insufficiency. She was on high-dose steroids for a long time, so her own adrenal glands shut down. We have been doing a taper at a snail’s pace. It will take about a year total, and we are down to exactly 1/2 of her physiologic dose right now. The hope is that her own adrenal glands are kicking in (and not that we are just withholding necessary steroids.) Time will tell, our doctors don’t like to check it very often.
As we have gone down on the hydrocortisone dose, Reese’s growth has increased! She’s growing out of things really fast now… but everyone else is growing, too, so she is still pretty tiny for her age. But she doesn’t mind in the slightest, and neither do we.
Reese did need a covid test last week. We knew she wasn’t exposed… but you can never say never, and she had a couple symptoms. I have a few tips to share, since many of us will find ourselves in this situation this season. These have worked for us in a number of medical situations (and I follow the same protocol for all of my kids.)
Tips for covid testing and children
- Give a choice. This is powerful. On the way to the testing station, I asked Reese if she wanted to get a “poke” or to have the nurse “look in her nose”. She thought about it for a good 10 minutes. I know my daughter, so I knew what she would chose. But, the fact that it was her choice, means she was invested. I also used the words “look in her nose” so she would have an expectation of her nose being a part of the test (but I didn’t make it scary by going into too much detail ahead of time.)
- Set expectations. I told her to count to five, slowly. 1 2 3 4 5. That’s how long it takes. She practiced over and over. So, when it started and it was uncomfortable, she knew how quickly it would end.
- Offer a present. I am not ashamed to say that this is a good option. I had sticker books at my house (thanks, Nonnie) so Reese “earned” these for her and her sisters. She was so excited to go home and see them when we were done.
- Make it a teachable moment. There was a child in the car in front of us, going bananas. All of my kids saw three nurses (and mom) attempt to hold him down. It took about 10 minutes. (Luckily, we saw this drama AFTER Reese had already finished.) We talked about the golden rules of doctor appointments- do what the doctor says, don’t be dramatic, and it will be over faster. (“Get it over with.”)