Overall I don’t have a very high opinion of health visitors. Purely speaking of my own experiences, it seems they are giving their personal opinions. Often relayed far too matter of factly, and not often enough backed up by substantial evidence or medical fact. They were the one group of people guaranteed to set off my brand-new-mum-hormones, and I’d usually leave with tears in my eyes after seeing them with my 4yo. I learnt my lesson and didn’t bother with HV clinics for 2yo. I think she only went four or five times in her whole first year. I wasn’t planning on doing anything but the bare minimum with my new baby either.
When I took him for his 8 week check up I intended on being in and out as quickly as possible. The HV was asked how I was coping with the sleep deprivation, so I told her it was fine because I’d hardly slept in three years. Imagine my surprise when instead of her eyes glazing over – as I’d come to expect from these types of conversations – she wanted to know the details. So I told her the full story of my troubled little big girl. (you can read about it here if you like)
Turns out the HV’s 9 year old son has ulcerative colitis, and she suffered months of being fobbed off watching his condition get steadily worse before finally seeing a specialist and receiving a diagnosis. She had a very sympathetic ear, and told me she would be able to refer 4yo to the specialists herself. (Apparently any HV can do this for a child under eight, who knew?!) She came to my house the following week and we went through all my daughters issues. We also plotted her height and weight on the dreaded chart, which was sad but not surprising. Although my girl was born way up in the 91st percentile, she is now in the 2nd for height and 20th for weight.
The letter came this week. We shall be seeing a gastrointestinal paediatrician at the end of next month. I know she is going to need invasive tests. I know she is going to hate every second. I just hope we can finally get to the bottom of her problems. And that there aren’t any nasty surprises along the way.