Thursday, August 16, 2012

Week Sixty-nine - Thirteen Approaching....

Babygirl is turning 13 in a couple of weeks, and while it is true that she is a MUCH easier child than any of her sisters were at this age, there is some emergence of adolescent behavior.  Learning more adult-style sarcasm is great, but the line between that and disrespect is a very, very fine one!

Monday, while we were being admitted, another recent transplant recipient was going through the same process.  A sudden spike in his creatinine had him in the same situation as Babygirl - admit, hydrate, probably biopsy.  His transplant was in July.  I'm guessing he was about 15.  He asked us whether biopsies hurt, and Babygirl was happy to tell him no.  His mom asked me about the process, and I told her about our recent experience:  "Overnight" became four days when they opted to treat the results of the biopsy.  Her boy's response was a hostile:  "I'm not staying here more than one day!"

Babygirl has not yet noticed that she can refuse.  Aside from the hydration issues (which IS in my opinion a matter of control for her), she has not balked even once about medications or procedures.  She hasn't tossed around any attitude about her illness or the changes in her life.  She's grateful when things are going well and relatively indifferent when things aren't.  She's actually complained more about my inability to ride more than six rides in a row at the park than about any single other issue (please don't turn me upside down more than that - bad things will happen).

But I've been mom to enough adolescent girls to know that fourteen is The Ugly Age of Girlhood.  And the ramp-up at thirteen is usually not a joyful event either.  It's well established that the commonest patient ages for rejection are 14-15, and 20.  Babygirl is enrolled in a couple of studies to assess whether or not medication compliance is to blame, or if there are other factors involved.  I've heard stories of adolescents who PRETEND to take their meds to appear compliant to their parents, but to retain some sense of control for themselves.

I've been trying to think of good ways to let her take control of things without losing control myself.  It's irresponsible to trust a delightfully scatterbrained twelve-year-old to be completely in charge of her medical choices, but there are areas where I could loosen up a bit. 

I think it's time to let her sort her own pills.  I think that the next time they discuss admission, she needs to be central to the discussion instead of just a room decoration.  It's past time to figure out if there is a way to keep her hydrated that is more acceptable to her than just water.

I'd welcome any suggestions or thoughts!


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