Why I bring my 4-year-old son to my medical appointments

How the exposure benefits a young boy with Pompe disease

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

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My 4-year-old son, Cayden, has been seen by many different specialists over the course of his life. I often wonder how he feels about all of the medical appointments. At this age, most of his peers only see the doctor for well-child visits or if they become sick.

In hopes of helping him feel less alone, I bring him along to some of my own appointments from time to time. Most of his visits are to check up on and manage different aspects of his infantile-onset Pompe disease. While I don’t have the same health issues as him, I’ve been to many other types of appointments, especially in the past year while I was pregnant with Cayden’s little brother.

I do believe it helps Cayden to see that he’s not the only one who has to attend medical appointments. He watches closely as Mommy gets her blood pressure taken just like he does, and he thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. I’ve had many appointments recently for high blood pressure, so he’s gotten to see the process often.

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When I was pregnant, I needed lab work done several times and decided to bring Cayden along for one visit. He was a little upset as he watched me get my blood drawn. However, I think this was important for him to witness because he has a hard time during his own blood draws. Unfortunately, it’s something he must do every few months when he attends Pompe clinic days with his metabolic disease specialist.

Although he got a little upset, I do think it benefited him to watch me. I never want my kids to feel isolated, so it’s important for Cayden to know that he’s not the only person subjected to medical tests and appointments.

Another thing I plan to do soon is schedule one of Cayden’s well-child visits on the same day that his brother, Kyree, has one. Even though these visits are pretty common, Cayden has never had the opportunity to attend another child’s. I think it’ll be helpful for him to see his brother being examined by one of the same doctors that he sees.

Cayden’s appointments will never stop. He’s definitely gotten better at dealing with them as he gets older, but I’m sure it’s still not easy. I can’t imagine how he feels about everything he goes through at his young age, but I can help him to feel less alone.

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


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