A Quick Ethan Update


I took Ethan to have his procedures (the upper GI and ultrasound) done this morning.  It all started out great.  The Ultrasound Technician was wonderful.  She kept telling Ethan how great he was, continuing to reinforce the fact that he was being so good and patient.  And, she was right…he truly did great.

From there, we went to have the upper GI done.  The experience went from great to bad in about 2.5 seconds.  It was clear that the technician was not having a good morning…or maybe the two sips of coffee that she took on the way down the hall just were not enough for her.

Ethan tried to work his charm on her by walking over to help mix up his own “cocktail”.  Unlike most people, she was not amused by it.  She let him do it, but she was clearly not smitten by him.  That should have been my first red flag.  But, he was so happy, that I just ignored her, pulled out my phone, and clicked a picture.


After everything was ready, he had to drink this fizzy drink and was told not to burp, to hold the other drink, and to be still.  Hmmmm…he is 7, he has a problem with reflux, he has not eaten since last night, and he is clearly not feeling well (after drinking the solution).  All of that combined should let anyone know that he needed an extra dose of patience, kindness, and compassion.  But, that is not what he received.  Apparently, he was not doing things quick enough for her because, after getting those images, she put the table in a lounge position and started getting some more.  She immediately said, “I did not get the most important image because it all took too long.  If you have to do this test again, you need to go to Children’s where they have assistants and can handle this better.”

Okay.  I get it.  He is a child, and Children’s is better equipped for that.  But, what I heard was, “Your child has special needs and should never have been brought to this facility.  He cannot handle it and needed more help.”  When, in reality, Ethan did much better than my other two would have done, and they are really great kids, too.  Ethan just tolerates medical procedures, in general, better than any kid who I know.  He was doing everything that was asked of him.  And, the fact that he has special needs had nothing to do with the fact that the procedure was a challenge.  I have had the procedure done before, so I know first-hand just how miserable it is to be hungry, not feel well, and drink that terrible solution.  I was very proud of how great he was doing!

And, I probably could have done okay with her first remark…if she had not repeated it THREE times.  Yes, THREE times.  By the third time, it was everything that I could do not to blurt out, “I heard you the first TWO times.”  She was so frustrated at one point that she said, “I need to see if my radiologist can work with the images that I have been able to get.”  Let me clarify…Ethan did everything that he was asked to do…move this way, move that way, hold your arm up, etc.  She was just frustrated that she did not get that one image that she needed.

I just kept telling Ethan what a great job he was doing, while he was seriously fighting back tears.  So, when she told me that we might have to re-do the procedure at Children’s (yes, she threw that in again), I was just about in tears myself.


We are just praying that they were able to get all of the images that they needed so that our sweet doctor can make a decision regarding next steps.  For now, we have the endoscopy scheduled for November 28, just in case he still needs to see more or do any biopsies.

Believe it or not, we were able to salvage the day.  Ethan pulled it together and was a huge trooper.  Honestly, he amazes me every. single. day.   We decided that we need to celebrate how great he did.  So, we did a little shopping.  Then, we came home, got Sean and Summer, and did the best little surprise of all.  We went and got Gabriel out of school to go to lunch with us…just because.  Because Ethan did great. Because we learn more about kindness and compassion every day, even when it is because we witness others who need a little more practice with it.  And, because sometimes going out to lunch with the entire family on a Monday afternoon is all that is necessary to make an ordinary day into something extraordinary.  And, it worked.  The unicorns were there, and the lunch was perfect, just like my sweet Ethan.


PhotobucketWe should know more later today.  If we do not hear anything, that is a good thing because the nurse told me that they only call with “bad” news.  I received a message from a friend this morning just as I sat down at the office, and it made my day. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers today.  Thank you for caring and for thinking about us.  It truly means the world to me.  We are truly so blessed that we get to see the kindness, compassion, and love of so many wonderful people in action each day.  I truly cannot express how much Ethan has opened up our eyes to so many of the beautiful things in the world, in people, and in life in general.   We always try to see things through his eyes…and, wow, he truly does have amazing, wonderful vision.

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4 Responses to A Quick Ethan Update

  1. Shirlene says:

    Awe poor Ethan, my heart ached for him. I am glad you all were able to have a better day after leaving that office. I would certainly let your doctor know how unprofessional that Tech was. Maybe she shouldn’t be doing that kind of job or ask someone else to take on the wee one’s so that the patient and parents have a better experience at such a difficult time.
    God bless you all and look forward to the report.

    • Natalie says:

      Thank you, Shirlene. I honestly went back and forth about posting what all happened during the appointment. But, I wanted people to see and appreciate the full picture…and to know what a trooper my sweet youngest boy is.

      I will definitely report the incident, mostly just because, yes, young children do not need to be sent to that particular facility if they are not equipped to handle them. They have like 15 or so offices in our area, and children should only be sent to the ones who specialize in pediatrics. Lesson learned. I was just so sad that it had to be learned on my sweet Ethan…or any of my children…or any other children, for that matter.

      Thank you for your kind words and support. I truly appreciate it!

  2. sandy says:

    God must have been with us today when I had something else I had to do and did not come and go to the appointment with you. This Tech would surely have not gotten the nice treatment that my sweet daughter gave her. Thanks for keeping it together for Ethan. I can assure you I would not have been sweet. Ethan truly does bring out the very best in people! Today was very unusual. I always say I wish he had been my first Grandchild because he has taugh me so much patience. When he looks at me with that sweet smile I melt and forget anything that I might have been upset about. We all need an Ethan in our lives. Love you!

    • Natalie says:

      I love how you love my kids. Yes, that tech would have received an ear full from you or from Sean. All I could think about was, “I need to stay calm for Ethan. If he knows I am upset, he will get even more upset.” We survived it. That which does not destroy us makes us stronger. Right?! That tech is the one who has to live with her actions.

      And…yes…everyone needs an Ethan. We are just lucky that he is ours!

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