Livia and I ventured into Chicago today for her every 3 month check-up with the geneticist. Liv was in a great mood, and I credit that to having some one on one with mommy, the sun shining, getting to watch what she wanted on the DVD player, and a little singing with what mommy wanted to listen to on the radio! Going to the geneticist for a “check-up” is like going to the pediatrician. They check her in, we wait in the child friendly waiting room, get called back, check height, weight, bp, pulse, respirations, all the norm. Questions are asked about how she is doing and if we are noticing any changes. I had nothing to report. I put a urine bag on her to catch a sample while we were there. (I guess this may be out of the norm, but it’s norm for us). I casually talked with the genetic counselor about the latest MPS research. Dr. Burton came in and doted over Livia, like always. She always says how pretty Livia is and how lovely her hair is. It’s so nice to hear. Having a Dr. that keeps it light and real is so refreshing and encouraging. We’ve encountered physicians, not many, but some, that treat my child like she is a number or just a patient on a piece of paper. This is not so nice. The appointment was short and sweet, and then we made our way down to the lab. Livia has to have her blood drawn at each visit to monitor how the Genistein is treating her system, monitor her overall health, and we send a sample to the UK for a study. Livia has never cried with one of these blood draws. I’m sure the numbing spray helps, but she’s a trooper and is so brave. Being at Children’s Memorial is not a place that I envisioned spending a lot of time. However, we do. There are a lot of people there at all times. Families that are dealing with some tough things regarding their children. I see all types. I see children that are non-functioning, have tubes coming out of every orifice of their bodies, children with no hair, and some that are just beginning their path of diagnosis. As parents, there is an unspoken, glance of the eyes in passing, of compassion. At least I feel this. Being amongst others who are going through something is somewhat comforting. A feeling of, I’m not alone. There is someone else out there who understands what I’m going through. Not that others don’t show compassion to what we are going through, because we certainly have A LOT of friends and family that lend that support. It’s another family who wants to take the time to get to know my child and not care that her Barbie’s feet are chewed off. Siblings of affected children who have learned so much compassion in their own short lives that I admire and respect. Today, getting a good report regarding my child made our visit positive. Looking in the eyes of other parents going through tough times made me re-visit our blessings. I’ll be saying an extra prayer tonight for those families going through some really tough times.