Saturday, March 6, 2010

Octagon-style learning about the Circulatory System

So Wilkin has been confused about veins/muscles/nerves for a while now. Fascinated with bionics and nerves and muscles, but calling all of them veins.

My good friend Josie Ryan came for a short visit on her way through to Washington, D.C. and decided Wilkin needed to know the difference between veins/muscles/nerves.

At the library, she found lots of books on how the body functions. He went home with 
Your Body by Stephanie Turnbull: Amazon listing of Your Body and A Drop of Blood by Paul Showers: Amazon listing of A Drop of Blood.

He read and re-read the information on the circulatory system, especially when he learned that he was born with a small VSD - ventricular septal defect - and that Josie was born with a hole in her heart as well. Wilkin's VSD was so small that, at his last pediatric cardiologist visit, they said we didn't need to come back for three years. By that time, they thought that the VSD could be completely closed.

We have read and re-read these books, as well as checking out videos on the 
Britannica website. Yesterday, I had an appointment scheduled to give blood at the Red Cross. Since we had been reading about the circulatory system, we took A Drop of Blood along with us. Our phlebotomist, Fran, was very patient with us, answering all of Wilkin's questions and even letting him touch the warm bag of blood after the donation was over. I learned a lot about anti-coagulants and the process of storage and identification of blood, too.

Just by searching around, we found a 
classroom lecture and echocardiogram on Youtube. On Wednesday, March 10, Wilkin has his three-year check up with the pediatric cardiologist, where he will have his very own echocardiogram.

Thanks to Josie, who picked up on some misinformation Wilkin had - and knowing he was bright enough to be able to learn more - and amazing timing with a blood donation and echocardiogram - Wilkin now is very knowledgeable about the heart, blood, oxygenation, arteries and veins. Now THAT'S some great octagon-style learning.

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