Sunday, April 29, 2007
A hysterical Mom (at last!!!)
Seventeen years ago I was having bad stomach pains so I went to the doctor who told me not to worry, it was just a urinary tract infection. That night my appendix burst.
Fifteen years ago, after years of trying to get pregnant (delayed appendectomy, scar tissue, surgery to remove the scar tissue) I had a miscarriage ("Don't worry, it's common. Won't happen again."). Then I had another miscarriage.
Nine years ago, after years of waiting for my daughter Charlotte to start talking ("Don't worry, Einstein didn't talk till he was four!") she was diagnosed as autistic.
Five years ago my husband Kirk started having stomach pain ("Don't worry. It's just acid reflux"). He ended up in the intensive care unit with doctors talking to me about the possibilty of multi-organ transplant and maybe death.
So you can understand why now, whenever a doctor tells me not to worry I start hyperventilating.
This week, all week, my youngest daughter has been sick. She started out feverish and droopy. Then she began complaining that her neck ached. I took her to the doctor who noticed that the lymph nodes were swollen all over her body. I went home, went on line and the number one hit was lymphoma. Immediately my mind fast forwarded to my baby bravely undergoing chemo with her hair coming out in fistfulls.The next day she was no better and the doctor's office was flummoxed so we took her to the ER. They checked her and her lymph nodes out and proceeded to do a full panel blood screening. They were checking for, among other things, mono and cancer. Cancer! And part of me felt 'Well, Eliza's been healthy for eight years. I've been lucky with her far too long, so I guess this was inevitable.' We waited..........and waited..........and, finally, the doctor came in and told us...........that Eliza had a cold. What a delicious and novel feeling to be, for once, among the great hoard of hysterical women that are, apparently, always pestering doctors with their silly worries. "It's just a normal virus," they said, inwardly rolling their eyes at me, the idiot mom, who had wasted their time. I wanted to hug each and every one of those annoyed doctors, bring them all home-made dinners, make them cookies. Because I and my eight-year old daughter, for once, got to be the normal ones, the ones who stroll out of the hospital back to life, instead of the ones who stay behind with their hearts twisting in fear, their lives changed forever.