Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Worrying about a child

Well, I did a Grandaddy Brady. And what does this mean you might ask? Let me explain. We've a thing in my family about worrying and testing for appendicitis. My mother's appendix exploded and she contracted peritonitis and was hospitalized for three weeks. Everafter my grandfather (a doctor himself) carried the torch of checking for sore stomachs, poking that right hand side below the belly button, and hurrying us to the hospital should the symptoms be indicative.

In fact I did have my appendix out when I was fourteen. I'm thus the only one of my siblings to have actually experienced the pains, the vomitting, the craziness and the urgency of it all.

And so, I must admit to being rather pre-disposed to consider this an option when my little one just doesn't seem to get better from his gastro, when he's just continuing to be wracked by dry heaves, deeply in pain, unable to fall back into a restorative sleep, crying out at the sharpness of the stabs in his abdomen. He wasn't even willing to get into a warm bath! (Unheard of in my family).

It was while I tried to take advantage of that bath (mustn't let hot water go to waste!) that it dawned on me that Jonas might be really sick. That I had no more than 5 minutes in the water before he called for me was also a sign. So I got moving.

At which point my support network totally failed me. I called seven different parents who drive -- if not the exact route I do -- extremely close to my house. And not a one answered his/her cell phone. I didn't want to leave my little boy alone in the house while I went to get the others. He just was so miserable, and I was really beginning to worry. But, pas de chance, off I had to go to get the others, leaving Jojo alone.

That extra time decided it. As quickly as I was able to drop off the older boys, I grabbed Jojo, his slippers, coat and a blanket, and piled him into the car and off to the hospital.

As we waited and waited and waited (two hours in the waiting room can seem very long when you've a very sad child tensing, moaning, crying with you) I felt as helpless as a flea. You want to be taken seriously -- I don't think I over react when it comes to my kids, probably I under react, if anything. But you see the nurses sending in the girl with the sore shoulder before you. Of course, all babies get priority treatment, which is as it should be. But isn't a possible appendicitis important? Are they thinking this is just a simple gastro and thus are letting us wait it out. Perhaps they're waiting for Jojo to fall asleep and thus show that he isn't truly that sick. Or?

At long last we did get taken to the doctor, and Jonas finally felt better. I watched how she tested to see if he truly had an appendicitis or not. I absorbed the lesson, felt hugely relieved, but also weary from all the tension of the day. And then, losing my way once, then at last finding it, carried my little boy back out to the car and home to bed.

And now, to sleep. I don't know if I'm humbled, or just weary. I'm sad to carry this burden alone. I suppose I could wonder why today of all days was one where the universe decided I needed to carry it all alone. I felt so completely demoralized when I couldn't reach anyone to help me get the boys back from school. Total system breakdown. But then, I coped, as I had to, and the day is over, as I suppose it was meant to be.

And now yes, to sleep.


Gillian said...

That whole coping alone thing is way too familiar to me, having said that, this is when we draw on our inner resources and connect with our inner strength.

Madeleine Vedel said...

Yes, I got through that day. But hated much of it. You do what you must, and you accept what the universe throws at you. It was just one of those days. Happily, Thursday, with both the goats and a great tango glass, the universe was far kinder.