Monday, January 17, 2011

And Then There Are the Really Bad Days

It was the Thursday before Memorial Day of 2010. It was the day of the “end all, be all” test of determining if something was wrong with L’s head. We had completed the ultrasound and x-rays, and we were so thankful when the test results showed that everything was normal. Doctor after doctor at our pediatrician’s office had always been somewhat concerned with the shape of L’s head. It was an odd shape with a very prominent soft spot. This doctor had seen L when he went in with an ear infection, and recommended the MRI.

L did amazing with the MRI. We did not even need to do any sedation. We were allowed to stand beside of him the entire time, and the lights on the machine seemed to be a great distraction because the patient must be completely still to get a clear image. L did this with one try. One prayer answered.

I tried as hard as possible to read the medical personnel’s facial expression as she viewed the screen during and after the test. Nothing. There was no indication either way. The doctor had asked for a rush on the reading to help ease our mind. We were hoping to get the results before the holiday weekend. Then we received THE phone call on Friday afternoon. It was the doctor. I remember exactly where I was when I got that call. I was in L’s room and had just changed his diaper. S came to my side as I placed the phone on speaker.

I can still hear those dreaded words echoing in my ears. The MRI did show that L had one suture fusing early. The doctor remained positive…it was only one suture, but he did not have the answers that I needed. I wasn’t educated enough to ask the correct questions to even get those answers. I remember feeling nauseous and my knees weakening. I remember the doctor saying, “Don’t let this ruin your long weekend. We have had cases like this before, and the kids were fine. “ I wanted reassurance. I wanted a doctor to say, “Luke is going to be fine,,” but I never heard those words during that phone conversation.

What is the next step?

What – did the doctor just say that my son needs a referral to a neurosurgeon?!? These two words should never be used in the same sentence…your child and neurosurgeon. It was a dark day for me – one of the darkest. Fortunately, the subsequent days brightened.

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