100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93…what if something is horribly wrong with him?…focus on the counting, Sarah, you’ve got to get some sleep…92, 91, 90, 89, 88……what if I missed something? is it my fault?….87, 86, 85, 84, 83, 82…..he doesn’t deserve this…81, 80, 79, 78, 76…sleep, Sarah, sleep…

The last four nights have been filled with what seems to be one million what ifs and numbers. In the past, counting backwards has always helped to drown out my worries and lead sleep to me in the midst of my jumbled thoughts. And although my method still managed to succeed, the sheer volume of numbers recited in my mind was staggering.

My tiny snowball of worry started with an apprehensive visit last Friday to one of our pediatrician’s associates (ours was out of the country), which quickly morphed into an immediate referral and appointment with a pediatric neurologist on Monday. I’m sure I don’t even need to explain how terrifying it is to hear a pediatrician explaining the types of neurological events and disorders she wants to rule out…you know, the ones that make the back of your neck start to sweat and your hands tremble. And to top it all off, the fact that you must wait until 2 pm on Monday to find these things out. 76 hours, to be exact.

My weekend was abysmal.

The days were decent, but I couldn’t help but dissolve into tears every night while staring up at the dimly lit ceiling. Many people read this entry I wrote for ParentDish coupled with some nervous twitters, and put two and two together about what was happening. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it was to receive emails from friends and complete strangers telling me that we were in their thoughts. To all of you, I can’t thank you enough. Honestly.

Monday’s appointment finally arrived, and the neurologist was wonderful. Wito and Dr. M took to each other immediately. He filled us up with reassuring words, but thought it was important for us to see a sub-specialty in the neurological field in the near future. And by near future, I mean upon entering my home after the appointment, I answered my ringing phone and it was the sub-specialist’s office making an appointment for the next morning.

Yesterday morning, we buckled Wito into his car seat and drove to his third doctor’s appointment in five days. As we walked into the medical center, I looked down and this perfect little child, shuffling his feet and cooing to the trees, and felt horribly nervous for putting him through all of this. Of course, being the sweet toddler he is, he just looked at me, smiled and said “Bah!” (He is obsessed with saying bye right now.)

Three long hours later, we walked out with one of the most promising diagnoses we could have received. Wito should be just fine. Just fine.

This experience was definitely my foray into the serious worries of parenthood. However, we were one of the lucky ones. What about all of the parents who aren’t as lucky? The ones whose world is turned absolutely upside-down in the matter of a day? The ones dealing with life-threatening illnesses and life-altering diagnoses of their little ones?

To all of you who have dealt or are dealing with such situations, I just want to say that I am so sorry. It must be absolutely frightening what you are going through. It’s so hard to put into words, and I’m not trying to discount people without children’s feelings, but the love you feel for your child is different. It is different. It’s intensity can’t be described. Everything is in surround-sound; your happiness, fears, worries, joy, pride, guilt, everything.

Like I said, we were one of the lucky ones this time around. I won’t take that for granted.

With that said, I’m going to taking a break from Hair Thursdays until the new year. I’ll be leaving soon for an extended visit with my family (including my brand new nephew, Sam) and would like to focus a little more on my sweet boy over the holidays.

I’ll still be posting at ParentDish every day, and popping in here from time to time. (You just know an extended period with my family makes for excellent blog fodder.)

Once again, thank you for your thoughts and general awesomeness. Wito would also like me to tell y’all, “Bah!”

So, Bah!

  • Pam

    December 5, 2007 at 9:14 am

    So glad to hear things are going to be fine for you and Wito. I hope you and your family have a great holiday season!

  • andrea

    December 5, 2007 at 9:04 am

    You and Wito were in my thoughts all weekend. I am so relieved to hear that he is just fine and am so glad you’ll be taking a break from all of us to concentrate on your amazing little man.

    All it takes is a little scare to make you realize how lucky we all are here with our healthy children, on the flip side it makes you realize how quickly that can all be taken away from you. So glad you were one of the lucky ones this time.

    Enjoy your holidays and even better, enjoy meeting that delicious new nephew.

  • Angella

    December 5, 2007 at 9:22 am

    So, so happy that everything is OK.


  • rosalicious

    December 5, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Yay Wito!

    Have a great time with the fam and happy holidays!

    Bah bah!

    (That’s how we say it in the south, too)

  • sizzle

    December 5, 2007 at 9:32 am

    so glad to hear that little buddle of love is ok. phew! i hope you have a fantastic holiday with your family. :)

  • Meg

    December 5, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Happy to see the relief in your words. :-) Hugs to Wito.

  • Isabel

    December 5, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Enjoy your time with those you love! We’ll be here when you get back.

  • Heather B.

    December 5, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I’m very happy for all of you.

    Here’s to a good holiday with your family and any other insane people who happen to stop by.

  • LVGurl

    December 5, 2007 at 9:54 am

    We’ve been thinking about you! Wito rocks, that’s all that matters! Someday soon he’s gonna lay down some hurt on that pesky twitch. Show it who’s boss. As I said earlier, I hope hope HOPE this whole thing disappears as quickly as it appeared.

    I was just telling Elisabeth how tough it is sometimes, that there is no “finish line” with our children. That you never get to some magical age and God mails you a guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong; a promise that your child will always be healthy and safe. We permanently wear our hearts on our sleeves. It’s overwhelming! All I can do is focus on how blessed we are to have our wonderful children — happy days, challenges and all!

  • lisa

    December 5, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Wonderful news for your little one …..life is precious and it is times like these that we take into consideration how very lucky we are…and send postivite vibes to those less fortunate…enjoy your family, enjoy being the amazing mama you are…and the wonderful woman you are….sounds like you have a very exciting rest of the year!! Famiy gatherings and meeting a new member to your clan:) ENJOY…HAPPY Holidays ….lisa

  • Mir

    December 5, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I’m very glad your bambino is okay, but the fact that I’m now going to have to look like crap all the way through until January is still making me a wee bit sad. I’ll get over it. Probably.

  • Amanda

    December 5, 2007 at 10:09 am

    I’m glad to hear everything is ok! I can’t imagine what that must have been like for you. I’m glad that you’ll be able to spend some time with your family – enjoy it and relax! You deserve it!

  • Mandee

    December 5, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Just one of those strangers weighing in to express my relief that you got the best case scenario. I”m sure it’s a little odd to know there are lots of out here worrying about you and checking in for news.

    Enjoy the holidays!

  • Nilsa S.

    December 5, 2007 at 10:23 am

    I’m not a parent, so I cannot imagine the thrills and spills one takes. However, tell me this – had the diagnosis been different, would you feel any differently about Wito? I’d venture to guess he’d still shuffle along and say “Bah” and you’d still love him to the utmost from the depths inside. From what I understand, those with children suffering from afflictions are really no different. We all love our offspring. Period.

    I was referring to a parent/non-parent love, not a healthy child/afflicted child love.

  • angie

    December 5, 2007 at 10:56 am

    The hairs on the back of my neck stood out when you said Neurologist. You need say no more. I’m so glad he’s fine! Our daughter born last year wasn’t so fortunate. Her visits to the Neurologist involved things like grave, and cerebral palsy, and seizures, and other nightmare conditions.

    Thank God Wito is doing well. You deserve a vacation.

  • lainey

    December 5, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Hi Whoorl, I’m so glad Wito is ok. I was one of those people who did have their world upside down on one ordinary afternoon (at a neurologist as well). I went to the specialist expecting to hear “pinched nerve” and I heard “stroke” instead. It was the worst day of my life. Reading your post, I could empathize with how scared you must have been.

    Oh Lainey, that must have been horrible. I totally understand – “seizure disorder”, “stroke” and “optic nerve damage” were all thrown around, but luckily his condition wasn’t as serious. The doctor’s optimistic that he will even grow out of it at some point. I’m staying positive!

  • Sharri

    December 5, 2007 at 11:41 am

    I’m so glad everything is okay. The worry never stops as a parent, but I suppose that the great times are worth it. Sometimes events like these make us realize how truly fortunate we are. Happy Holidays. I will miss your postings, but enjoy your much needed family time.

  • bethany

    December 5, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Have a great holiday whoorl and snuggle the bejeezus outta that giant baby of yours:) Loves!!!!!

  • She Likes Purple

    December 5, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    I’m so happy for you and that in the midst of your relief, you are still considering how other people feel. You’re good people. And BAH to Wito.

    Enjoy your break. Enjoy your holiday. Enjoy your boy.

  • Laura

    December 5, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through. Happy to hear the good news. It’s amazing what parents (mothers) go through.


  • Sarah B.

    December 5, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    This squeezed my heart. So much love to you and your family!

  • gorillabuns

    December 5, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    can’t wait to squeeze wito (that is, if he’ll let me) and say, i’m glad he’s okay. and warn him not to scare you like that every again!

  • lulu

    December 5, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    I can’t even imagine your weekend. Just handling the pain of a cold or ear infection makes me crazy with worry, so my heart goes out to you and Wito. Take care of yourselves and I hope you have a wonderful trip and visit with your family. Hugs!

  • Angela

    December 5, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    I’m so glad (SO GLAD!) to hear that everything is going to be okay. Please give Wito a big noisy belly zerbert for me, and have a safe trip!

  • Sarcomical

    December 5, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    WITO!!! you are perfectly, awesomely fine. and we could not be happier. ;)

    and yes, the Whoorl Family Gatherings do tend to result in entertaining photographic segments, to say the very least. have fun!

    (p.s. – i won’t be coming to CA this trip, but we’re hoping i can come when he goes to pebble beach for work at the end of january/beginning of february – but i am sending you my love and WE SHALL HUG SOME DAY!!!)

  • Emily R

    December 5, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Is Wito Southern? because since I moved to the South, a lot of people pronounce it “Bah!”

  • am'ti b

    December 5, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    i wish i was spending the holidays with you in ok. i miss y’all. bah now!

  • Miss Virginia

    December 5, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    When my first daughter was born, someone told me this and it has stuck with me and is ABSOLUTELY TRUE!! “YOU are only as happy as your most UN-happy child!”

  • Dani

    December 5, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    I read this after reading your email, the exact reverse of how I should’ve read it…

    I am so, so happy to hear that Wito is going to be just fine, and I cannot even begin to imagine how terrifying that was for you. I hope you enjoy and savor your family visit, and all of your time with your little boy. We’ll all be here when you get back.

  • Amanda Brown

    December 5, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Things like this, while so scary in the moment, really do make us stop and force ourselves to genuinely cherish every moment we get to share with our children. I am so relieved Wito’s healthy and trouble-free. Enjoy your break and your holidays, playing Auntie.

  • Jill

    December 5, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    I’m so glad you got a good report for your baby boy. I am one of the not so fortunate parents to have my child diagnosed with a life threatening illness ( that happens to be more painful than childbirth) and I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit in a hospital bed rocking her to sleep, crying for what pain she was suffering, what she might possibly miss out in life and most of all – how long I’d get to hold her. But to say all that…. I wanted to say thank you for realizing what so many parents take for granted. The health of our children is a blessing so often overlooked and I’m thank God for it everyday. And to any parents going through it – know that miracles do happen and God’s grace is sufficient to help us get through it.

  • sunny

    December 5, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    whoorl, your post brought tears to my eyes. I know exactly what you are talking about. Amen, sister. Enjoy your family time. We are all rooting for Wito.

  • Jessica

    December 5, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    My mom had to endure what was for her a life changing moment when my brother was diagnosed with multiple disabilities. However, I can say this, having grown up with a disabled sibling and now training as a psychologist with disabled kiddos: even if the bottom falls out beneath you temporarily, you can survive it. My mom will say that she became a better mom because of that challenge (certainly a more fatigued mom) but having a disabled son refocused her parenting priorities. I was thinking, since it appears that you are very good at thinking a lot about your son, that maybe one way to change the emotional valence of the troubling thoughts is to call them “wishes” instead of “worries”. (Ex: “I am worried about this doctor’s appointment” vs. “I wish/pray for my son to have continued good health”) Personally, I will pray for continued good quality of life for both you and your family.

  • sweetsalty kate

    December 5, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Phewph, Sara, phewph.

    My blood pressure went up just reading that.. I’m so relieved for you that all is well.

  • rebecca

    December 5, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Oh Whoorl… I’m so sorry and so relieved all at the same time! How terrifying. I’m glad Wito is going to be OK and YES, parenting is the scariest thing ever. Thinking about you…

  • metalia

    December 5, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    I’m so, so happy that everything worked out, and that Wito is okay. Enjoy your trip, and a happy and healthy holiday to you and your family!

  • bethany actually

    December 5, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Enjoy your break, and time with your family, and especially introducing Wito to his newest cousin! You know we will be here when you get back. ;-)

  • Susan

    December 5, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Someone told me when my oldest was about 5-days-old that having a child was like wearing your heart outside your body for the rest of your life. Truer words have perhaps never been spoken. So happy that you got a diagnosis that’s relieving your mind. Go get some sleep.

  • Schnozz

    December 5, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    I’m so, so sorry you went through that. I never thought there would ever be an occasion to say this, but HAIR CAN WAIT.

    Enjoy your baby.

  • Moose

    December 5, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I can’t even imagine what that kind of worry must feel like.

    The hair of the world will limp (heh) on without you for a month. Tend to your chillin. And dip his little toes in ketchup.

  • SAJ

    December 6, 2007 at 5:04 am

    We’re gonna miss you!

  • Jen

    December 6, 2007 at 5:09 am

    Whoorl, I don’t have children yet but reading this brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy that things look like they will turn out ok. I want to wish you a very relaxing and wonderful holiday. And I love the name Sam.

  • Natalie 42

    December 7, 2007 at 8:22 am

    What friggin troopers you guys are.

    It’s a very scary thing to deal with. My oldest sister has 4 boys all under the age of 9! (she should get a gold star for that alone) The two youngest, aged 5 and 3, both have special needs. It was incredibly scary news to get. (for the 5 year old, who was 3 1/2 at the time) Just when we all swallowed the reality of the situation we found out the youngest also had a developmentally challenging disease. It’s a very tough thing to compute. It was hard enough dealing with the news about the older one, here we were doing it all over again. You have no choice but to move forward. I’m happy to say that both boys are on the right track, working hard and making great progress.

    So glad the little man is well.

  • Sam

    December 9, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    I know what you mean…you are so, so relieved that your baby is going to be okay, and yet your heart breaks for those parents and kids dealing with serious diagnoses…I felt that way when our bambino was in the NICU. Here was my ginormous kid, up against these tiny bird-like babies – it seemed cruel.

    Oh, but I am so glad for all you lovely Whoorlies. Enjoy your break and eat up all that good family love.