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