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!

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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!

  7. 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. ;-)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. SAJ

    December 6, 2007 at 5:04 am

    We’re gonna miss you!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.