I love that scene in the old Parenthood movie with Steve Martin when life is likened to a roller coaster ride.
This little guy scared us all with a seizure. I learned a new medical term. Benign Rolandic. Anything beginning with benign is a good start.
Outside our children's hospital there is a statue of children dancing in a circle with a gap left. The gap has often troubled me. A missing child? Ominous symbolism outside an E.R. But the brass statue has two, shiny outstretched hands, rubbed free of patina; proof that children instinctively know something adults often forget.
Awake in the middle of the night because of arthritis pain with a fuzzy brain; dreading the lack of sleep to coffee ratio boomerang to ensue tomorrow.
People with regular insomnia? I don't know how you survive.
Middle of the night reflections on a rather momentous doctor's checkup for my youngest children: It's been almost 3 years since my now 10 year old's last hospitalization. I started this blog in the middle-of-the-night period of my life when I could never sleep more than 4 hours at a time (if I was lucky) without waking to feed my son. We had to feed him multiple times in the night until he was 4 and then once a night until he was 6 1/2 years old. And that was when he was well.
When he was sick there was no point going to bed at all. He was sick a lot. Added to that his younger brother had to be fed at night too. On a different schedule.
I had a lot of middle of the night reflection time so I wrote and I knitted and I prayed.
We were in the hospital a lot. So I wrote, knitted and prayed.
I took up spinning wool so I'd have more yarn to knit.
Four years later and my body still wakes at 1:30 a.m. almost every night. My master closet is packed with a massive wool stash not exactly appropriate for someone living in the South.
Back to the momentous checkup: The boys no longer have to do regular checkups with their geneticist. There are no more tests to be done. They are stable. We still don't have an answer for what exact gene or genes are causing their hypoglycemia. It doesn't really matter at this point because we know how to treat them when they are well and we know how to treat them when they are not well.
It may not sound momentous. You have to listen carefully for the mental clicks; I'm no longer a medical-mom searching journals. I'm not looking for a complete diagnosis or for a cure. Their doctor said it's a bit like wearing glasses. We don't have to know the exact gene for a particular case of nearsightedness; we just order the glasses and deal with the inconveniences.
We still have backup. Their charts light up like Christmas trees and bump them to first in line if they have to go to the E.R. but I feel free. They feel free. They are not patients anymore. That's the important click, the truly momentous and much prayed for click.
Because I'm a klutz with a tendency to be anemic, because I do mixed martial arts and because I play jujitsu, sometimes I have visible bruises, bumps and/or mat burn.
Not all the time and not always spectacular. It's amazing what eyeshadow and a tan can cover. My 17 year old daughter has gotten quite adept with a kit she bought me for christmas. I don't even know what the tubes and powders are supposed to be for- for normal women- but they work great at covering the marks left by leg locks, thai kicks, accidental elbows, tight grips and gi chokes.
When I bother to use it.
When I don't I've observed some interesting phenomenon while out and about in my suburban area.
Mostly people are embarrassed and avoid looking. You get your coffee really quickly from the barista when you pay with a complete 5 finger handprint bruise on your forearm.
People get overly friendly and talk to you like you have the brain power of a daffodil. A trashy daffodil.
Then the really freaky one- you get oddly calculating looks from men. Very unpleasant.
The rarest response? A friendly, "How did you get that bruise?"
If you have your young children with you while visibly bruised? Angry. People jump to angry. You see it happen quickly; they notice the bruise, their eyes narrow as they hand you your change and their normal smile flattens. And they say Nothing.
Humans are weird; I don't know why God puts up with us.