Monday, October 30, 2006

In which I hope not to jinx my son's health

I think Rocco is over it, whatever "it" was. This weekend, our little guy was basically back to normal -- his cackle happily / screech unhappily balance was tilted back to the cackle happily side. He is walking just as well as you'd expect from any 14-month-old with an oddly-protruding belly, which is to say that he often falls down for no apparent reason. I think that's normal for him, though, because I'm pretty sure he's genetically related to me. He has been fever-free for several days, and he doesn't react with shock and disappointment at our betrayal whenever we try to feed him. He spent the weekend playing happily with WonderGirl, apparently thrilled to be allowed to act the part of her pet dog, as she led him around in circles, using a laundry bag as a leash. (Not around his neck, of course, he held his leash willingly. Gotta be some interesting gender politics stuff in that, but I'm too tired. Damn Daylight Savings Time.)

Friday was his first truly good day. He didn't seem either under the weather or recovering, his throat wasn't sore, he didn't erupt with random whimpers. It was the first day in probably six or seven weeks where he was fully healthy. As relieved as I was to see that he could actually be happy again, I was just as relieved that I was able to believe he was healthy. There was a nagging part of me that wondered if I was so used to worrying about him that I was overstating his illnesses. It was liberating to relax again. I could hug him without subtly feeling his belly for excess heat.

It's been hard for me to accept that we really don't know what was wrong with him. Kids don't usually stop walking for a week; it's odd to tell other parents about the experience and have no one say, "Oh, yeah, that happened to us... [insert reassuring story]." I kept waiting, but all I got was, "Wow. That's scary." In case you've happened upon this blog because your child has stopped walking, I have no idea what to tell you. DT thinks (and I'm inclined to believe him) that Rocco had a longstanding strep infection that led to an inflammatory process of some sort that made walking impossible. We don't know if it was a hip, both hips, his back, or what. The diagnosis of toxic synovitis was thrown around some, and it seems appropriate, if not quite as snappy as "refusal to ambulate." This was all complicated by a bout with roseola that started just as he kicked the strep infection. There's nothing like spiking a high fever just after finishing antibiotics to make you wonder what in hell is going on with your child.

All I know is that I'm thrilled not to be going back to the doctor for yet another copay, I mean, follow-up today, and I'm vaguely optimistic that when I take Rocco and WonderGirl for their well-child checks in a couple of weeks they may, actually, be well children.

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