Thursday, April 05, 2007

In search of calm

Last Friday morning, WonderGirl woke up and stumbled into our closet, where I was getting dressed. She proclaimed, "I don't feel good, I'm dizzy," and collapsed into a pitiful heap on the floor. She was burning up, her throat hurt, her head hurt, her tummy hurt, her fingernails hurt. She hurt.

A classmate had been diagnosed with strep earlier in the week, so I bundled her off to the doctor for a strep test. One hour, one copay and one negative result later, we were home, ready to fight off whatever virus had taken up residence. Four days later, her fever finally broke. I broke about two days earlier.

I'm a worrier, especially about the kids' health. I wasn't this way when WonderGirl was a baby, when I was "supposed" to start worrying. I took everything in stride then, had faith that she was resilient and knew she would eventually throw off whatever germy goodness she picked up. Then I had the miscarriages, and they changed everything. Twice, the little signs of problems were actually true signs of true problems, problems that were only going to get bigger. Now I don't take anything for granted. I've had to try to re-learn coping methods that I thought I outgrew several years ago.

One night when she was sick, WonderGirl said her neck hurt, and there was a bump there. DT looked vaguely concerned, then satisfied himself that it was an enlarged lymph node in a spot that made sense, given her illness. I saw his look of vague concern and my stomach went down an ugly path, where I imagined WonderGirl gravely ill with cancer, wondered how I'd react, wondered things that I don't even have the nerve to type here. I literally made myself sick with worry that night, which did no one any good. Now that she's feeling better, I haven't had the nerve to check the bump and see if it's gone down. I don't want to know.

My huge relief at WonderGirl's recovery has been marred by the simultaneous (perceived) decline in Rocco's health. I've assumed he might come down with this after her, but also wasn't sure if he might have had a variant first, and have been our own little Patient Zero. Of course, he's not ill in the same way now, so my worrying continues. He's cranky and his feet started peeling last night. Could be the massive amount of sand in his sneakers or, if you're me, it could be Kawasaki's disease, which was on the differential diagnosis back in the scary time when he had a long-term fever and temporarily stopped walking. I'm going crazy watching him, looking to see if he's walking all right, wondering why he won't let me put his shirt or his shoes on, apparently needing more of an explanation than the fact that he's 20 months old.

Luckily, we're leaving town for a long weekend tomorrow. We'll be staying with two other families at a house on a lake in the middle of nowhere. This time tomorrow, I'm hoping that my biggest concern is how to keep my sheet music from blowing off the stand while I play the violin on the deck with our friend. WonderGirl and I have packed everyone's clothes, everyone's toothbrushes, everyone's bath toys. I bought a case of wine. I hope it works.


Suz said...

I am so thankful that I know very little about medicine. My sister and BIL, both pediatricians, are world class worriers and it's my own personal theory that it's because they KNOW everything that can go wrong and have SEEN it.

laurie said...

oh man, i am totally like that. i would so much rather not know -- denial, baby. safe and sound.

sorry you've had reason to be worry prone lately. hope a long weekend with a case of wine cures everyone's ills.

happy eastover!

Ruth said...

Yes, too much knowledge is definitely a bad thing, as is too much time to worry. Our weekend was chaotic, with more kids than bedrooms in the house, which meant I had no time to do anything but notice how much fun the kids were having. Healthy.