Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Doctor News

When I take my kids to a doctor, any doctor, I have an issue with privacy. I feel that they plow through the kids' medical and birth history without sensitivity or regard for feelings. Yes, facts are facts but a young person can only process and handle so much information. For example, yesterday I took Harrison to the gastroenterologist, a new one we hadn't seen before.

Doctor: So he was born with [a condition]. And his biological mother had that too, and also [another condition]. Anything else in his birth history?

Me: Ah, yes, well . . . um, Harrison? Can you come get my phone and play a game? Great. {Whispering} He also had, uh, [******] in his system.

Doctor: I see. He was in the NICU for 4 weeks, is that correct?

Me: Well, yes, but mostly because there was no place for him and his twin to go. They stayed in the hospital until a foster home was found.

Doctor: And the biological mother, she is now . . . deceased?

Me: Yes.

Harrison: Mom, does deceased mean dead?

Me: Hey buddy, did you download that car game to my phone yet?

It's like this everywhere I go. I even talked the nurse privately in the hallway to avoid what happened and it still happened. I'm not trying to lie or keep my kids from the truth but an 8-year-old (or a 16-year-old) is not prepared for certain things, especially when revealed in front of a stranger. 

To wit, on the eve of his doctor's appointment I told Harrison what it meant to live with his illness long term. He doesn't currently suffer from it or even need meds for it, so to tell him this before would have been pointless. He went through extensive testing when he was 2 but he doesn't remember. However, it was time to see the specialist again and he needed to know what was going on.

So the sobering part of my day was re-realizing that his condition is life-long and that if he does require treatment, it's a year-long round of heavy-duty meds that give him flu-like symptoms the entire time. Really, how horrible is that, to have the flu for a year when most of us can barely survive a week. It's one of those things that really isn't fair but I have to have faith that God knows him and loves him even more than I do. To that end, He will give him what he needs make it through this life (mentally, emotionally, spiritually) and I hope He does the same for me. Because I'd much rather be dealing with the disease myself; I don't think there's anything worse for a parent than to know your child is or will be suffering a cross that is hard to bear. If I could do anything to take away that burden from my boy, Lord knows I would.

Harrison had 15 vials of blood drawn yesterday. When the lab results come in we'll schedule an ultrasound and maybe even another biopsy. Perhaps I've been in denial since his last round of testing came back with the result of "wait and see". I guess I mentally interpreted that as "everything's fine". And while I sincerely hope that his blood work shows a similar result to the first round, the reality is that his condition will never go away and that "fine" will always, always be relative.

Yesterday I was reminded of how precious every life is and how much I love each of my kids.


SweetmamaK said...

I sure love you rebecca and how honest you are. I hate that a dr would not understand the need to be discreet. I honestly at times would forget I was adopted, but then I was never faced with the inquisitions in a doctors office, Here's hoping for more good news.

Rebecca and Co. said...

Thanks, Kareena. I feel the love. :)