In hindsight, I could have set up an unhealthy connection between our children and the medical community.
From their start, time taken to go to the doctor resulted in precious one-on-one bonding or family lunches.
Our children looked forward to these unscheduled moments as much as the camaraderie that they shared with our pediatrician’s office staff.
So far, we appear to have dodged the Munchausen bullet.
“Uh-oh” and “biopsy” are not desired words from a doctor.
Recently, however, those exact words were used in relation to our youngest child. And so began a whirlwind of needles and tests and imaging.
I found that in a medical crisis, I am hard to please. I don’t want a referral to a specialist because that implies something is wrong; but get me one, stat. Don’t rush that test because rushing scares me, but schedule it immediately so the waiting can stop. And, of course I want thoroughness in result reading, but do it in a hurried-we-are-the-only-patient sort of way.
It felt surreal that our youngest child’s care led us back to the hospital where our oldest son fought for breath as a preemie. As we traveled familiar roads and haunted hallways, long-forgotten names and impressions wove a ghostly circle around us.
My husband wore the same solemn expression from back then and I was just as absently aware that he grasped the gravity of the situation better than I did. The doctors studied me in that watchful way from years past — as if they were balancing the need for truth with the need to not break me.
Our youngest son’s reaction was meh. He is the calm at the center of our family’s storminess, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.