Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh show me the way to the next doctor's room...

Not knowing is the worst part. For some reason the known, however disturbing, is more comfortable than the endless expanse of ignorance. From the moment the doctor told us there’s a problem with O’s spine, my ignorance and imagination teamed up to create a horrific slideshow of nightmares. I went through each future year of O’s life. What if she can’t play sport? What if she can’t dance? What if she becomes one of those Hospital Kids who everyone starts off feeling sorry for then gets bored after the fifth operation and writes her off?

I have worked with children with severe Spina Bifida, and I know how many of them live from operation to operation. I do that awful superstitious thing that only confounds me further – I question whether my work with these children was some cosmic preparation for what lay ahead of me.

The ignorance is too frightening so I do the next thing I shouldn’t. Research online. I find out that the condition they think O has - a tethered cord - requires a series of spinal surgery over a period of time. The prognosis is varied, depending on the severity of the condition. One article points out that life expectancy of these children is normal. I hadn’t even considered that it wouldn’t be. Rather than comforting me, this upsets me further.

The wondering and ruminating is exhausting and frightening. Against the surgeon’s advice, I make an appointment with a well-known neurosurgeon. At least he will give me something real to grasp onto. I’m taking O to him later this afternoon.

And a strange sideline dynamic is emerging. Since returning from hospital, O has become much more short-tempered and explosive. I’m not sure if this is a result of her schedule being disrupted or her being in pain. I’m concerned that I’m pandering to her rather than letting her self-sooth, but I’m not willing to take the chance. If it’s pain she’s in, she needs me to comfort her.

I thought working in TV was a minefield but fuck me, this mothering caper is a far more complex beast.


Blogger sbs said...

YC, we're reading and thinking of you. If you can, try not to overdose on medical sites - this is from a confirmed hypochondriac - they mess with your head.
Take care.

8:29 am  
Blogger Calliope said...

Thinking of you. Hope the appt. this afternoon goes well & that you get more answers. At least I hope you get somebody that can walk you through everything. xx

11:00 pm  

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