Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The lesser of two evils

Q: Which is worse?

1. Taking your six-month old to the hospital for tests, tests that hurt him and cause him to scream bloody murder while your husband waits outside the examination room so you are alone in your desperate attempts to calm your wailing child and, let's face it, you are crying just as hard as he is. Tests you could not warn him about or explain so you feel terrible that he has been ambushed in this way.

2. Taking your almost 2 1/2-year old to the hospital for tests, tests that hurt him and cause him to scream bloody murder and ignore the Dora playing on the TV, the stars on the ceiling, the cheery murals on the wall, and the desperate attempts by both parents to calm him down. Tests you tried to prepare him for, but couldn't say "they are going to hurt," so instead you said the doctors had to take pictures of his tummy, we could see the fish in the waiting room, and mommy and daddy would be there the whole time, and we can have chocolate milk after it is all over, so it won't be so bad.

That was my day yesterday. The good thing is, although I feel like a raggedy, wrung-out washcloth, Charlie is fine. Fine except for a bum right kidney that appears to be getting a little bit worse. If we were to evaluate his kidneys, his left would get "exceeds expectations" and a nice, fat raise, while the right kidney would get "unsatisfactory" and an escorted trip out of the building. And while you can live your whole life on just one kidney -- as my friend DB found out after an ultrasound at the age of 32 -- the nephrologist (a kidney specialist for the uninitiated. Not the quack science of measuring heads to determine personality as I used to think it was. What is that called anyway? I really hope it sounds like nephrology or else I'm looking pretty dippy here. And I'm using the word dippy to boot) would like to ensure that the good kidney stays good and the bad kidney, well, doesn't get worse. So that means more meds. Ugh. And while I was all bright-eyed and upbeat in the nephrologist's office, now I'm all weepy and deflated.

And I should feel relieved that it isn't worse. Or life-threatening. And I am. And thankful. And I really should follow Charlie's lead here, because today he's his usual chirpy, happy self. In fact, he was fine the moment he saw the fish in the waiting room. And hey, we can walk in and walk (or skip or run) out of CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario) with our child, and that my friends is a blessing all on its own.

1 comment:

scarbie doll said...

Dude -- I so feel your pain. We are due at Sick Kids next month and I have to steel myself for the horrible depression that follows the visit. Hang in there.