On advocating for a sick kid and then some

waiting for the procedure to begin
waiting for the procedure to begin

We are in the clear. It was a long ten weeks though. Let’s call it a really long virus. Let’s call it frightening. Let’s call it another reminder in how much perseverance a parent must have to parent, period. In this particular photo, Sam was waiting for a series of scopes to explore the possibility that he had any number of colon or stomach related abnormalities. Prior to this moment he had to be on a clear liquid fast for thirty-six hours. Prior to that were at least four doctor visits, two blood draws, and a series of other tests. He lost about thirteen pounds, lost his appetite almost entirely, missed several days of school, and if you ask me, became somewhat depressed. All during the mystery illness he kept trust in the medical profession, in me, and most importantly he kept faith in his body.

I am not really too caught up in the “so what was it?” story  thankfully.  Some wise doctor told me once that the body is still a mystery you know, and has many unexplainable pings and pains, that will always remain unknown.

I am caught up in all the decisions that are involved in the health care maze, and how it becomes another full time job for the parent at times. First there is all the advocating–for this test, and that specialist. For us to consider the stress of that on his body, and the aftermath of that procedure. The dance we do between is it really necessary, and what if we wait and there is a something-something we could have “caught” sooner.What happened to letting our body tell us what it needs? Where does that fit in?

There is the scheduling, the directions, the various lab locations and times, and methodology of collecting this or that. There are all the pre-certs, and forms to not lose, and file here, and send later. There are doctors who are not talking to other doctors.There are the nice nurses, and the ones who say things like; “We’ll be using the same medicine that killed Michael Jackson to put you to sleep today…”. There are the follow up calls to the head of nursing to discuss the traumatizing comments by the nurses. There are all the uncomfortable moments where I wish his first mother was still talking to me, so I could call her up and ask her point blank about any family history of….. But, instead I just leave that line blank.

At this moment there is a kid who is finally eating and gaining weight again, and a few more follow up tests to check out one more this and two more thats. There is a little brother who has decided not to run away after all, since he was able to tell me that; “I just want someone to be as excited about my poops too! Don’t I matter Mommy?” At this moment there is a Mama filled with gratitude for Sam’s health, and for our unlimited access to more than adequate health care, and an insurance policy that allows us to pursue the doctor’s suggestions with ease overall. There is that silver lining where Sam and I are given all this unexpected and gentle alone time waiting for appointments, or recovering from procedures.

To all of you who are dealing with a sick child on a larger scale I have a little bit deeper appreciation for all that you must do every day, in a system that is so often not geared towards a pro family-child-medical profession team approach yet.  The unknown when your wee one is sick is unlike any kind of powerlessness I have every known. Parenthood seems to have a lot of that going on though don’t it? When was the last time I ever really had any control?  Oh dear.


  1. I’m so sorry you and Sam have had to go through all of this. I can’t imagine – honestly, ongoing medical stuff like that for my kids is one of my worst fears. I’m glad he is feeling better now.

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