Fortunately her shoulder injury has healed quite nicely.
She heals well. Good thing. She has had so much practice.
She progressed through the state math exam with extended time for writing.
She weaned herself off the muscle relaxants quickly.
She is tough.
Wednesday she pulled me aside in school and asked me to feel her neck.
“Mom, I think this is a lymph node”
As she gestured to her neck, not far above where the mass that had cause the suspicion that prompted the removal of her thyroid, had sat less than 3 months earlier.
Hesitantly I put my hand to her neck, not as much to check, but simply to verify.
I knew she was right. She is always right. I swear she’s like “The Princess and the Pea” sometimes. She can feel everything.
But I put my hand to her neck as she instructed and instantly knew there was in fact, one swollen lymph node easily felt.
“Mom, the surgeon said I only have to go back and see him if I have any swollen lymph nodes. But, he said that was “highly unlikely.” I guess he didn’t know who he was dealing with!”
She tried to make a joke, lighten the mood while reading me for a reaction. I giggled. I reassured. I felt a deep sinking flutter in my belly.
Not because I assumed it to be a problem, but more because I knew this would unleash a cascade of additional appointments, and really… well, quite frankly… we are NOT in the mood.
Of course, all of that was, and is irrelevant. I called the surgeon, whose office insisted I have a local clinician verify that it was in fact a lymph node.
I called first the ENT who has been dealing with the throat clearing issue, hoping to kill two birds with one stone so to speak. HA! His office released a new flock – of which we will have to contain what we can another day. Instead of inviting us in to check on her improvement on his medication, he determined, sight unseen – and relayed through a secretary, that Meghan should see a GI doctor.
Apparently his on the phone conclusion based on the fact that her symptoms had not fully resolved on the nose spray and increased reflux medication was that a GI needs to treat her for reflux. While that may be true, on some level, at some point, someone at some point has to realize the two of us are quickly becoming overwhelmed, and sending us to another doctor is not always a good idea. (Plus, when your kid is 5 foot 2, and 100 pounds at 10 – no GI takes you very seriously at all.) And in reality – I just needed someone to check the neck!
So, I waited for our trusty pediatrician, and Thursday afternoon – on a bright sunny spring day – after an hour and a half wait – we heard what we already knew. It in fact is a lymph node, and it should be looked at.
So as Meghan asked me in the car if she should be concerned, and I calmly let her feel my own set of chronically inflamed lymph nodes, I calculated our next steps.
When I called the surgeon’s office this time I was told we would be seen Monday. They called Friday to let me know that our appointment was to be 9:30 on the 5th.
I woke up Thursday morning with a most unusual swelling in my left eye. I can’t for the life of me figure out the cause. By Friday when I went to tell my (patience of a saint) boss that I would need Monday off, I was looking far less than my best. Puffy eye had turned red and was starting to resemble infection.
As I sat in the urgi care waiting room Friday evening ready to collect my prednisone, my antibiotic, and my stern warning that if things didn’t improve by Monday I needed to see an ophthalmologist, I wondered where the breaking point is.
We had some tough nights this week – the two of us. We had some nights feeling a lot like we were bearing the burden of Sisyphus.
It is an uncanny feeling to be at the bottom of the mountain without a prospect of getting to the top. This feeling that we WILL be at this forever, requires careful mind games to overcome and is not for the faint of heart. We both experience it very differently, so the trick becomes to rely on each other, but understand our vantage points are unique. We MUST rest on each other, but others as well. And we MUST teach each other to look for the sun and the flowers and the beauty around us right where we are. It is a tall order for me some days. My 10 year old, well, she is my hero. Because, despite the occasional setback she finds a way to pick up and keep on keeping on.
She sent me this in my Email this weekend. I read it a bunch of times. Then I hugged her. She is determined. She is driven. She is my reason for staying focused.
So I shared with her a poem on my mind…
If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!
– Walter Wintle
Today, she had a swim meet. Her team lost. They usually do. But they are great kids, who have a BLAST, and cheer for each other. They generally have a great time. And somewhere in between the team being hammered, she was on two second place relay teams, and pulled this out.
Gray Cap – Lane 4 (After her goggles flipped at the start!)
Clearly the highlight of my week.
Now let’s hope tomorrow is much ado about nothing, and we can get about facing the next set of plans life has for us.
In the meantime – your prayers as always, are gratefully accepted.