Last Tuesday my youngest son Ethan began complaining of headaches. At first I kind of laughed because I don't know many 3 year olds that get headaches. Come on, you have someone to feed you, bathe you, and put on your favorite movies. Hey, I even wipe your butt after you use the bathroom! And while I'm wiping I'm thinking, "Oh, my little guy, you are the cutest thing in the world!" So, there's no reason for him to get a headache; nevertheless, the headache remained.
On Thursday we were preparing to go to John's aunt and uncle's home for Thanksgiving. Madison, my 11 year old, came up to me and said I think Ethan has a bump on his head. Sure enough, behind his head just above his neck was a lump that I've never seen before.
A little history here: My mom discovered cancer when she found a lump. My sister-in-law is currently fighting cancer that she discovered from a lump. John's sister battled childhood leukemia. This week a friend of mine is having surgery to remove a lump that they feared was cancerous, thank goodness it isn't! And Ethan's little friend from church, E, was diagnosed with a brain tumor after she complained of headaches. Can you see where I'm coming from? Can you feel the panic that began in the pit of my stomach? Lumps and headaches are not our friends!
So, we went and feasted on turkey and cranberries, all the while I'm thinking of that lump on his little head. We showed this mysterious lump to John's aunt and she also thought it was odd. We arrived home about 4:00 on Friday. I decided to go ahead and call the Dr. to make an appointment for Monday because I know from previous experience it is impossible to get an appointment on Mondays. I told the secretary that I wanted an appointment for Monday. I told her, "My son has been complaining of headaches for the last several days and now we have found a bump on the back of his head."
"Okay, ma'am, I'm going to have a nurse call you right back." ugh, just as I suspected, this needs attention. The nurse called and she wanted us to come into the after hours clinic at 6:00 p.m.
Immediately you begin to think of how you are going to react to bad news. I wondered how I was going to have to explain to a 3 year old about all the tests the Dr. would put him through. John and I spoke about it but neither of us mentioned that "cancer" word. But we both knew what the other feared.
So, we dropped the kids off at a friend's, and take Ethan to the Dr. He examines him and says, "That's just the shape of his head." Relief! Oh, it felt so good! Then I could feel my face getting flushed from embarrassment. I know I had nothing to be embarrassed about, I was taking charge of my child's health, but I feel stupid. I mean I rush in thinking the worst of the worst and the Dr. is thinking, "Yeah, that big bump on your child's head is holding his brain. It's supposed to be there!"
I'm sure the Dr. is thinking one or many of the following:
1. She has munchausin (sp) by proxy
2. 1st time parents who don't know anything (he doesn't know we have 2 other children)
3. Why do I have to work late hours on a thanksgiving holiday just for crazy people who have nothing wrong!
I tried to redeem myself by saying that I know that bump wasn't there before. I cut his hair, I comb his hair, I know every inch of his body! Dr. said that children's heads change shape as they grow. John tried to redeem himself (come on, I'm not the only parent looking like an idiot) by asking if Ethan has a concussion. What?! I may think my child is seriously ill with a terrible disease but I know he doesn't have a concussion! haha!
This year I am so grateful my children are healthy and strong.
Oh, and the next day Ethan REALLY did get sick. He's had a fever for 3 days. But there is no way I'm ever going to go back to that Dr. again!