Seven years ago almost to the day, Oliver had emergency surgery.
For three days, he’d been in agony with a sore throat.
The pediatrician suspected mono (glandular fever) which is rare in a three year-old but not unheard of.
We had to wait two more days to confirm the diagnosis.
After a night of almost no sleep, I was consumed with trying to help Oliver by driving him around for hours. A friend asked me why I couldn’t take him to the doctor.
I explained I had been told to take him back the next day. She almost yelled at me, ‘But they can do something for the pain!’
So I did what doctor’s receptionists hate and I simply walked in with him and demanded to see a doctor.
Later with some pain medication that only took the edge off, Oliver slept as I drove some more. And then something happened.
His head started to tilt over.
By the end of the afternoon, he couldn’t lift his head straight up. If you’ve ever strained or hurt your neck, you will know that moving around, getting up and down is extremely awkward. And painful.
Oliver was watching Sesame Street with his head supported by the chair cushion and the only way he could get off the sofa was by sliding to the floor and then standing straight up. He had to walk sideways because his head was turned as well as tilted.
We went to the children’s hospital.
After we had convinced the nurse that he didn’t have a specialist, we hadn’t been there before and he wasn’t normally like this (I’ll never forget the look on her face when the penny dropped,) he received an MRI.
Blood tests showed he did, indeed, have mono but what was causing his head to tip over, which by now it was almost resting on his shoulder, was an abscess that had developed in his throat.
Swelling, now so great, was threatening to block his airway and suffocate him.
His own body, by doing it’s thing with the parasite, was risking death of the host.
The surgeon strode down the corridor with her male and female interns. White coats flapping, they looked like a more benign version of Batwoman, Robyn and Batboy coming to save the day.
She told us the problem, the solution, the impact. She was awesome. I just knew things would work out.
Oliver had his surgery and bounced back none the worse over the long haul.
And I learned several things that day.
There is nothing so likely to relieve a mother of her senses than seeing her child in extreme, unrelenting pain.
That when you have a child that’s suffering it’s important to have a network. Another person to add logic and reason to the situation. To see beyond the immediate, to strategize.
And I learned that even superheroes need heroes. To defeat those enemies that even you can’t manage.
Try make sure you get a good one.
Do you have a story like this? Have you ever needed a hero? Did they appear or were you left languishing? Please leave a comment for me!
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I am participating in a Blog Every Day For 30 Days Challenge advocated by Chris Brogan. I am doing this with the lovely Mary Ulrich who writes for Parents and Caregivers of Adults with Disabilities at Climbing Every Mountain. Check her out!