beth woolsey

mess maker • magic finder • rule breaker • kindness monger

Trusting My Mommy Gut: The Good, The Bad, & The X-Ray

Good news!  My mama instincts are fully functional.

They’re in excellent condition.

They’re operating exactly right.

Also under the subject line of “Good News:”

  1. Meeting our annual medical deductible WAY too early in the year — even though we had no idea how to pay it at the time — means that current and future injuries, illnesses and accidents are covered.
  2. Cael thoroughly enjoyed his leg x-ray today, and he rocked the “still as a statue” instructions, earning staff kudos and two sparkly star stickers.  He really, really likes sparkly star stickers.

There are some tricks to this whole parenting gig, and I’m still smack dab in the middle of figuring out the puzzles.  Among them?  What to do with a kiddo who can walk, run, jump, and climb… who can play in the sand box, falls asleep easily at night, has no fever or atypical fussiness… but who every once in a while limps.  Who occasionally cries out in pain.  And who sometimes favors his right leg.

“Don’t touch my weg, Mom!” Cael reminded me every day this week.

“I won’t, Cael.”  I assured him.  “How about a teensy, tiny little kiss to make it better?”

“Well, Mom, I’ll fink about it.”

You’ll fink about it?  You’ll fink about it?!  Excuse me, mister.  Have you forgotten that Mommy’s kisses are magic?

This fink-about-it nonsense came from my snuggliest kid.  My kissin’est kisser.  Alarm bells rang in my head.  But then Cael ran ahead of me to the park, so I dismissed my worries and thought perhaps we were entering a less kissy phase of our relationship.  It’s inevitable, really (and I suppose someday his wife will be pleased), so I tried not to let my chin quiver too much.

But it happened day after day after day this week.  The weg wouldn’t quit hurting.

There were little signs something wasn’t quite right… followed almost immediately by another sign that everything was fine.

Well, I already royally screwed up once this season with the allergy-related medical woes of my eldest.  See, I foolishly thought that, at some point, she would become so incredibly miserable that she’d be willing to see an allergist, even if it meant having shots.  Then injection treatment would be at her impetus, and I’d be off the hook (and released from the 15-State Complaints Tour) for blame later.  Sadly, I let that go way, way (way, way) too far.  Retrospectively, I’m glad my child, who has asthmatic symptoms (um, that whole breathing thing is kind of important) didn’t have a more dramatic episode.  As it was, her allergist wasn’t extraordinarily impressed with our “let her be miserable” approach to parenting.

And so I learned.  Natural consequences are not equally good for all things.  Sometimes, I have to be the Mommy, buck up, and gather my bandmates for Complaints Tour 2011, even if that means injections are All My Fault.

Eight prescription medications later, and my oldest baby can see, breathe and isn’t wounding herself by scratching too much.  I can’t say I feel exactly good about my role in the whole thing, but I can say I’m trying to apply my lessons to future parenting.

Coming off of that rather epic failure, I was lookin’ at Mr. Cael with new eyes and renewed attention to my Mommy Gut.

I took Cael to the doctor.

The doctor, bless his heart, did not make me feel like an overprotective mama bear worrying for nothing.  He was, however, the first one to use the words “puncture wound.”  I think I responded with something like, “What the wha…?  WHAT?” And then he sent us to the hospital.

The x-ray tech, bless her soul, also did not make me feel like an overprotective mama bear worrying for nothing.  Particularly when I noticed the long, skinny, straight, obviously foreign item that showed up in stark detail on the lovely bone pictures.  “Huh,” I said, intelligently.  “Would you look at that?”  And, although she’s legally prohibited from saying anything of a diagnostic nature, she sagely nodded her head, looked at my happy boy and said, “That’s one brave kid you’ve got.”

She got that right.

Tomorrow, we consult with the doctor so we can remove a foreign object that unkindly lodged itself in my baby’s leg.

Tomorrow, I take a page out of Brave Cael’s book, put on my Brave Mommy face, and work — again — to make medical procedures fun, interesting, and not scary.  While smiling brightly, I’ll use sentences like “You get to go the hospital!” and “It’s your turn for more stickers!”

Tomorrow, my world will revolve around Cael, and he will wisely use his power to milk me of every last Popsicle our freezer holds.

Tonight, though, my kids are asleep in bed, and I’m alone with my thoughts.

Tonight, I’m going to work very hard to use my nice words — or maybe just my no words — lest the Angst that I feel inside stages a coup attempt for control of my tongue and proceeds to wreak havoc on the husband I love with ill-timed and thoughtless bursts of fear which I disguise poorly as anger.

Tonight, I’m going to avoid my kitchen, because I can hear both Chocolate and Potato Chips telling me they can make me feel better.  They’re very convincing.  But, sadly, they’re liars.

Tonight, I’m going to hijack my brain space and use it for gratitude instead of for sadness or personal remonstration.

I’m going to remember to be grateful that we live where we have medical care at our beck and call.

And to be grateful that this medical incident is so very minor.

And to be grateful for my babies.

And to be grateful for the privilege of being their mama.

And to be grateful.  And to be grateful.  And to be grateful.

Good night, y’all.

See you tomorrow!  Hopefully with a kid free from foreign objects.

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7 responses to “Trusting My Mommy Gut: The Good, The Bad, & The X-Ray”

  1. About 11 years ago I thought my 9 year old baby girl had a stomach virus, and let it “run it’s course.” Three days later she had an emergency appendectomy. I was not feeling like mommy of the year, either.
    On the up-side, though, every time she had a stomach ache after that, I was able to say, “Well, at least we know it’s not your appendix!!” On the down-side, though, she has turned out to have Type I diabetes (which I’m pretty sure is not my fault) and still gets stomach aches, which the dr. believes may indicate Celiacs, but she doesn’t want to know, because she doesn’t want anything else to be wrong with her, and of course, ignoring it makes it not so.

    I applaud your mommy instinct, and your ability to resist the chocolate and potato chips. Potato chips may not be in the same building as I; my resistance is nil.

  2. Good for you Beth, for trusting your instinct. Please blog today to let us know how it goes!! Praying for your little Cael.

    Years ago I had the same type of experience with Henry. He had fallen out of a shopping cart and we’d taken him in to be examined and scanned for a concussion, etc. To make a long story short, days later I dragged him back to the ER convinced that there was something else not right. Turned out his arm was broken in TWO PLACES. Whoops.

  3. Wow! I’m so glad you visit the doctor whenever something just doesn’t add up. When Cael was here and doing the very same (playing just fine, then an occasional outburst of pain) it did cross my mind that you would probably be getting some professional advice about it. I hope it is a simple matter to get rid of that offending item.

  4. Um, my parenting attempt at “oh, it’s just viral and has to run its course” landed us in the ER with a 107 degree temperature when we were driving home from a trip to the beach. To be fair to myself, I did take the kiddo to the Urgent Care (at the beach) a few days earlier when she spiked a 102 degree temp and was acting lethargic–VERY unusual for her–but the doc agreed it was viral. Yeah, nope. It was a UTI. Who knew you could get that sick with a UTI?!

    So good for you for listening to your gut and how in the world did something like that get lodged in his leg?! I’ll keep you guys in my prayers tomorrow as they work to get it out, Beth. Hopefully his “weg” will be back to normal before you guys know it!

  5. Wow, Beth! Poor little guy. And good job to YOU, for listening to the Mommy Gut. I had to listen to mine, a few years ago, when something seemed “Just vaguely off” with Brenna, and it turned out she had a full-blown diagnosis of type-1 diabetes coming down the pike. I do pray that it will be a simple fix for your Little Mister. I am working tomorrow, so please do stop by or call (if you happen to be taking him here?) and I can swing downstairs to meet you for that popsicle! 🙂

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