Tuesday, 3 January 2012

When Your Child Is Sick

I can't cry. I can't not smile. Those big brown eyes of my recently turned four year old girl is gazing up.  She wants to show me a toy that just won't work and she wants me to somehow fix it.  She has found it at the bottom of the bin, located in the corner of the doctor's office.  I am trying to fix it as best I can, but I can't quite function, my hands fumbling about, eyes are traveling from her to the doctor. I have just heard that something needs further investigation.  I didn't expect this, I expected to be told that I was overreacting again. But this time I wasn't, at least he doesn't think so.  
Suddenly I am driving to the hospital and finding my way to the children's ward where I watch my child's eyes fill with reservations. She curls up behind my leg, and I gently pull her out and usher her to the nurse.  My tense smile spasms, chin quivers and eyes go up.  They then say that she needs a blood test, she doesn't like needles.   I know she doesn't like needles.  I try to explain it won't hurt, but it will.  Even at four, she knows it will, and she cries and fights me and calls for Grandma because maybe grandma won't betray her the way I did.  I know I can't cry, but I can't seem to breathe either.  I just gasp and turn my head, while my arms hold her little body still.  I then get my voice back and promise her everything, attempt bribes, but she is too smart for that.  Her arms try to break free, her body slips down. I pull her back to my chest, somehow I have slipped from the position of protector. I wonder if this is all necessary.  I wonder how long it will take for her to forget about all this and if she doesn't forget about this, then what role will I play in her memory.  They wrestle her arm down and I hold her and tell her to look at the princesses on the wall.  The cream numbs her arm and the needle enters, and when they are done, she says frantically, "Ha ha, I was fibbing.  I was just fibbing." "What about princess?" I answer, looking at the nurses, thinking that the "pain" may not exist.  "I wasn't really scared." she says with her first tense smile, hands shaking as they pull back her hair. "OK," I say, kissing her forehead. She looks down. 
I called on Monday.  She was fine they said.  I don't remember them telling me that they were still waiting on a test.  The nurse called tonight, "Can you make it in tomorrow?"  We want to do some further investigation.  Oh, not again, please not again.  Just tell me she is fine.  
I am sitting across from my husband, desperate to tell him that I need him.  That I can't do it alone again. However, he has just told me how demanding work is becoming, how he feels swamped. How can I ask him to ask the boss for one more day, especially when I told him that the nurse doesn't seem that concerned? I just sit pretending to listen to him while watching the TV and growing silently resentful.

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