I owe you all an apology.
I haven't been here in awhile.
A long while.
I'm very sorry about that.
Much like everyone else, I've been going through 'stuff'.
Not an excuse, but it wasn't really stuff I wanted to talk about, but it was also the only thing (s) I've been able to think about lately.
One situation has been discussed through my various Facebook status messages, and I figured my friends over there, wouldn't want to read about it over here too lol.
The other thing that has been eating at me, causing far too many sleepless nights, I had promised myself I wouldn't bring into the Korner, until the time was right.
Then, that everything got blown to hell, and now, I'm still being consumed by something I had hoped to have shared with you all long ago.
I sat down tonight, with the intention of NOT leaving until I'd written a post.
Something light and lively.
But, only two things have been running through my brain the past couple weeks.
- My kid.
- Our future.
That's it. Nothing else.
I've got z-i-p.
So, after keeping quiet about everything over the past couple of weeks ... here we go ... get ready for ... the brain dump! (sorry Facebook Friends!)
Adam hasn't been feeling well. Not for awhile now.
I don't believe it's anything 'serious'. Nothing that can't treated.
But I still don't know exactly what's wrong with him.
He has complained of a 'sore stomach' for months, off and on.
Every now and then, other symptoms will appear, then go away.
Others, like a constant pain. 'Like someone's squeezing on my stomach', he says, are always there.
At first, I thought it was a bug.
Then, it went away ... then returned.
I thought it might be psychological.
I like to think I've kept things 'stable' for both of them, since their dad and I split.
Same house, same schools, same summer camp, same sports teams etc, etc, etc.
But let's be real, I'm sure there are issues he faces, that he might not share with me.
Or, something I may not see as an issue, really is for him.
And, I know it's common for kids to complain of sore stomachs when in fact it's something entirely different.
But it continued.
It continued past the 'flu smackdown' we all received just after the New Year.
And it continues still.
Then, when you add another physical symptom on top of that ...
(I promised myself that despite the title, I would try to limit the crappy part of this discussion ... so I'll leave it at that)
... the physical signs can't be dismissed.
I can't wait and see if they're simply going to go away on their own.
Last week, whatever has taken up home in his stomach decided it was time to give him a reminder that it was around.
And it was nasty. Very, VERY nasty.
So much so, that Tues morning, I took him down to the Children's ER.
The resident, poked his stomach, asked lots of questions, ruled out what it wasn't (appendix, food poisoning etc.), and then said his boss would be in to check him out.
The nurses came, took three vials of blood, and were about to send us on our way with our 'sample bottles', when I had to let them know Adam hadn't been actually seen by the doctor yet.
The doc and resident returned, and after another round of poking and questions, we were given a referral to a pediatric specialist, and sent home with our bag of 'sample bottles', but without a diagnosis, and nothing for treatment.
Simply a 'keep him hydrated with Pedialyte or G2, give him Tylenol for the pain, and bring him back if anything changes.'
On one hand, I can understand this.
They don't want to treat until they know what they're treating.
I get it.
What I have a hard time with, is seeing my kid in pain more often than he's not.
I watched him in his sleep one night.
Even then he grabbed his stomach, grimaced, and rolled over in the fetal position. I can only assume trying to get comfortable.
Or, when I was taking them to the park, and looked around into the back seat, to find him silently crying from stomach pain.
THOSE are the things I find harder to deal with.
Not the reasoning behind not wanting to give him anything; simply the result of it.
The next morning ... Problem #1
I take the bag of sample stuff out of my purse and realize there are no instructions. Only the bottles and Adam's hospital card.
When I took the bag from the nurse, I only glanced at it before sticking it in my purse, and didn't notice there weren't instructions.
Or a requisition form for that matter!
So, 7am I'm on the phone with the hospital asking HOW exactly they wanted these samples.
No. I'm not an idiot. I can put crap in a bottle.
HOWEVER, there were four bottles. One of these bottles already had liquid in it.
Was I supposed to do something special with this particular bottle?
Some sort of cocktail?
Shaken? Stirred? On ice? WHAT?!??
The instructions were to simply put a small sample in all four bottles.
The one with the liquid ... to the fill line.
Good enough. I could do that!
Or so I thought ...
The next night, after developing a new symptom throughout the day, we were back in the ER again.
The doctor who saw him had his blood work results, and although he couldn't say exactly what was going on, he could see that one of his white counts was high, which indicated an 'intestinal infection'.
But, it would be 72 hrs after the samples had been brought in, before they knew specifically what was causing his issues.
So again, we were sent home with a ''keep him hydrated with Pedialyte or G2, give him Tylenol for the pain, and bring him back if anything changes.
And call your doctor in a couple of days for the remaining test results.
Up pops ... Problem #2
A couple of days meant Good Friday.
My Dr's office was closed.
So we all waited patiently until Monday.
By this point, the ex and I had already made our armchair diagnosis.
We think it's a parasite.
A particular parasite. Giardia.
Which was one of the things he was being tested for.
It's common in Canada and the US, and you can get it from lakes, hot tubs, improperly cooked food, and water, among a few things.
Adam is at the lake daily much of the year. His friend down the street has a hot tub. We eat take out.
And water ... that could be anywhere, although he's not a huge H2O fan anyway.
On Monday, I called the Dr's office.
On Tuesday, I called for the results, and brought Adam down to follow up with the doc as well.
She poked and asked more questions, then went over the test results, telling me what he didn't have.
'No bacteria, no fungus, no Celiac's or other intestinal disease.'
All great news.
But I still don't know what IS wrong with him.
HELLO! ... Problem #3 ... waving at you over here!
They have to do the parasite test again.
For some reason, they were unable to use the sample I brought in.
Are you telling me I FAILED at Crap Management 101?!?!?
She couldn't tell me WHY they were unable to use it. Only that they were unable to get what they needed from it.
'In the meantime, keep him off milk products for a week to rule out lactose intolerance.' (which had also crossed my mind weeks ago, as well as Celiac, Crohn's, Irritable bowel, Colitis, food poisoning, plain 'ol bug, etc.)
Off we go to the ER to pick up more bottles.
This time, I get the instructions directly from the lab tech.
Remember that bottle with the fluid already in it?
Yeah. That one.
There was supposed to be TWO of them, and the samples were to be taken a day apart.
Would have been nice to know that the FIRST time!
I DIDN'T fail Crap Management 101, after all! WOOHOO!
So now, we wait.
Until next week.
Which is hard. Really hard.
I'm sending a sick kid to school, who I know is in pain and trying to ignore it.
I wonder if he's paying attention in class or is focused on NOT concentrating on his stomach.
I worry about the time I've had to take away from work to stay home with him, and how it's affected my productivity, and in turn, project deadlines.
I know I can't keep him home indefinitely, until the test results come back. I don't want him to miss so much school, that it would seriously affect his end of year report.
I worry about if it turns out to be a parasite, how long the damn thing has been feeding off my kid and what damage it's done to his insides.
But for now, all I can do is wait.
And treat him with the only tools I've been given ...
Hugs, kisses, and whispers of 'I'm sorry it hurts. I wish I could make it better, Hun.'
And if it's really bad ... a Tylenol for the pain.
This weekend, I plan on googling 'natural alternatives'.
Part of me thinks if I had simply walked into a 'natural/health foods' store weeks ago, he'd be fine by now.
Oh, and I DID tell the technician, when I dropped off this latest round of samples, that if there was anything wrong with THESE, then someone was coming to my house to get the next batch themselves!
And at that point, I will have definitely failed Crap Management 101!
P.S. Don't worry, those 'Our Future' thoughts I mentioned earlier are still running through my brain, determined to get out.
But this post is far too long as it is, so I'll have to save that one for another time, in the near future ;-)