I just spent the last 18 hours in the emergency room and hospital with one of the boys, who’s being monitored following some substantial blood loss due to another bloody nose. As I sat in the ER digesting the news that he’d have to be admitted, I realized that I had one purpose in life: to be my child’s best advocate.
Partly, my sense of purpose was due to being confident that I would be good at it. My training as a lawyer and advocate make me particularly well suited for this situation, even if I don’t have a deep understanding of the medical issues. Doctors are pretty good at breaking things down into layman’s terms, so I had a pretty good understanding of what the problem was. And being an attorney means I’m good at asking questions, finding answers, and being persistent and aggressive (in a nice way) when warranted.
I realize that this has happened before, just not so starkly. Since our youngest was diagnosed with a peanut and nut allergy, I have reacted fiercely when I’ve perceived any kind of danger lurking in a new food. I’ve pestered the pediatrician with all kinds of questions, and even made him find out if there are any desensitizing clinical trials going on locally. (Unfortunately, there are none.) And a couple of years ago, when the lead paint recalls were overwhelming, I convinced the pediatrician to let me get our oldest’s blood tested for lead.
Maybe it’s because these fiercely protective feelings are rooted in evolution, when the offspring who got their parents to care about them survived best, but I’ve never felt so strongly that I was put on this earth to accomplish a specific task.
Right now, I’m feeling particularly grateful that we don’t appear to be dealing with anything especially serious, while other patients at the hospital are handling major health crises. And I’m very grateful for the wonderful medical care we’ve gotten – all of the doctors and nurses have been terrific, and the standard of care has been incredibly high. I’m sure we’ll be paying for it with a massive bill in the end, but it will be worth every penny.
Needless to say, posting will be light here for a while.