I want to write. I just can’t. Well I can, just not well. It doesn’t feel important or necessary right now and I’m certainly not connected to any kind of creative force because we’re in No-Man’s Land and there is no inspiration here. It’s a liminal, dank place, full of stark shadows and lots of waiting and angst.
My life is so uplifting lately, isn’t it?
Last week my son went in for his routine, no-biggie, 12-month check up. Only he’s not 12 months, he’s 13 months. Something stupid and completely non-important came up at the last-minute before his actual 12-month check-up when he was actually 12 months old–so instead of going to the “routine” appointment, we rescheduled. In doing so, we pushed his no-big-deal-check-up out a month so we could see our primary pediatrician.
So now he’s 13 months old and our baby boy who looks, acts and seems as healthy as any 1-year-old you could imagine… is waiting for a diagnosis. BAM! JUST LIKE THAT! OUTTA NO WHERE! BECAUSE LIFE WAS GETTIN’ A LITTLE TOO EASY FOR ME LATELY SO WHY NOT ADD SOMETHING ELSE TO PILE OF SHIT! HM? HM? HM!????!!!
Slight correction: Except for the daily needle pokes and blood draws, my son is oblivious to the waiting. WE are waiting for a diagnosis. And by waiting, I mean trying to ignore the whole thing so we don’t bust wide open into a million pieces of what if’s and worst-case scenarios.
I can’t share what’s wrong with him because no one knows. Our doctor calls him “The Mystery Patient” like we’re on some episode of Mystery Diagnosis. I’m not going to list all the reasons he’s being tested because I could not hold my shit together if people started giving me helpful suggestions like, “it could be this chronic condition”…and… “maybe it’s this terrifying syndrome”…or…”hey, that sounds like XYZ terminal disease!”
No, I’m not going there.
For now, we’re just clock-watching, phone-answering and sleep-walking through the impossibly long gauntlet that is waiting to know what’s wrong with your child. It’s every bit as horrifying as it sounds. Everyday is another test, another guess, another appointment with a specialist. We’re exhausted in every way but mostly from trying to ignore our internal dread, which as it turns out, takes quite a lot of energy.
This week was supposed to be all about my daughter and her first week at gymnastics, dance and preschool. Instead, all those things have been eclipsed by our very own, real-life episode of shitty reality TV. However, all those thing are still going on so it’s been busier than usual and mostly I feel like this…
Part of that meltdown, is holding back a tidal wave of Worst Mother Ever Syndrome. GOD why didn’t I just take him to his appointment a month ago?!? Why wasn’t I more concerned that he’s been wearing the same size clothes for 7 months? Why in the world would I think my son’s slow-motion blinking was his unique way of communicating with me?!? I’M SUCH AN IDIOT!? WHY DIDN’T I SEE?!? WHY DIDN’T I KNOW?!?
See what I mean? A tsunami of guilt just under the surface.
Until then… until I’m allowed to freak-out and break down or (hopefully) fall on my knees awash in grace and gratitude or maybe just reconcile a new reality… here is my perfectly perfect little man. He’s oblivious and adorable and seemingly healthy in every way… Please God. Please let it be every way.
Sorry for all the shitty writing.