Rebecca’s teacher emailed me last night to ask if she could do anything in our time of need. Jonathan had spread the news of Rebecca’s adventures through the first grade. Note that Mr. “I don’t know what I’d do without her” began to tantrum the moment the words head injury were uttered because he so hates to ride the bus alone. He explained in details to his class that his sister had a bad concussion but not a brain hemorrhage and that she had enjoyed the catscan where she got to ride a bed on wheels into the tube and a donut took a picture of her brain. (this was all information he gleaned from his twin) He forgot the part about how she was totally fine the next day—tired but bouncing around as good as new talking on the phone to her cousin, redecorating the house, and torturing her baby brother. She took great pleasure in telling her cousin in one of three 30 minute phone calls that her parents had made her go to Sunday school despite her dire condition. It’s true that we interpreted the concussion behavior as exhaustion, sulkiness, and perhaps another bug. But once she puked, had trouble speaking and sitting up we knew something was up.
Rebecca also told Jonathan that Mommy thought the doctor was an idiot and that the doctor didn’t know how to answer any of Mommy’s questions. It’s important to remember that little pitchers not only have big ears but extraordinarily big mouths. The doctor earned my wrath by first explaining that 50% of kids who have catscans before they are 18 months don’t graduate high school. (Rebecca had one at 9 months so she’s already sunk) It went down hill from there when he next got down in Rebecca’s face to try to get her to talk and then repeated over and over “so you didn’t know where she was for fifteen minutes” Are you sure you didn’t hear her for that long. I explained repeatedly that we have three kids, had an extra kid around, and one playing the violin so no even with my nearly supersonic ears I heard nothing. As for what happened our best guess is that she fell going up the stairs and blacked out at least for a little while. As for the dorky doctor his information was totally incorrect and he didn’t even know there was such a thing as a pediatric dose of radiation so clearly he was ill-informed and gets an F in bedside manner. Once again I’m amazed by the fact that getting good health care for your child depends so much on your own advocacy and yet some people don’t think we have a problem.
As Rebecca fell asleep on me I couldn’t help but flash back to the last time she had a catscan which was when she was nine months old and had an absence seizure—the kind where the kid turns blue and stops moving. What I remember from that time was total terror at watching my baby being wheeled into the tube. And I also recall that they finally sent us home when the doctor came to check on us and she was crawling around and I was sacked out in the pediatric crib. Despite the chaos, the exhaustion, my extreme desire to cancel class, and yet another day without a Rome paper written I did take a moment to look at our 6 and half year old miracle babies and marvel at how well they’ve done. And I took another moment to think of how thankful I am for the support we’ve gotten from friends and family over the last years of family building.