Sunday, April 28, 2013

X is for X-ray

Last year at this time I wasn’t feeling so well. I had been coughing for a few weeks and it was getting to where I couldn’t sleep. Allergies, I figured. So I took a cough suppressant. Then the next day I broke out in a rash. Must have been allergic to the cough suppressant, I figured. But eventually the rash got so bad it became a serious concern. So I went to the ER, assuming I needed some Benadryl or something. A few hours later I was admitted to the hospital. With pneumonia. It’s actually kind of a funny story. It’s just not the story I’m telling today. The point here is that I had pneumonia last spring.

There was only one logical, healthy reaction to this: assume Lily had pneumonia every time she coughed.

The biggest problem with this reaction is that she coughs. Like, a lot.

We’ve realized quite recently that her cough really IS allergies. (We are grateful for this discovery, as we- and doctors- thought for a bit that it was asthma. Toddlers with inhalers are sad.)

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Back to a few months ago, when we were constantly convinced Lily had pneumonia.

It was another one of those days when she was coughing so hard she was throwing up. We decided enough was enough. So we took her to the ER.  The doctors in the ER insisted it was nothing. We insisted it might be something. They finally agreed to do a chest Xray.

Again, I feel the need for a disclaimer. There are a lot of judgey Moms out there. Shame on you.  But just in case, you still feel like judging, here’s the disclaimer. We do NOT run to the doctor for every little thing. I have a rough-and-tumble kid, and I let her be rough-and-tumble. We insisted on the x-ray because it had been months of coughing. (Literally? Yes.) And I was convinced that I gave her pneumonia. (Which isn’t really how that works. But. Mommy guilt and all.) This was her first x-ray ever, and they will continue to be saved for emergencies. K?

And now, a word about our Lily. She is TOUGH. She loves the doctor. She is brave. So we played up this whole x-ray thing. She was going to go into a room where a robot would take a picture of the INSIDE OF HER BODY!!! So cool!

She was skeptical.

Then she was taken inside the x-ray room to see the robot and put on a special vest. Then she was left in there alone, and the lights went off. Then the robot made terrifying loud noises.

And then I saw it from a 3-year-old’s point of view.

Her parents had just put her-alone- in a room with a robot who could see her insides.

She. Screamed.

It wasn’t just a sad scream, or an angry scream, or an attention-getting scream. It was a terrified scream. She was really, truly scared. And we couldn’t go in to help her. It was awful.

Fortunately for her the technician couldn’t get a clear picture because she couldn’t stay still. That gave Daddy the opportunity to go in, put on a vest and join her. She didn’t love it, but she tolerated it.

That was one, tiny moment. And it made me want to put Lily in a bubble so she would never be sick or hurt or scared again. I can’t imagine how I’ll make it through another moment like this, let alone a lifetime full of them.

But if I had put her in a bubble, I wouldn’t have watched her play her first soccer game yesterday. And I couldn’t watch her swim the entire length of the pool. Or climb to the top of the rope spider web, hang from the top rope, and drop down.

And the magic of those moments is worth the fear.

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