I am lucky. My kids are healthy. Other than some eczema, nearsightedness, and warts– they are a fit bunch. I am lucky – I know this because I have dear people around me who have medically fragile children. I know I am lucky – I try not to take this for granted. I am blessed.
But when my third eldest runs up to me crying and panicking because her hand isn’t “working,” my heart skips a beat and I hold my breath slightly. Through her cries and halted words, I learn that she is having a migraine (not uncommon for this particular child) and that her hand isn’t responding to her brain and that it feels “weird” and slow and justifiably worrying. I send her back to bed and it all soon passes. When she is calm, medicated, and feeling better. I head straight to the computer – picking up the phone in the process to make an appointment with our doctor.
This mama is worried. I scour information about childhood migraines, I post questions to family members whom I know suffer with migraines – I gather information, I write copious notes. I do because if I stop and let my mind wander – it tends to lead me down dark passages. So I do – I read – I take action. I gather up evidence – reassuring me that she is fine – she is good and healthy and well.
Luckily – the information I find out in the scary internet world is reassuring and actually in line with what the doctor will tell me, and the pediatrician, and her resident.
And all the while, I reassure my child. I talk to her, I prepare her, and I let her know that all is well. We are taking action because this is important for her quality of life and that sometimes even when things are not serious, they need to be treated with care.
But this mama remains anxious – riding a little close to the emotional edge. When my children are sick or injured, I become a duck on water; calm on top and paddling like mad underneath. I can keep things in perspective, I can hold the facts in my head, and repeat them as necessary but my heart doesn’t care for facts. I know my daughter is fine and healthy and well. I am lucky. I also know, I feel this deeply. My child suffers – her vision gets foggy – her head pounds – she feels sick –sometimes her arm loses strength in it. I don’t want for her to feel any of these things. I don’t ever want my children to suffer or feel anxious. I want to make it all better. But I can’t. Instead, I feel it – I act – I worry. This is what I call “mothering bilaterally”- one hand working while the other is wringing.
She is fine. She needs to see a pediatric neurologist – who will set us up with a treatment plan. Because this is treatable, if over a lifetime. My child is well and healthy and good. I am lucky. I will keep reminding myself.