4.10.2006

Fear and Trembling in Colorado Springs

Part of the life of any parent is irrational fear and over-reaction in regard to your children's well-being. If you are a parent, you know what I mean and of course there are obviously varying degrees of this for everyone. If you are a cancer parent, you know that this reaction is amplified by roughly 1000 times for your non-cancer kids and 10,000 for your cancer kid. In an otherwise good but draining weekend there were a few moments of awful fear thrown in. Nathan has had a bit of a cold, or his allergies (which have been off the hook since he started chemotherapy in 2003) have been in hyperdrive. His nose has been even more of a fount of snot and he has had a cough. We handle this well. We know his sinuses are perpetually full (after all, we do CT his head every three months) and this is pretty much normal for him. On the way home from church though he started to panic because "his head hurt" and his "stomach and something else hurt". What else hurt? I asked and he couldn't explain but pointed to his throat. So I asked if his throat hurt and he said no. He often complains about his throat before he has problems with vomiting so I asked about that and he said he didn't need to throw up. He also got all red and was complaining about being hot. I cooled the van down and he calmed down eventually and then just sat and rested on the couch all afternoon and didn't really complain any more. Now I know that he is feeling crummy and that his sinuses are full and he likely just got a normal headache. But I was terrified at the time that it was much worse. It doesn't help that he has a similar emotional response to mine. If he knows it is coming, he can handle pain orders of magnitude beyond which I have ever experienced. If he is surprised by it, he just breaks down and I can understand why he would react that way. This morning Susan said he was limping after he got off the couch. Ugh. Limping is a big one for us. That was one of his major symptoms at diagnosis. I'm pretty sure his leg fell asleep on him, and that is how he explained it to me. He was laughing about it later in the morning, so I'm pretty sure that is what happened or else he would have been concerned himself.

So I'll try and shake my fear, but I'm sure it will come back in brief waves until we get a couple of "normal" days in a row out of him.

1 comment:

matt dick said...

We've had each child begin choking to the point of requiring the Heimlich maneuver. Beth applied both as I recall -- incredibly calmly and confidently. In both incidents the incidents caused me to have minor "reliving" experiences with the attendent stress over the next few weeks. I have no idea how it's relevent to your story really.