A Sigh of Relief

Deb and me When Debbie was 6 weeks old, she was diagnosed with “Failure to Thrive.” She was barely eating and spent most of the day sleeping. It turned out to be thrush.

When Debbie was 2, we were referred to Infants and Toddlers and she was diagnosed with a “More Than 20% Cognitive Delay.” She started Speech and Language, OT, and SPED services.

When Debbie was 3 years old she was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor.  At first the doctors told me she was constipated, but I knew that wasn’t the issue, so I persisted. Sure enough, a few weeks later, they discovered that not only did she have a tumor that had obliterated her left kidney, but it had traveled across her renal vein, almost taking out her right kidney.  The tumor then proceeded to travel up her vena cava and from there a piece broke off, causing a pulmonary embolism. She was treated for 8 months before being cleared.

When Debbie was 5 she was formerly diagnosed with Autism. It wasn’t anything new to me.  At the time however, I wasn’t emotionally ready to deal with the reality of Autism. I came around sooner than later though, because a Momma Bear’s got to do what a Momma Bear’s got to do!

When Debbie was 10 she started having issues with constipation that we have been battling with since. It is a battle that ebbs and flows like the sea.

A few weeks ago I took Deb for her annual physical and she was checked for scoliosis. Now, I need to backtrack for a moment.  During the course of her cancer treatment, she needed radiation therapy. The radiologist had to radiate the base of her spine to eliminate the tumor in her kidney.  He cautioned me at that time that it was highly likely that Debbie could suffer from scoliosis as a result of the radiation.  Fast forward 8 years. Debbie was having trouble following the doctor’s directions and bending the way she wanted her to bend.  The doc recommended a scoliosis x-ray. I knew I was going to follow-up but I was procrastinating until after our trip to Disney World. Last Friday, I took Deb to her appointment with her psychiatrist at Kennedy Krieger. Her psych noticed that she was leaning and asked if she was being for scoliosis.  I told her I needed to make an appointment for an x-ray.  No more procrastinating.  Time to get off my ass and be the responsible parent that I am. Although, to be quite honest, I was truly dreading the outcome.

I called the radiology lab this morning. I called Vince and let him know that I was taking her for the x-ray. I was nervous and upset.  The thought of scoliosis, while not life threatening, seemed to be one more diagnosis on a laundry list of diagnoses. I was frustrated for Debbie.  I mean how much does one little girl have to endure.  She’s 11 freaking years old, for crying out loud! Deb has never hurt anyone! So, what the hell?!

I called my aunt and asked her if she would come with me, as I didn’t feel like going alone.   Before we left, I used Debbie’s PODD to explain to her what was going to happen.  She was relaxed and prepared.  😀  She changed into a gown, which was an unexpected event in the process. We went into the room and they told me she couldn’t move.  I totally forgot about that part too. She was very interested in the camera and kept on turning around to see what was happening. They didn’t get the image and told me the study was over.  I went into the screening area and they showed me how the image of her spine was distorted. In the mean time, Debbie was getting annoyed because once she realized that she needed to be still, and that her body wasn’t going to be invaded, she wanted to do it the right way! We did the test again and this time she managed to stay in one place. I looked at the image and naturally they wouldn’t tell me the results. Once I was home though, I called the pediatrician’s office and asked if they would call me as soon as they had any conclusions.  I love my pediatrician’s office! Even though the doc wasn’t in today, they called me anyway! And guess what? All of my worrying and fretting was for naught.  Debbie does not have scoliosis at this time.  I think she suffers from lousy posture just like me. And when I found out that the x-ray came back negative, I let out a long and audible sigh of relief! PHEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWW!!!!!

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