Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Many times, in my journey into parenthood, I have faced fear for my children.

When Monster Boy was born prematurely, I feared if his lungs would be developed enough, if we'd face issues related to prematurity, and so on. We were some of the lucky ones, the ones who need not have feared, because Monster Boy pretty much took all the odds and blew them straight out of the water. He never spent a second in NICU or even the Special Care Nursery. He trended ahead on all the developmental charts (well, except for height. The boy is going to be short, I am afraid. There is just no getting around that one). He's been exceptionally healthy, exceptionally bright, he's pretty much just exceptional.

When we found out about Miss Sunshine's cleft, we faced the fear of the unknown. NOBODY we knew had been through this. We had no one to talk to, to give us their experience, to share our fears of surgery and delays and what this would mean for her. We muddled through on our own. As soon as one fear would be conquered, another would show up. She slowly would beat those fears back for us. And now, I face a new fear. These "growing pains" seem to be something more to me. She wakes up frequently in the night, literally screaming in pain. 10, 11, 12 times a day, she'll stop what she is doing, start crying and rubbing her knees, proclaiming "My legs hurt".

I know better than to consult Google on these things. Dr. Google, as I've heard it referenced, does very little helpful informing, but rather falls more along the lines of fear mongering. Google "leg pain in toddlers" and you get articles ranging from the usual growing pains, to Celiac's Disease, to Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, to Leukemia. I can find no articles that really seem to fit Miss Sunshine's symptoms. I try to reassure myself, it's only growing pains, it's normal, it seems bad but it's really not. Tonight, she has already gotten up twice in the two hours since we put her to bed - the last time it took nearly 20 minutes before we were able to calm her enough to even understand what it was that she was saying, much less do something to help with the pain. I've administered Tylenol and am praying that it will successfully help her sleep the rest of the night. And then I retreat to my room, to worry and read articles online that do absolutely nothing to help. We go to the doctor for her two year appointment at the end of next week. And I am debating with myself - do I wait for that appointment or do I call and try to get her in earlier?

In the meantime, I try to pretend everything is just fine, and that I'm not afraid of what might be. Just like we parents always do.

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