Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Resolve to Be More Superstitous

My step-brother asked us last night if we had made any resolutions for the year upcoming. Yes, we, as a family, resolve to see less medical professionals in the new year. In 2007, I believe members of our family have seen or consulted with at least 2 gastroenterologists, an obstetrician, 2 cardiologists, 1 neonatologist, a host of radiologists, an x-ray tech, a dentist, and 3 pediatricians. It probably goes without saying that the pharmacist likely knows us by name. At this rate, I feel like I should watch an episode of Dr. Phil before the year's end just to have someone else to add to the list.

Oddly enough, our daughter has not been to the doctor even once this year, minus having her teeth cleaned twice.

Next year should be better because, if for no other reason, I do not plan to add any new children to our numbers. And with Pat's new magic food pills, I think he should be able to steer clear of any doctor's waiting rooms, as he had been successful at doing for nearly a decade prior to last year.

Unfortunately, our son is apparently not a team player. He already has appointments with a pulminologist, opthamalogist, physical therapist, and his regular pediatrician all before anyone is even dolling out red hearts studded with paper doilies in mid-February 2008. Its a bit difficult to believe that this nearly EIGHTEEN pound ball of chatter and laughs could possibly have anything wrong with him other than a voracious appetite that is going to be the death of his mother, but each visit back to the pediatrician seems to reveal that things aren't quite adding up. When I took in him, yet again, yesterday, for continued loud and rattly breathing, the doctor gave me a furrowed brow, a definitive "Hmfph?", and suggested it was time to take the kid's growing bag of "tricks" to a specialist.

Perhaps for reasons related to all of this, he's also a bit slow developmentally, and we're gearing up to have a physical therapist in our home once a week, at least through the winter. This is program through the state, and we're just barely "poor" enough to get these services for free. You've got to know by now that that is practically my favorite word, second only to "cookie", "sleep", or "Can-I-please-babysit-your-children?"

This all adds up to me fretting about 10x more than I have fretted about anything for years, with the possible exception of when I was in knots over what I would do when the Gilmore Girls finally came to an end. Sometimes people point out that it could all be a lot worse, and that I don't really know if there is anything to truly worry about at this point. They're absolutely right, but when its your baby, perspective on how much worse it could be is sometimes hard to grip on.

Last night, we toured the Roman Art exhibit on loan from the Louvre at our local art museum. When I spotted the small child-like sculpture with the pointy hat, I paused to read the description of this arresting character. It was a sculpture of Telesphorus, a young boy who is associated with health and recovery, particularly in children. I have never given heed to any sort of superstition or mythology, but, last night, I wanted to put this little sculpted boy in my bag. (If only I had been carrying a bag that was 3 feet deep.) I wanted to tattoo his name on my children's bottoms, grind him up to sprinkle on their oatmeal, and wear his likeness on a medallion around my neck. I am learning, concern for children's well being has no parallel.

Someone asked if I was this worried when our daughter was born 7 weeks prematurely. I truly was not. From day one, that girl was stronger than she should've been, and its been that way ever since. Her brother on the other hand, has had no reason but to be as healthy as an ox, but has lived contrary to that since his 3rd day of life. Of course if being fat and jolly are any indicators for future wellness, I should not worry for even a minute about this little boy. As for his sister, I also made a special connection at the Roman Art exhibit. As I was reading the description of a sculpture of an unnamed Barbarian, I learned that a Barbarian was simply a person who did not speak Greek or Latin. Since "barbaric" is sometimes the only way to describe her behavior some days, I'm thinking of reading to her from my Lexicon in lieu of her bedtime story each night. Its worth a shot!

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