Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Mishearings of Worried Parents... Ah, What the Brain Can Do

Today we had our son's yearly opthalmologist visit. As many blog readers know, a yearly exam with an opthalmologist is recommended for people with diabetes to assess whether there is any retinal damage, glaucoma, etc.

As usual, my stress hat is on. It fits me very tightly and gives me headaches. It also has a sensor that shoots lightning bolts of fear down my back at a moment's notice. I don't like wearing my stress hat, but it likes to be on my head during moments like these... moments of WAITING FOR RESULTS AT DOCTOR'S OFFICES. They are very bad moments.

So, she is gazing into his eyes with her little light, and I hear her say, "Well, I'm seeing some DAH..."

I don't even let her full word go into my head. Because I know, in my heart, the word is "damage." I am sure there is "damage" to his retinas. Little bubbles, she will probably describe them as. I know the signs and symptoms of retinopathy all too well. I've memorized them, in fact.

DAH. Damage. My mind is spinning my heart is sick, a million thoughts flood my mind in a millisecond..

Before she finishes her word.



"There are some flakes of dandruff in your son's eyelashes," she goes on.

Normally I would blush like mad because I don't force him to wash his longish, early-Beatles style hair every day. I would feel like the worst, most neglectful mother in the world. But since juvenile diabetes hit our lives, I have realized there are only so many ditches worth dying in and blood sugar tests and shots are among them, daily hair washing, not so much. I simply nodded and smiled like a maniac.

"Make sure he uses a dandruff shampoo each day because the flakes can go into the eye and cause infection."

Oh, boy!! I have never in all my life been so happy to hear about what a bad mother I am for not forcing him to wash his hair daily. I have never been so happy to hear a diagnosis of DANDRUFF!

No retinal damage. His results were excellent, thank God. The kicker was, at the end of the appointment she told me how "well" both he and I were doing. How "calm" I was compared to most parents of children with diabetes that she sees. If she only knew the inner workings of my brain...

Yes, I am good at this "mishearing" thing. It reminds me of when I was watching Saddam Hussein's trial, and I kept hearing people talking about Saddam's "codependents." Imagine if you were Saddam's codependent. Boy, that'd be a tough row to hoe. It might be even worse than being a co-defendant....

Methinks I have been doing too much reading of the old Melody Beattie... ::)

Have a great day all.