who's the mommy around here anyway?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Laura Goes to the Doctor

I had to take Laura to see a cardiologist today. Your 15 year old daughter's name and the word cardiologist should never be uttered together in the same sentence, but she's been complaining of chest pain and so we sent a note to school temporarily canceling her gym classes and swim team participation and a doctor's appointment was made.

Laura has complained of occasional short, sharp, random chest pains in the past and our pediatrician, after performing an EKG, assured us it was musculoskeletal, and we all went our merry ways. However, now the pains are occurring every day, more than once a day, and Laura herself is getting nervous. I know she's nervous because she asks me, "... but it's OK, right?" In Laura-speak, this is the equivalent of screaming out loud, "I'M SCARED, HELP ME, HELP ME!!!!" You have to know your child, right? I assured her that it was probably nothing and that we'd take her as soon as possible to have it checked out. I behaved very non-chalantly and as soon as she left the room I went into the bathroom, locked the door, and threw up.

I can pretty much handle anything, blood, guts, bodily functions of all types and sizes, there's no end to the amazing and unusual things I've seen in 28 years as a practicing RN, and after having seen or cleaned, well, many of them and then gone and had my lunch like it was nothing, you'd think I could handle this with some semblance of calm, cool collectedness, but you'd be way wrong! The thought that my baby girl might be ill sends me over the edge, puts me in a tail spin and makes me sick to my stomach.

I adore Lizzie, but there's something more protective about the love I have for my youngest child, even though of my two children, I think Laura is the tougher. One of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver, says this in The Poisonwood Bible, that '....a mother will save her children from the bottom up.' I think she's right. I see my youngest from now until forever as more helpless and more innocent and more needy, though in reality she is strong and smart and capable. I told her just the other day, as we were walking through a parking lot and I reflexively grabbed her by the shirt when a car passed close by, that when I was 96 and she was 60, I was still going to be grabbing her by the shirt when a car passed too close, reminding her to be careful, telling her to zip her coat in the cold. No matter how old and infirm I get, I imagine that the last thing to go won't be my hearing, as I was taught in nursing school, the last thing to go will be my urge to protect my youngest child.

P.S. Laura was given a clean bill of health. On the way out of the doctor's office she told me that I didn't have to be nervous anymore and I replied that it was indeed a relief. I told her the same and in typical teenage fashion she denied any anxiety, it was only parental over-protectiveness that had brought us here, and how glad she was that this silliness was behind her so now she could participate in this afternoon's swim meet. We're all back to normal now.


  • Oh, thank God. I know you are so relieved! I love your description of when you are 90 and she is 36...I can so relate. Glad everything is fine.

    By Anonymous Jamie, at 11:54 AM  

  • How stressful!!! I'm so glad to hear that your daughter is OK and back to her usual routine. What a lucky girl to have a mom who will always be there for her.

    By Blogger Sheepish Annie, at 1:17 PM  

  • I can only try to imagine how stressful it must have been during the time you have been waiting for the appointment. I always say we as Nurses have ebough Medical knowledge to be dangerous ----or ti our ownselves at times just like these----we stress. You must have been on pins and needles with all types of things going through your mind. Great news to have the clean bill of health.
    Life is simply Good Enjoy.

    By Blogger Ms. Vickie, at 1:53 PM  

  • I'm so glad to know that she's all right! That's a weight off you mind, that's for sure! So, what did they say was the problem? Phantom pains in the chest area are not anything to sneeze at, so you did the right thing by taking her in the get checked.

    By Anonymous KLee, at 2:04 PM  

  • Motherhood is a joy and a big responsibility. Sometimes it hurts to love so much. I'm happy that Laura is okay, but doesn't your nurse's mind make you want to know what in the world is really causing her pains? My oldest daughter has three sons and only the youngest is at home. I believe you are right about saving children from the bottom up --- she is hanging onto that baby boy! (He is twenty!) Thanks for sharing with us.

    By Blogger Kacey, at 2:32 PM  

  • I heard once that chest pain is among the most common reasons for visits to the doctor. There are a score of reasons for chest pain that lie beyond heart problems. You probably know that, though.

    By Blogger Big Dave T, at 2:45 PM  

  • Glad to hear there are other Nurse's on this blog sight.
    If I would have read this before hearing from you, I would have gone out of my mind. Heart problems are so scary for me as you know.
    Thank you my Sweetheart for the forwarning.
    Thank God, our Laura is fine.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 PM  

  • I cannot imagine going through that. I was eating soup while reading this and a giant wedge of chicken got stuck in my throat as it constricted while I read that your daughter was having chest pains. Gak!

    So glad it all worked out well for you all.

    By Blogger Karyn, at 1:14 PM  

  • So happy to hear she is okay.

    You have no idea how many ways I can relate to exactly what you posted in regards to the youngest child. I refer to my little guy as our caboose of the family.

    I love the way you remind me of things, it gives me an "aha" moment to reflect upon. I love all my children equal,the different type of protection I feel I need to bestow up him is different, but still the same as my two oldest. I cant put it in words, but you have summed it up perfectly.

    By Anonymous Heather, at 10:21 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:54 PM  

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