I think I am lacking some basic mothering instinct. I can detect food-related issues from 20 feet away, but some of the most OBVIOUS problems are just beyond the scope of my radar.
A little over two years ago, my sister Peggy kept telling me that my daughter Kathleen’s voice sounded really different and that I should do something about it. At the time, Belle was having seizures a lot, and I half-jokingly told her that there was neither room in my brain, or in our medical appointment schedule to crack that case. She was persistent, and I kept telling her that to take her to the doctor and muse about why her voice sounded “off” was just not a luxury I had the time to indulge. Besides, her pediatrician had said that her tonsils were big, but they often shrink as kids grow. That worked for me.
In that same time period, Kathleen had an awful fall in the middle of the night. She slept in the top bunk, and had somehow hurdled over the guard rail, bounced off Belle’s bed, and hit the hardwood floor in one of the sickest-sounding thuds I’ve ever heard. That resulted in taking a very confused Kathleen to the ER. On the way there, she kept asking, and then forgetting what happened (Her – what happened? Me – You fell off your bed. Her- Oh. What’s a bed?) Yikes!. She had a concussion, and it was a good scare.
A short time later, Peggy really forced my hand and said “she needs to see a doctor about her voice – it just sounds like a different person”. I decided that my crippling stress and exhaustion over Belle may be affecting my judgement, so I took her to Belle’s ENT. On the way there, I asked her if there was anything wrong with her throat that she wanted to tell the doctor. She replied that it was pretty annoying to have to swallow at least three times to get every small bite of food down. What? How had this not come up at the dinner table? Now that I think of it, that was back when Belle routinely choked at pretty much every meal because she didn’t have a gag reflex. I guess it was a shuffle that was pretty easy in which to get lost. The doctor looked at her throat and said “Her airway is 90% blocked. She’s lucky she’s managing to get much food down at all”. He then asked if I ever saw her sit up in her sleep. I responded that I had, and that she had jumped out of her bunk in the middle of the night once. He explained that that was sleep apnea, and she was sitting up in order to get oxygen. @#$%&S! I really dropped the ball here! She had her tonsils out and never had another episode of sleep apnea.
Cut to today. Literally this morning. I took Belle to the same ENT because Kathleen begged me to. She said Belle could not hear anything AT ALL, and it was driving her nuts repeating every little word. Belle had also been complaining about her ears popping, so after a few nudges from Kath, I made the appointment at the same ENT. She was given a hearing test that she miserably failed. There was tons of pressure behind her ears. They were filled with fluid, and she has hearing loss (thankfully, it’s completely reversible). She needs her third set of ear tubes as soon as our schedule allows. So, she’s having the surgery tomorrow.
I cannot understand this phenomena with me. I am not negligent in general. Am I just blind when it comes to issues of the ear, nose or throat? I feel like when I do pull the trigger and take them to the doctor, it ends up just being ”tummy ache”, or some other benign cause. But when the issues are clear for everyone else to see, I am useless! I’m going to have to think long and hard about this one because it’s just odd. Thank God my girls have a back-up Mommy who’s taught Kathleen to follow in her footsteps!
So, I probably won’t post tomorrow because I’ll be loving my baby.