When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. Psalm 56:3-4 (NIV)
In the midst of the drama over chiggers and sick dogs, we have also been dealing with youngest son’s illness. He had a middle ear infection while he was working in Virginia which was treated at a walk in clinic, and then, last week while in North Carolina on vacation he developed a severe headache that came and went irregularly. The headache was often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It would appear suddenly and painfully and after rest in a dark room, disappear. We thought he might have a sinus infection which was confirmed upon our return by the nurse practitioner in his doctor’s office.
He started on antibiotics on Monday, and seemed fine, but the headache and its side effects returned with a vengeance on Wednesday, forcing him to leave work. That same day, I got a phone call from my dad, “I don’t want to alarm you, but…” as he proceeded to tell me about a meningitis strain caused by amoeba found in fresh water lakes and streams. In fact, two cases, one in Florida and one in Virginia in the last week resulted in death.
Now, I need to preface this by saying that even though my parents live next door, all these years, they have been very good about not meddling in our lives. In fact, they have kept their lips zipped when terrible breaches of good parenting have taken place right outside their front porch. Even better, they have never said, “I told you so,” when the consequences of our failures emerged. But, his words, combined with that nasty trait of most females to hear our parent’s even gentle advice as painfully critical corrections, sent me into anxiety filled doubts about whether my assumptions about youngest son’s health were accurate.
I begged, I pleaded with youngest son to let me call and make him another appointment with the doctor, but he refused to go. He is bigger than me now and I couldn’t force him into a car seat and haul him off so had to give in. Besides, I still remember that time when he was eight and threw a chair at me in the same doctor’s waiting room because he had to have blood drawn.
Even though the headaches and nausea continued, he and husband brushed off my fears (and the imaginary voice of my dad which swirled through my head accusing me of being a terrible mom) until this morning, when youngest woke with such pain that he called me at work and begged me to take him to the hospital. I shot out of my office like a rocket, one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on the phone to the doctor all the while thinking I should just head straight to the emergency room.
By the time I had secured him an appointment, he had gone back to sleep and when, awakened, said, he no longer needed medical assistance. Forgetting that he might throw a chair at me, I got on my Momma Bear face and said he was going whether I had to knock him on his head and drag him there. While I waited for the appointment, I paced and prayed and cleaned house and ate chocolate. All ways I handle stress.
Then, I hauled his butt to the doctor where after blood work and an exam, the doctor assured me it is not meningitis but an antibiotic resistant sinus infection. And this is where I have to confess to more failings than just hearing my parents voice as critical, I am still worrying that the doctor is wrong and I should have taken him to the hospital.
The whole time I was worked up over whether he was really ill, I alternated being praying and writing his obituary. And now, I can’t believe, it was something so simple as a sinus infection. After all, they didn’t do a CAT Scan or a Spinal Tap. For Pete’s Sake, they didn’t even do an X-Ray! Obviously, my ability to trust not only medical science, but God needs some improvement. Not to mention, ridding myself of that horribly inaccurate parental voice.