Monday, January 21, 2008

the ghost with one leg

You know, I might just be proud of us.

The Eldest's toe is starting to turn a patchwork of colors, and there's four separate areas of swelling - the pad of the toe, the joints in the middle and at the base of the toe, plus the ball of the foot. Didn't look like he'd bopped it hard, but dang. You can hardly argue with results, can you?

Last night, when I gave the kid a second dose of factor before bed (yep, I did talk to the doc on call, and I did rather bully her into approving the dose, but still, we did this pretty much by the rulebook), he tried to smile and joke with me. But it was empty, fragile humor, and he soon gave it up. Finally he admitted, my foot really hurts, Mum. And it's tingling. I considered the hefty dose of Tylenol that was already in his system, looked at a foot that was indeed bigger than it had been earlier that day, and hoped like hell that this latest dose would help the kid turn a corner. That night, I listened to him crying in his sleep. I considered the function of righteous indignation should the Eldest be awakened, Tylenol buffered with codeine, irritated emails to the attending's private email account, raining down fire and brimstone on someone, something - surely there's a guilty somewhat somewhere, no? But the Eldest never truly woke up from the pain, and by 3 am we were both deeply asleep.

The next morning showed that the foot had swelled yet further overnight, but the Eldest was not in pain. It looked like the bleed had progressed, but the second dose of factor had done the trick, stopping the bleed and giving the Eldest's body some time to heal. With additional doses and rest (plus more ice and elevation), the Eldest spent a comfortable - if somewhat hampered - day.

Tonight, I gave the Eldest a dose of factor (again, as per the doc-on-call sanctioned plan). It's a surprisingly enjoyable thing to do, with the two of us relaxed and comfortable with the process, and taking pride in getting the job done, in our teamwork. Afterwards, the Eldest asked if he could poke me with a needle, and I hestitated. Needles make me nauseated and dizzy, and the sight of my own blood being drawn can make me topple right over. Still, I knew that this was a good way for the Eldest to regain some sense of control, of power, and if needles aren't supposed to be a big deal, then why would his mama be hesitating?

Sure, kid. You can poke me - here, use this. I yanked out a 27 gauge needle, of the sort used on preemies. The kid's grin nearly split him ear to ear.

Slowly, we laid out the supplies. Though the veteran of a thousand needles, the Eldest was so excited that he forgot to wipe my skin with alcohol, forgot to pull out a syringe, forgot to take off the tourniquet. But he carefully kept my skin taut, marked his spot well and slipped the needle in so smoothly that I barely felt the bite and pop of the poke. I high-fived the best hands in the East (howdy pardner), who was so thrilled that he forgot to hold pressure on my arm.

As we sat holding pressure on the spot, I teased him. He laughed.

Me feel guilty about poking you? (Oh, right. Of course not - why would you feel guilty about sticking a needle in someone? Um) No, I feel like fun!

I tried to look wounded, but the kid was not buying it. Are you kidding me? That was a tiny needle, it was two inches shorter than one of mine. He laughed. Come on, Mum, I'm the ghost with one leg, and I need to be carried up the stairs. Whooo, hoooo.

And up the stairs floated my happy little ghost. Tomorrow he floats to school, and back (with care) to the rest of his life. As for me, I might float a little, too. Pride's pretty buoyant, you know..


Exblick said...

It's a delicate dance; for sure a waltz, not a tango. And I vote that the Eldest uses a 21g next time! :) In The House of Rix, we admire all those shades of bruises and what they mean to our bodies. Purple and white knot-ish = "wow, I bet that hurts"; our favorite colors are green, yellow and brown. I'll be those are your favorites, too! You're doing a great job, grasshoppah!

dykewife said...

wow! i'm so glad that he's feeling better and will soon be back to his life (thanks to a pushy mom who knows her kid). it's incredibly brave of you considering your problem with needles.

mama o' the matrices said...

21g? Are you kidding? I shudder to think of the size of the bruise on me, or the volume of the thud when I hit the ground.

And dw, thanks. I'm pretty proud of me, too. After all, who knew *that* was in my job description? Jeepers.

survivor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
survivor said...

You guys are such wimps. When I was little, a long time ago, I used to ask that they use a 19, so I could be done quicker. Having come to my senses, these days I use a 25

mama o' the matrices said...

we who wimp salute you. But if I was infusing the volume you used to use, I bet I'd have hollered for a PICC line, just so as not to sit around all morning. And I hear that product used to be thicker, too than it is now - thicker=slower to push, I'm told.

survivor said...

Salute Me? I don't think so. I can't imagine dealing with this from a parent's side. Reading what you're going through has reminded me how lucky I am. When I have a bleed I infuse. I know exactly how much. I don't have to ask anybody, make any committee decisions, or convince a doctor of anything. I also know it will work. If it doesn't, I know that something else is wrong. My insurance is resigned to the fact that they're on the hook for my lifetime max, and the sooner I use it the sooner they can clear me off the books.

It is I who salutes you.

mama o' the matrices said...

bah, humbug. I can't imagine being in the Eldest's shoes. Life as a kid was tough enough with the cliques, who needs bleeding joints?

On the other hand, this is one of those moments when I should nod and smile, yes? Right. But yer not so bad yerself, survivor.