Madeline’s pediatrician called on Friday afternoon.
I wasn’t bothered. Not at first. The mere fact she calls to check on Maddie is one of the many reason why I call her Dr. Looove. She said that was why she was calling. She asked about Maddie’s stats, and I ticked them off: slightly elevated respiratory rate, low-grade fever, productive yet persistent cough. I mentioned that the glassiness had left her eyes, that her smile was back, and that she’d started cruising on furniture (only in one direction so far, but we’re working on it). Dr. Looove seemed satisfied.
Then she hesitated and said, “I got the final x-rays back from Maddie’s scan.”
She compared Tuesday’s x-ray to the scan that was taken in the ER five days prior, and to an x-ray that was taken in December. There is a cloudiness in Maddie’s right lung that didn’t show up on the preliminary x-ray…and this cloudiness is a concern. Dr. Loove is going to send the scans to radiologists. She is leaning toward scheduling a CT scan for Maddie and is looking to the radiologists to concur. She said she’d call me this week to let me know what they decide.
I successfully made it through the rest of the weekend without worrying about the phone call. But now, here we are in the early hours of “next week,” and I’m thinking about it. A CT scan isn’t that big a deal for adults. I had one last month. Jackie! has them all the time. But Maddie is just a baby. She can’t just LAY there. For her to get a CT, she has to be put out. Sedated. With the possibility of a respirator. And no, it’s not her first time being put under, or even getting a CT scan. But as she gets older we get closer and closer to point where I can’t say, “oh, she won’t remember this.” She already remembers things. She remembers smells and faces and tastes, and who is to say that she won’t remember getting put under? She’s older and much more aware of things. I don’t want her to be scared. And she will be.
Then…what will the CT show? Her last CT was in April of last year. The results were what lead Dr. Lung to diagnose Maddie as having Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia…but she almost diagnosed her with something else (Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease). I’m afraid that a new scan might show that Maddie’s lung issues are much worse than anyone thought…which means more tests…biopsies…hospital visits…treatments…a lifetime of medicine.
A lifetime of worry for us. Sure, being a parent means a lifetime of worry. But I didn’t expect to worry about things like colds. Colds that can make it so hard for Maddie to breathe that she very well could just…stop. She could stop breathing out of exhaustion. That’s not in the parenting manuals. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s hard not to.
It’s not fair that I have to force myself to breathe in situations where my daughter cannot.