In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

oh the horror of a runny nose

I just spent the last hour in Costco dreaming up my response to the nurses when they come in with sharpened tooth picks the size of chopsticks and tell me they are going to stick them up my son's nose.  Because it is runny.  Slightly runny. Very clear, but runny.  The same runny nose he had two weeks ago when they "scraped his cells" and found out he did NOT have one of the nasty six viruses they feared, but an unknown something (my guess: allergies, maybe the standard "cold").

I know, I know.  I just spent the whole last post writing about how I am trying to stay positive.  It is hard when your son is being mauled by nurses with sharp sticks.  If I brought him into the doctor's office, they'd take my co-pay and give me their typical response of "stop worrying your pretty little head and run on home." (Yes, my resentment of doctors and nurses is growing).  I understand they don't want to spread disease in the hospital, and I can put up with keeping him from his walks down the hall, and his painting in the playroom.  But if he is contagious, why are you sticking us in a room with another person?  This sharing a room thing is driving me bonkers.  I think two nights in prison might be easier.

So I came up with a few responses.  I haven't decided which one/s to use.  Maybe you can help me.

1.  What happens if I refuse?  Do you stick it up my nose too?

2. Do we rip out his fingernails before or after? 

3.  This in no way benefits him, does it? Just put us in a room by ourselves, we promise he won't come out.  Problem solved.

4.  When are you going to hold him upside down by his big toe and see how long it takes before I become a "belligerent" parent? Is that tomorrow?

5.  Is the witch doctor coming in before the bloodletting? or after the leeching?

6. Can I watch you do it to yourself first?  Let's see how long your nose bleeds and then compare.

7. NO.

I know. I know.  They are only doing their job. 

I'm trying to protect my child from as much pain as possible in this torturous, horrendous situation.

That is my job.  And this makes my heart sick.


  1. That sucks. Will be praying the runny nose stops really soon. (But finding a virus does indicate that it is not allergies and could be contagious.)

  2. Sorry... I feel for you regarding drs and nurses...

    If I were you I'd go with number 3, but said more like "Will his room-mate catch this from him? Should we have our own room to be on the safe side?" and then cross your fingers...

    One thing I use every night is a sound machine. I set it to waves (which make me think of Mexico 10 years ago). It's loud enough to drown out some noises (ie: neighbour dogs) sometimes (depending on how soundly I'm sleeping I guess). It doesn't solve the problem of external noises 100%, but it's better than nothing.

    PS: I typed "eternal noises" accidentally. I'm sure it does feels like an eternity! lol...

  3. I would go with #3 first, then #6 as a backup, and #7 as plan "C". Seriously. You have the rights. The doctors and nurses work for YOU. You don't work for them. Take a stand. That's the most positive thing you can do. And it never hurts to be prepared. Let me know which one you choose, and what the response is. I'm seriously curious!

  4. I guess I'd simply ask them to be a bit more gentle. There's got to be one nurse in that ward that has some compassion and gentleness, isn't there? Maybe you can find a nursing student that you can train to be good and kind.

  5. I've given this some thought and I think you should go with 1, 6, and then if you absolutely can't stand the idea then 7. It is horrific when your baby is in the hospital for an extended amount of time. Your mommy meter must be completely exhausted and alert at the same time. You do what you have to do. Oh and don't worry I often find myself having imaginary conversations with big decisions like that. Yes, it is a big decision, because you are the number one advocate for lil Andrew. ((hugs))

  6. I think... #7 followed by #3 followed by #7 followed by #3. You're in the right here actually. I think that unless it is mandatory (and let them show you the policy) you're completely sane to be furious. Of course they're just doing their jobs. That's not the point. They're not evil but you are doing your job and this added pain, unless absolutely necessary, is good to get angry about. Appropriate to delve deeper and make sure it isn't just some lousy protocol.

  7. I'm a fan of #7. Just say "no," or even "hell, no!" They have to have your consentfor all treatments on him. If the presence a potential virus doesn't change his treatment, and just means that he needs to be isolated, then bring on the private room. :)

  8. I think you should try all of them just because that is about where I am at too! We have another ear infection and pneumonia again oh and she is down a pound in two weeks. I am ready to scream right along with you...If you would like I'll give your doctors a call and you can call mine. ;-)

  9. If these are nurses who are used to your son as a "frequent flyer" and his counts won't leave him dangerously at risk if it is something contagious, I'd go with the "it does him no good, find me a private room".

    Having done 10 1/2 straight months in the hospital with 4 of them in PICU, I've also found that a sign on the door saying "Beware of Mother" can come in handy.

    You're his advocate, but I know it's hard when you know that you're dependant on those same nurses you have to stand up to.

    Hang in there.


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