Tag Archives: health scare

Beyond the Boo-boo’s

We recently had a bit of a health scare at our house. Our oldest son had an appendectomy. Seems like no big deal, right? How many times have you heard someone had this procedure and you dismissed it because it wasn’t major surgery?

I admit I have been dismissive in the past too. I tend to rank surgeries by the length of the hospital stay or how life-threatening the condition that prompted the surgery. Before you decide I’m a total monster I should tell you I pray for the patients and caregivers, check on their progress, and pitch in to do what I can to make convalescing less taxing. It’s the time after the doctor released the patient and before they have returned to their normal self I find a bit perplexing.

We’re pretty private folks at my house. (Well, three of us are; that’s a story for another day.) Once we’ve put in the mandatory “here are all the pertinent details of the condition” time, we like to pop back under the radar. Suffering in silence is an art form. I firmly believe there are people on each end of the spectrum who could benefit from a good lesson in the finer points.

My paternal grandmother broke her wrist once. No biggy, just working in her garden, tripped, and snap. What did she do? After noticing the protruding bone she grabbed her hand and pulled. Snap again, all set. She wrapped it up and didn’t even tell Grandpa! If one of my aunts hadn’t noticed it on her regular visit no one would have been the wiser.

My grandmother’s case was extreme. I cannot imagine having a broken bone and not letting the whole world know. {Note the earlier post chronicling my mid-foot sprain: Klutsy Much?} I won’t bring up stories of people who are exactly the opposite, but all of us have acquaintances who tell us too much information about their health; to the point of being completely awkward.

What does this have to do with my son? He’s back at school after missing over a week. Judging from the outward signs, he’s all better. However, he is still very tired and sore. He has lost ten pounds, has dark circles under his eyes, and is in serious need of a haircut. His doctor doesn’t want him to drive yet or even lift five pounds. He’s returning to end of course exams, given on make-up days (during other class periods, missing even more assignments) with no review, because he was unable to attend school on the official three days of review and two testing days. He is much too stoic to tell his teachers he is overwhelmed and seriously concerned about getting behind in his pre-calc/trig class. Instead he will duck under the radar and trudge on.

Here’s my dilemma: Do I shout it from the rooftops that my baby has just had surgery and is far to fragile to continue at this pace or do I let him be the man-in-training and do things his way and respect his privacy and desire for things to return to normal? It is a constant balancing act.

I drive him to school; carry his book bag to and from the building (it is now even heavier because of the make-up work); make sure he schedules time to meet with his teachers for catch up sessions; and “remind” him that it is really important to eat lunch even when he isn’t hungry because his body is trying to heal AND not to forget to use the hand sanitizer…

This transition from little boy to responsible adult seems fairly effortless for my son. It’s hard for me. While I’m so proud of the teenager he has become, I miss the days when I could fix his boo-boo’s with a big ‘ol Star Wars Band-Aid and a kiss.


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