The wait is over

Monday, January 11, 2010
After a long and painful wait, we had our follow-up appointment with the specialist on new year's eve.  It wasn't a happy new year for us because he scheduled Ethan for surgery the following Tuesday to have the lump in his neck removed.  He'd be admitted in the morning and would even have to be put under anesthesia.  This was no small procedure for a year and a half old baby.  I was a mess over it and wasn't exactly in the mood to ring in the new year with any celebration and went to bed before midnight.
I couldn't believe we went from ear infection to biopsy with literally nothing in between.  We have been just sitting on our hands for the last two months with not even a blood test or urine sample.  The specialist (Ear Nose & Throat specialist) never even examined Ethan to any great extent.  I wanted to scream.  The doctor assured me this was necessary which to me, made me think he made his mind up on what it was which didn't require a test.  My husband was against the surgery and we were at odds over it.  But the doctor told me it was what we had to do.  I told Wayne when he got his medical degree that I'd take his opinion over a doctor's.  It was awful not being on the same page when it came to our son and his health.
On Monday, we had an appointment with a pediatrician for a 2nd opinion before Ethan's surgery the following day. Over the weekend (between appointments)  Ethan had come down with the flu and was quite sick - Sicker than he'd ever been.  I was out of my mind with worry, thinking that his flu was a symptom of something much more sinister.  I moved Ethan into our bed at night and kept him close at all times.  I was falling apart at the seems.  By the time the appointment came, I was sick to my stomach and fighting back tears on a moment to moment basis.
In this country, a pediatrician is not regular doctor.  A pediatrician is a specialist that your child sees only if there is a real problem.  Your family doctor treats the entire family including babies and children.  It was a comfort to finally be able to see a specialist in children.  The first thing she did was strip Ethan down to his diaper and give him a thorough examination.  She then sat us down to discuss what was happening.  When she found out Ethan was scheduled for surgery the next day, she was shocked.  She said I wish you were sent to me first.  She said she didn't recommend surgery.  She recommended a battery of tests and said if the tests came back showing anything abnormal we would discuss it then but lymph nodes like these sometimes happen with children and it isn't anything to worry about as long as the tests come back ok.  It can even take years for them to go down.  I was so relieved by all that she said, I just broke down and cried in her office. The surgery was cancelled.
We were immediately sent down for a chest xray to check for lumps in the chest or lungs and then for a blood test.  She also set him up for an ultrasound of his belly to make sure there were no additional lumps there.  FINALLY, something was being done! 
The following day, she called to let us know the blood work came back fine and as long as everything else came back fine, she would follow up with us in 6 weeks.  We're waiting for the ultrasound appointment to come through, but this time - the wait is seamless and I'm not at all worried.  For the first time in months - I can breathe.

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