Yesterday Chickadee and I saw perhaps the kindest medical professional we’ve ever encountered, and I sort of wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home with us. He (yes, HE) was a nurse practitioner. I’ve always liked NPs. They seem to have most of the same training and power as you encounter with the average doctor, but a much better bedside manner. It’s almost like they care, or something.
Of course, the fact that he was awfully nice didn’t actually GET us anywhere, but it was at least nice to feel cared about while we continue not solving the problem….
When we last left off, Chickadee was about to have a skin biopsy at the dermatologist’s office. Now, the dermatologist is ALSO very nice, and so when we went in and Chickie started doing her standard fear routine the doc started in with “If she doesn’t want it done, let’s not do it, I don’t want her to be scared, let’s wait until she’s more ready,” and I had to try to explain that she was going to be scared no matter what, and I was sorry, but we really just needed to get it overwith. I’m sure the doc thought I was a Terrible Mother™. But when your kid is needlephobic but NEEDS a procedure I don’t see the point in acting like she has a choice. Call me crazy.
Okay. So! Chickadee made it through the biopsy. She cried a little for the numbing shot but was fine after that, and was fascinated with the idea that the doctor was using a fancy hole-punch to remove some of her skin. She giggled through the two little stitches she received, and then regaled me with a song on the way home that sounded suspiciously like “Tiny Bubbles” but was, in fact, “Tiny Stitches.”
The dermatologist—whom I really, really like—chatted throughout, telling me that she’s certain there’s a stress trigger component to what’s happening here. (I restrained myself from answering, “DUH. Ya think?”)
“Is she an only child?” she inquired.
“Nope, she has a brother,” I answered.
“Older or younger?” she asked.
“Younger. He’s nine.”
“Nine and a half, actually,” piped up Chickadee.
The good doctor looked a little surprised. “And she’s… how old?”
“Eleven,” I answered.
“OHHHHHHHHH,” she said, as if it all made sense, now. “They are too close together!”
And then we had one of those moments. You know the kind—the rotation of the earth just slows down for a second, and time sits there. I exchanged a glance with Chickadee, who quirked an eyebrow at me in a perfect mirror of my own movement, I was sure, and I tried to formulate a reasonable response to what felt like a completely unreasonable statement.
“Oh, OKAY. What do you suggest I do about that?” I finally managed, and to my relief first the doctor and then Chickadee laughed.
“I just meant that can be stressful,” the doctor clarified, and time went back to its normal speed, but I would, for the next two days, tell anyone who would listen that I’d been chastised for having my children a year and a half apart. Because that’s what dermatologists DO, people—they SPECIALIZE IN RETROACTIVE FAMILY PLANNING.
Anyway. (I still like her. But I hope she’ll stick to skin from now on.) She told us the biopsy results will be back later this week, and gave us a list of tests she’d like the allergist to run. We bid her farewell and went to Dairy Queen.
Yesterday we took the list to the allergist, and saw the nice NP who was extremely sympathetic to our frustration in trying to get this figured out. But then after we’d waited for an hour and done a complete history, he went and conferred with the doctor and came back and told us that they didn’t want to run any more tests until after the biopsy came back.
I’m sure my face revealed my frustration.
“I know,” he said, sounding genuinely sorry, “You just want her to feel better, and you want answers and a solution, and it’s more waiting. But the doctor feels we really need to be guided by the biopsy results, here, and so we need to wait rather than just blindly doing more tests.”
It sounded so reasonable, when he put it like that. Still. GAH.
As we waited at the nursing station for a copy of the sheet we needed to take to the check-out desk, the doctor strolled up and asked Chickadee how she’d been feeling. She pulled a face. “ITCHY,” she said.
“I know, sweetie. I’m sorry,” he said. He turned to me. “Call us as soon as you have the biopsy results and we’ll decide where to go from there. But I have to tell you, I don’t think this is an allergy. We’re looking at something systemic.”
I was confused. “A systemic reaction to an allergy…?”
“Well, no, I don’t think that’s what it’s going to turn out to be. I think it’s not an allergy at all. I have a few guesses, but let’s just wait and see.”
My Mama Bear Radar started beeping. “You have a few guesses? Care to share?”
He shrugged, apologetic. “That’s not for me to do. Let’s see what the biopsy tells us.”
And then he walked away, leaving me completely freaked the hell out. Because if it’s not an allergy, then it’s a DISEASE. AND I WANT AN ALLERGY.
I kept my face neutral, and slung an arm around my daughter and left with her singing the “Tiny Stitches” song, again. She was positively chipper. The one useful thing the allergist did was call in a prescription for steroids for her, so if she has another “flare” while she’s away with her dad next week, she won’t have to go get a shot in the butt like she did last time. She’s fine; she is wearing jeans and long sleeves when it’s 96 degrees outside because she’s scaly and rashy and itchy, but she’s fine.
So we’ll wait. And I’ll try not to freak out.
Maybe I can pass the time trying to figure out the solution to my child-spacing problem. Otto suggests putting Monkey in cryofreeze for a little while, but I’m open to other suggestions, too.