The Little Doctor

He’s finally doing better. After weeks of back-and-forths from the emergency room he’s finally stopped bleeding internally. The final diagnosis is esophageal dystonia as the underlying cause of GERD. Basically all the spasming in his throat is causing the esophagus to open and let out acid. This is causing widespread and severe gastric ulceration, bleeding and pain.

With the right dose of medication and lots of hugs and kisses, he seems to be on the mend. Today is a good day. No cramps no crying, just a happy healthy kid. These days warm my heart and make me long for more of them. Getting ready for bed, he decided we all needed our medical exams to make sure we were okay before we slept. I had a twang in my heart as he went and got his toy doctors kit, because a doctor’s exam had become part of his daily routine.

He very carefully examined his baby brother. He was deemed to be in perfect health. Next to go was dad. He took extra time making sure he got a good look at his ears, throat and nose. After, he checked dad’s heart. He took his little hands and pushed on his dad’s stomach to make sure it wasn’t sore, just like the doctors had done with him. My husband was deemed healthy. “Hooray!” he clapped “Good work dad” he said in his most encouraging tone.

Next came me. A little piece of my heart melted as I watched him get out his blood pressure cuff and put it on my arm. “Now mom,” he said, “this is just going to give you a little hug okay? It’s not going to hurt, but I need you to be still”. “Ok doctor” I said smiling at him. I sat watching him squeeze the ball on the cuff, and wondered if he knows how much these moments mean to me. Not only are they sweet and heart warming, but they give me such great insight into what he is thinking and feeling. They let me know which moments in his life and day have left a lasting impression. It made me happy to know that the care he had received from his doctors and nurses was kind and loving. He mimicked them perfectly. I received a high five for my excellent blood pressure exam. Next came the usual eyes, ears, nose and throat. He nodded in approval, and I assumed I passed. Then, out came the toy stethoscope. I was really amused when he put it on my legs instead of my heart. He clearly had no idea what the stethoscope did. He knew enough to know that it helps the doctors to determine if somebody is sick. How exactly it did that, he hadn’t quite figured out yet.

Then he got serious.

“Mom, it’s not good news.” I was actually quite surprised by this turn of events. Quite Frankly, I expected a clean bill of health. “Oh no.” I said, doing my absolute best to look concerned and serious. “Please doctor, can you tell me what’s wrong?” He looked at me, his sweet little face full of concern and compassion. “Well mom, it’s your legs”. Now I was listening. I knew I was about to gain insight into his little world. “Your legs are sick mom, they are not working right”. Trying really hard to go with the flow, I asked “what’s wrong with them? Can you make me better doctor?”. He shook his head from side to side, and in an oddly matter of fact tone said “I don’t know what’s wrong. Sorry, I can’t fix it. But you are going to bed now, and they are going to start hurting”. At this point I was really not sure what to say. I chose to play along and simply said “that doesn’t sound good.” “No.” He continued “And the pain mom, it’s probably going to move to your back, and it may make you want to throw up. It will probably wake you up. But don’t worry it won’t last forever. But it will come back”

I took a deep breath, and tried to control my urge to grab him tightly and sob. So instead, I asked him if I could have a hug. He wrapped his little arms around me and said “don’t worry mommy, if you wake up and get scared, I’ll be here”. He was still wearing his little stethoscope around his neck. I told him how happy I was to have such a good doctor. I asked him if he could hop into bed and wait for me while I went potty. He nodded, kissed my cheek and I left his room. I went immediately into the bathroom, I closed the door, sat on the floor, and I cried.


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