Monday, January 17, 2011

Tommy and Basketball

We didn't give much thought to basketball until Jenny's persuasion finally took and we signed him up. It helps immensely when his best friend Isaac is on his team and WWU's men's assistant coach is also HIS coach. Can't get much better than that, really. I had a bit of perma-grin on the Saturday Jenny called me from the game (I had to work that morning) to tell me Tommy was "on fire" and shooting and making up a storm. My proud-meter was flickering pretty bright that morning.

The other Saturday Jenny also asked if Tommy wanted to be ball boy at the WWU game. It was amazing to walk into Carver Gym, this time not as a young girl checking out the boys, but holding hands with her young son. Pretty wild, really, and I couldn't help but look around at all the people that I didn't know, instead of trying to find my group of friends cheering in the stands. Instead of finding Dan and Dave on the court, there were a bunch of young boys out there that really didn't look older than 17.

Tommy met up with the guy that was in charge of the program, and after a bit, he went his way and I mine. Just as I got settled in my seat about 5 rows up, I looked down to find Tommy under that basket, scrambling after loose balls, yet at the same time with puckered up lips and big eyes. "Is he crying?" I asked John, trying to figure it out. Without waiting for an answer, I headed back down. The nice lady monitoring to make sure no one went out onto the court allowed me to get closer to Tommy, who crumbled into my arms in tears. There on the side, with warm ups all around, here was my little boy crying big tears. He couldn't find me in the crowd and panic set in for him. I assured him that I wouldn't leave and showed him where I was sitting, then when the tears quickly dried, he hurried back to join his fellow ball boys. Poor little guy! What an overwhelming experience for him. He pulled it out, though, quickly figuring out how to operate the broom that they had to use to dry up the court for timeouts. Jenny and I hung out down by the court after halftime, just to make sure the boys stuck it out and finished the game. It was a unique experience for us as well, just different being in the role of parent. Pretty surreal, actually. Pretty surreal. Late that evening, after questioning Tommy on his evening, I asked him if he'd ever want to do it again. "No," he said, shaking his head. "Why not?" I asked. "Mom, I want to play basketball, not sweep their floor." Enough said, and understood completely.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Fall Adventures

John would say that Facebook has ruined my blogging. That and a somewhat lazy attitude have done me in, I'm afraid. It couldn't have been the numerous and unplanned little "adventures" in our lives to deal with. Or crazy schedules at work. Or the onset of a home remodel that was completely unexpected. Or...
One of our major issues this fall came with the return of Tommy's headaches. Maybe they really never left, but were masked by the massive and round the clock doses of pain medicine he took for 9 days straight. Tonsils and adenoids tend to do that, I guess. I felt conflicted in it all, as although the MRI showed a beautiful, clean and clear brain with no monster tumor in there, it was hard to realize that something I too suffer from could possibly be now haunting my little six year old. I understand the pain, the fear that rushes in when that all-telling pounding starts its slow drum in your temple. When Tommy pounded on his eye in a desperate attempt to fight off the pain, my heart pounded and I felt sick with him, knowing how helpless I am to even protect my child from whatever would come. With the almost daily calls from his teacher threatening his education, I realized that it was nothing to play around with anymore.
In this case, you go straight to the best that you can find. Seattle Childrens. That means phone calls, more phone calls, return phone calls, and answering the same questions over and over. You are thankful that you have the opportunity to find the "best", but sometimes talking to medical assistants "helping" their doctor only finds you talking to different people about the same issue, and then repeating it again. Turns out that even double checking doesn't work, as when we finally were able to settle on a pediatric neurologist in Seattle, even wires got crossed when I thought I'd checked in with everyone and they all seemed straight on what info went where. I think we did the best we could. We ruled out his breathing with the removal of his adenoids and tonsils. We saw an eye specialist for his eyes to make sure all was good there. We already had a great MRI. By the time we got down to our Seattle Pediatric Neurologist, I would have been shocked to not hear the word "migraine" for my son.
Although I went down to Seattle with a sagging heart, I left encouraged and hopeful, which is saying something. The facility was great. The med assistant was great in that he loved on Cooper while we were there, taking him out and behind the desk to watch movies while we talked to the doc. I felt that I was heard, and that time was taken to go through things. We opted to start him on a nightly med, one that was a starter and had a long track record. Its an antihistamine, actually, one I'd never heard of in all my research. That's why I'm not paid the big bucks for my Google searches, I guess. Side effects? Increased appetite and sleepiness, which is why we give it at night. We agreed to start the med, as although every mother hates to give a medicine every day, I want to give Thomas the best shot at living each day without a headache, without the worry, without the disruption it causes in his school day. I want to go anywhere I can to let him be free of this, and if that means I give him a nightly shot of medicine, I will have to be ok with that.
An update since November's appointment? Tommy has gained 4 pounds and has had four minor complaints of headache in a bit less than 2 months. Those resolved quickly with a shot of his cocktail, and never blew to migraine. Compared to the 3 out of 4 days of calls from the school that I received the week he started this med, I'd say that this is a fabulous response. I have yet to have the school call me since he started. He gained 4 pounds in the first two weeks, which had me a bit on edge, but it's amazing what an appetite will do for a kid who really could care less about food. He actually asks for breakfast in the morning, which is almost unheard of, and we don't have to shove food in his mouth as he's getting out of the car door for school. He eats now, and that 4 pounds is likely weight he should have already been carrying. We shall see where this takes us, but for now, we are thrilled. We are thrilled that unlike the days of the past, when people crawled into their dark bedrooms to try to outlast the pain, Tommy has hope. My prayer is that they will eventually fade away and all of this will be just a distant "adventure" we blogged about.