Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Lightning Never Strikes Twice.

Last night I dreamt that I was in a car crash and I didn't have my seatbelt on. I got thrown around and around, felt my limbs snapping and popping. Then I dreamt I had a big fat pile of drugs, but had nowhere big enough to spread them all out and take them properly. Then I dreamt about the generational dysfunction in my family, handed down like precious heirlooms.

Just my usual dream themes.

This morning I woke early and sent Max off to his very first overnight school camp. He has been counting down to this day since February .... he's learning the settlement of Australia lately and is down in Sydney, experiencing it as a convict. Visiting the Rocks and the Australian Museum and wandering around town with his class. I told him that my line of the family dates back to the convicts, and he widened his eyes and said "THAT IS SO COOL MUM!!"

He'll probably tell his teacher - that's ok. I think it's pretty cool too.

Rocco went into daycare, and I gave myself the day off. I've worked like a dog lately, Dave has been away and is going away again soon .... I thought I'd have just one cheeky day to myself. Get a manicure and pedicure and the most overdue eyebrow waxing of all time.

On the way down in the car, I wondered what I would do if my whole family died? Maybe kill myself, or go off to India or something and become an enlightened guru or some shit. Then I wondered if the planet was going to be ok .... whether I could still be close with Max when he moves on to deeper friendships as he gets older .... and when IS Greys Anatomy back on? It's the only show I watch.

I thought how happy I was, in that moment right then - this golden orb in the sky lighting me up - I remember it, from long ago. I think they call it, "the sun."

I parked where I always park. Went inside and got a coffee, followed by a phonecall from Rocco's daycare that he had a huge lump on the side of his neck.

They are so wonderful at his daycare .... they all know and love him, have done since he started there at 11 months of age. I spoke with the centre director, she said that it was causing him no pain, he didn't have a temperature, and was just asking me if I knew it was there. I didn't.

I told her where I was and that I would come back up.

But I didn't, straight away. I didn't want to have a knee-jerk, freakout reaction. It sounded very much like a lymph gland issue. So I stayed, got my pedi, more coffee, some raw cashews and the freshest dates.

Then I drove back up, calling his doctor who told me just to bring him straight there.

I picked him up, and he was all snuggly. Took him to the doctor - he charmed the whole waiting room with clear and concise requests for strawberries. So we went and bought two punnets and ate them ALL, sitting on our white plastic chairs. I sliced the green leaves off the top with my freshly manicured spork fingernails. He ate, silently. The lump was at the back of his head, behind his left ear. It's gigantic.

The doc took us in and poked in Rocco's ears and mouth and checked him over ... he doesn't seem to have any accompanying sickness. He is the best, this doctor. He knew how .... my brain was ticking over. I simply said "Well, we don't like lumps, in our house."

He said that in most cases, it's just a swollen lymph node - from an infection, or something harmless. And it could take up to six weeks to go down. He looked at my face - "However, bring him back in on Friday, hey? See how it is then."

He asked Rocco if he'd like a purple echidna stamp or a green koala stamp. Rocco looked from one to the other. I knew exactly what he wanted. He reached out two hands to grab both.

He sat in the bath, later on tonight. Listless and tired. Only ate a banana for dinner then let me put him straight down to bed. "Lie down." He ordered me to lie next to him, I stroked his little head and gave him cuddles until he went to sleep. Then I looked at him, knowing that of course he was fine, it's nothing to worry about .... but water was leaking from my eyes anyway.

Intellectually, I know the odds are that he is ok and it's nothing serious. Emotionally, I'm keeping myself in check because I'm prone to excess bouts of panic and worry about ridiculous things anyway. Physically I keep shallow breathing and nervous tapping. I've googled it and it could be nothing or it could be the worst thing in the world. Sometimes google just cancels itself out.

Tonight I was in the kitchen, staring at the bubbles from the washing up. They were so pretty, right there in that very moment. After a while I noticed that I had been holding my breath, the entire time I was standing there.


  1. Oh Eden. I swear to all that is holy that you and I are the same person.

    Why do our thoughts always shoot straight to the morose~~gut wrenching fear leading the way.

    Rocco's lump could be from things as simple as an impending flu, to a tooth problem. But, when it is our child we don't think in small proportions and simple problems do we?

    This mothering shit isn't easy.

  2. No matter what happens for the rest of your life Eden, you're always going to wonder about that C word.

    Once it permeates our lives there is no going back to that innocent life we knew before.

    And I think parenting makes us extra cautious. I'm sure everything will be okay.

  3. Oh Eden I feel for you. I went through the exact same thing with Bubbaboo as you know we hate lumps in this house too. As it turns out it was just his lymph nodes up from a cold he had. Hoping that all it is for Rocco too. Hugs.

  4. A week and a half ago I had to take the girls to the ER because Soleil has a really bad eye infection- couldnt keep her eyes open, and Neve had a lump in the side of her neck! It was a Saturday, and everything in Israel is closed on a Saturday here due to the Sabbath. I was freaking out about the lump. They did x rays, blood work etc... Ear, nose and throat doctor said that it could be nothing or like you said... everything.
    Her lymph node was huge.
    Anyway they told me that it might be her body's way of reacting to the same kind of infection that soleil had, but exhibiting it in another way. They said to keep an eye out to see if it went down.
    It has since, so just want you to know not to worry.
    Love you lots.

  5. No lightening doesn't and CAN'T strike twice...we just won't let it.


  6. Well, this just goes to show you that Mother Nature is one sick ------ ------ ... are you kidding me? 'Probably nothing' looks ~exactly~ 'Mow me down with a truck and then throw me off a cliff?"

    E, I am so sorry for the stress. It's mind blowing. I mean, who needs help being in a perpetual state of freaked the fuck out all the time? No one in this room.

    I hate these things where words are useless. I mean, this is BLOGland. That's all we got. Words. Like wearing a tutu to prison. Not helpful.

    I can't believe this happened on you day off. Sick, I tell you.

    Do you really have to just hang out and wait and see? Aren't there any tests that can be done for reassurance?


  7. I hope Friday comes fast, that the lump is disappearing and that you don't have to remind yourself to breathe.

    (My youngest had one removed last summer because it never went down. It was agonizing waiting to hear the "benign". He has a second one now. I watch it, roll it under my fingers to see if it's changing and pray.)

  8. Wow!! I know my words can't comfort you. But you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs!!!

  9. Wait and see is the worst phrase ever. I'm sure that it's nothing - the listless neediness makes me lean towards some sort of infection. That kind of family history just makes you go immediately to worst case scenario...but I'll be saying some prayers for you, Rocco, and your peace of mind.

  10. I pray to whomever's up there spying that it is nothing. I've had swollen lymph nodes right below my ear lobes before that got so big they scared me...a week later I had strep throat. I know it's hard to keep a straight outlook...

    By the way...Grey's starts this Thursday over here...

  11. Poor little rocco (and poor eden) I hope the nasty lump goes down straight away so your brain can stop running on overdrive. Because hell do i know how that goes. My own cancernoia is a force to be reckoned with, I can only imagine the raging fear you have.

    ps I demand a photo of these supposed spork fingernails. I have quite the image in my head right now ;)

  12. Thinking of you and praying, knowing, it's just a swollen lymph node due to a simple infection!

  13. Poor Rocco! I'm sure he's ok. Ironically, I just found one on my own neck over the weekend! I'll have my fingers and toes crossed for the both of us!

  14. I love you E and I know on that gut-level of the fear you're wrestling with -- and let us take it from you for a little bit, fight it for you.

    I will be thinking of you all constantly of course, as I always am my friend...



  15. Oh, E. I know how scary these "wait and see" things are. Sending love and hugs. I will believe with all I've got that it is the big Nothing. The universe f'ing owes that to you. Hugs.

  16. Such lovely writing. hoping all is well with the little guy.

  17. Hey Eden...thanks for stopping by my site. The lighthouse...yes it is a lovely spot on the coast. Now for even further strange, six degrees of separation stuff - is that you on Kelli's facebook page, the photos from the High School reunion (BMGrammar?) I used to work with Kelli, went to her first wedding in India...how's that for far side of crazy????

  18. Shit, E, I know exactly what you're feeling. Every now and then (meaning six times a day), I find myself astounded by the intensity of my love for Owen and that feeling is quickly followed by panic that rises in my throat like vomit as I think about the fact that his heart is held together with patches and there are pieces missing.

    It's that, "He'll most likely be okay, but what if..." and my mind, like yours, always dwells on the what if. How can it not?

    Hang in there, baby. Think of burgers and half and half. I love you!


  19. I was holding my breath towards the end too. He will be okay , sending you my prayers. Stay positive!!

  20. Hugs. And hopes that it is nothing.

  21. Oh sweetie, I am so sorry. I know that there is a belief that Gd gives us what he thinks we can handle...but I am a strict believer that Gd totally overestimates us. Please know I am praying for you all and I know that every think is fine. I promise. Love you

  22. So I'm glad I'm reading everything backwards and know already that it's getting better.
    My mind tends to jump to the yucky scary place usually too. I chalk it up to all the horror stories I hear as a nurse. Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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