I Could Have Lived Forever Without This Day and Been Happy

Because of that fun "I smell ammonia" thing that I have going on, I needed to have bloodwork drawn. When the tech said, "just choose any empty chair," I chose a winner. I got the student trainee. I knew that I was in trouble when she strapped the tourniquette on, poked at my elbow, and said, "hey, could you come over here to see if this is the vein before I stick her?" That does nothing to inspire confidence, let me tell you. And it went downhill from there. She blew through that particular vein, couldn't even find one in the other arm, and ended up getting her supervisor to draw from my hand. I do not do well with blood draws to begin with, but that was by far the worst experience I've ever had. And I've had 4 kids; I've given my fair share of blood.

Today, Micah had to have bloodwork drawn. When we got into the lab and I saw the same Bump-It wearing student lead us to a chair, I frantically clawed at Sam's back and shook my head NO NO NO! Micah is not a cooperative patient, and requires three people to hold him down while one phlebotomist gets one chance to hit a vein. If that tech is not the hospital's A #1 best phlebotomist, we are all in trouble. We decided to wait until that employee came back from lunch.

She was good, but it just wasn't happening. Micah has grown considerably since last year when he had blood drawn, and he's not easy to hold. Coupled with the fact that he's freakishly strong (yep, they commented on that again today) and there's just no holding him still. Reasoning is not something that works with him anyway, so that's out the window. Bribes are in the reasoning family. Sheer brute force is all that works, and today it wasn't enough.

I've held down my son for bloodwork many, many times over the years. I've nearly bruised his arm with my death grip. I've physically sat on him. I've put him in a headlock. It's not fun, nor is it easy, but it's something that has to happen and I bear it with a grain of salt because it's for his own good. Today was different. Today I couldn't keep a tear from sliding down my cheek as I struggled to hold my son down. His screams, his thrashing, his fear of the needle were nothing.

Today we were testing our son for leukemia.

I learned today that there are words that will stop your heart cold. I learned today that people who live with cancer are the bravest and strongest people in the world. I learned today that I'm not strong enough to live that life without completely breaking down.

The phlebotomist was good, but she blew through two veins and a hand and still didn't get blood. I know what my son was going through - I was just there. I just did that. And I couldn't make him go through more. We walked away today not knowing what the future holds, but a second visit to the pediatrician in the same day reassured us that his chances of cancer are very slim.

Still, he has that limp that's been persistent for a week. He's had no trauma or injuries to it, and there are no physical bruises. Even the untrained eye can see that the problem is internal, not superficial. I am not one to panic over things and jump to worst case scenarios, but if there's one thing I've learned in my 7 years in Holland, it's the fact that sometimes you are forced to think the worst and work backwards from there. These dear and precious kids have so many more health problems than normal kids do. And leukemia is not uncommon.

Today I realized that life is very, very good. Today I realized that one never knows what tomorrow will bring.

Today, I realized just how much I love my son.

Today, I realized that without God, I couldn't make it through anything.


17 comments:

Roger said...

Oh my goodness, Karen. You have my thoughts and prayers that everything will turn out to be okay. Is there a different, more calm way that they can take blood from Micah? Although I am sure if there were you would have tried it by now. I wish you and your family the best with everything and you have our prayers.

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. We should have a camera person follow us into the labs to get photos of the "motherly hold downs." They would have higher ratings than the WWF I'm sure. Having just been down this road with Sarah, I so understand the underlying fear. Friday was our third draw and I haven't heard anything yet. The results are probably online but I need to sleep tonight so I think I will pretend I don't know that. Please keep us posted on dear Micah.

Michelle said...

Oh Karen. I froze reading that. Thoughts and prayers and fingers and toes crossed and everything else that it was something you just didn't ever learn about that caused the limp. What a horrid ordeal for all of you... and knowing that there is more to come :( I await the good news though!

Carol N. said...

The L word scares the crap out of me, Karen. Our Holland adventures are often beautiful, but drop-dead fear over that one word/thought washes over me every time.

James Bainbridge said...

I'm glad the news from your second appointment was better but my family will be praying for all of you...

Karen said...

Carol - I know exactly what you mean. Even thinking the word brings a chill over me. Oh, the families that live through this. My heart aches for them.

Annette W. said...

Love, hugs, and prayers for you and the family!

Burgh Baby said...

Lots of hugs, ma'am. Just . . . lots of hugs.

Gina said...

Oh Karen - what a horrible thing to be going through. I will be keeping you guys in my prayers.

Sarah said...

*HUGS* from the wife of a leukemia survivor. Even knowing how good the prognosis can be with today's medicine doesn't stop that word from striking fear in my heart.

Trisha said...

No one can blame you for that tear. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and Micah!

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

Keeping y'all in our prayers!

designHER Momma said...

oh Karen - praying for your family. Thanks for sharing and please keep us posted if you can...

Kay said...

Oh my, I was smiling at the scene of you holding him down, then I read the reason and my heart just sank. Prayers for your family!

JennyH said...

Hopefully the news will be good-- that is when you actually get it.

Blood draws are no fun for anyone. Max does just what Micah does. fights for his life. And he has had bruises from being held down. Especially from the ENT office. when they have to hold his head still and clean the ears out. Not fun. Poor Micah. hope he forgave you quickly!

Tami said...

I sucked in my breath as I read that...hoping and praying it is truly nothing serious!

Michelle said...

Made my heart stop when I read what he was being tested for. Will there be another blood draw in the near future? Praying praying praying.