Monday, September 20, 2010

This Mom's Nightmare

The hardest part of being a mom is one that I didn't expect at all.  Worry.  It's one of my most recurrent prayer requests now.  I hate it because I understand that worry stems from fear and fear stems from doubt.  Doubt means I don't trust God enough.  That's a problem.  I'm tellin ya, this boy has rocked my world.

So, back to worry.  It all started when Will was a baby.  I noticed his little legs turned in a bit & mentioned it to someone.  "All babies are like that for a little while".  I moved on, but of course filed that little concern away to take back out later.  Fast forward a few months- to around 11 months- the beginning walking months, his feet are super pigeon-toed.  I chalk it up to being a baby, still growing, etc.  THen at his one year appt.  the doctor (a new ped we switched to) asked if Will was walking yet.  I told her yes, but that his feet really turn inward when he walks and he seems a little bowlegged too.  She told me that she had been looking at his legs during our visit and was concerned.  It wasn't just the turning in, it was the deep crease on the inside of each of his calves. I thought they were just more fat rolls.  (I mean she wasn't our doc then, so she had no idea how fat my kid was!)  She wasn't exactly sure what the problem might be, but wanted to research it and get back to me.  But "don't worry".  Right.  Does she know who she's talking to?

That is like the worst thing you can say to a person like me.  Of course I went home and cried.  I cried for a couple days.  Obsessed over it and had many pep talks from my husband- whose faith and trust in the Lord is amazing.

After a few days, I moved on.  But of course occasionally obsessed over in my mind and cried often.  I only told a couple of people.  I just really didn't even want to talk about it out loud.  If you don't talk about it, it doesn't seem as real.  Also, from that point on I stared at every other kid's legs I see.  All perfect.  All perfectly straight- brace-free little legs belonging to kids whose mothers don't know how thankful they should be that their kids have perfect legs.  (I've been a bit neurotic.  I'm working on it)

What didn't help was that during this time I got on the internet.  Bad.  I didn't know exactly what to look up and so my search was pretty broad.  I read about things that could be really terrible and things that would go away on their own.  Worst case scenario- it's something that gets worse and cripples him without some major surgery.  Best case scenario- it's just something he'll have to grow out of.  Everything in between included corrective shoes to leg braces.  In all cases- not something I want for my baby.

So it was time for our 15 month appt.  (Yes, Cooks Ped does a 15 month.  weird)  I actually put pants on him hoping the doctor wouldn't even see his legs and we could just not talk about it yet.  Talk about putting my head in the sand.  I just thought he needed more time.  I needed more time & wasn't ready to deal with it.    We had to take his clothes off, so there went that idea.  At the end of the visit, she brought it up again.  Again, it was the creases.  They were so deep that she wondered if he had amniotic bands.  But they were so symmetrical that that theory almost didn't make sense.)  She said that she'd been paying attention to other kids' legs and had never seen this before.  So she was referring us to an Orthopedic Specialist at Cooks downtown.

At least we'd have an answer.

It was time for our appt with the orthopedist.  We got to Cooks and I was overwhelmed.  I am the mom with the perfect child who doesn't know how good she has it and how thankful she should be!  I was completely humbled.  There are so many kids who deal with awful things every day.  Cancer, disease, deformity, etc.  I was immediately put in my place.  But of course, it's still me so I continued to worry.  I watched many kids in wheel chairs, walkers, and leg braces in the waiting room.  That's my future I kept telling myself.  Let me tell you, picturing your baby's future in leg braces is a terrible thing.

He's never going to run, play sports, and kids are going to make fun of him.

Will's name was called and we went in.  The doctor came shortly and had a look at his legs.  I watched his face for any telling signs, but this guy probably sees crazy things all the time so I couldn't read anything in his expression.  He sent us for x-rays to see what we were dealing with.  That experience was AWFUL.  Will freaked out.  I mean FREAKED OUT.  That's kind of his thing.  Both Steven and I held him down and took our hands off his legs at the last minute.  It was quick and the x-rays were available almost immediately.  We just had to wait for the doctor to come in and tell us his prognosis.

I literally held my breath.

"I think he's going to be fine."  He didn't see any curvature in the bone, his measurements were all good, and there was no evidence that the creases were anything at all.  Just extra fat.  (of course!)  "REALLY?!"  was my response.  I did not expect that.  I hoped for it, but didn't expect it.  Steven did.  (of course, hadn't he been telling me that all along...)  He told us he is just pigeon toed and it should straighten out over time.  Other than that, he's fine.

No surgery.  No leg braces.  No degenerative leg disease.  JUST PIGEON TOED!  and of course crazy extra fat on the inside of his legs that make creases that no other kids have.

I can deal with that.  What a huge burden lifted of my shoulders!  I felt a billion times better and was just so happy for Will.  He's going to be fine.  ;)

Now for the rude lady that I mentioned the other day:

We were at the park last Wednesday.  Will was playing on the playground and this mom that was there- who I had not been talking to at all- just piped up, "Is there something wrong with his legs?"  My head literally snapped around to look at her and she had this confused look on her face -furrowed brow, squinting eyes,...  My mouth was hanging open.  She continued- "I mean, his feet are turned in... and he looks bowlegged... and he's got those creases..."  She rattled off each of our issues and laid it right out there in the open.  I quickly replied, "NO."  ;)  "He's fine.  We actually just saw a specialist who said he's fine.  Just pigeon toed and basically chubby."  With that I turned my back and completely ignored her presence.  Don't get me wrong, I was shocked and wanted to put this woman in her place.  I wanted to comment on her lack of social tact and throw a rock at her.  You just don't do that!

My Mom and Dad showed up a little while later and I was still in shock at that lady's rudeness when I told them what she said.  I'm pretty sure Mom probably would have said something a bit more "loaded"- she is from New Jersey after all.

All day I couldn't get her comment out of my head.  I know it's noticeable.  I see people looking, but no one ever shoves it in my face like that.  But guess what I had to hold onto- XRAYS! "He is fine!"  So he doesn't look like every other kid.  It's ok.  He's healthy.  That's the most I could want.

Rude woman- if you're out there, I forgive you.  You don't know better.

So in conclusion, I'm thankful!  It was the best possible outcome of this situation.  For now, my worries are gone and my husband can have break from my crazies.

Thank you Father for your perfect faithfulness!



kh123 said...

Praising the Lord for your great report! Kade was really pigeoned toed and as he's gotten older its mush less noticeable. Someone told us to have him wear his shoes on the wrong feet. We let the boys dress themselves and that kid loves to wear things backwards so without telling him he always put them on the wrong feet (like for all of age 3!).

People are idiots- learned that when we were trying to get pregnant and through the fostering process. Once I embraced that their comments were more laughable.

When I catch myself worrying about if I'm a good mother (which isn't related to your post) I remember what a great friend told me "God chose YOU for those boys. He knew what they needed and knew you could supply it." What a confident booster!

Jules said...

I was killing myself with worry about some really silly things today. Thanks for sharing this - God is def watching out for all of us! Love you and your cute little man!

Steven and Kristie Lentz said...

Thanks girls.

the peterson family said...

God is good even in the worry. Glad to hear Will is going to be "fine"!!

Amy Mc said...

Wow, I always like to say that people kill me. Anyways, I am so glad that Will is ok. I totally understand the worry thing- bad thing is I don't think there is ever a shortage of things to worry about with kiddos- but at least we have a God to trust!