Hope is a bit of a drama queen. I don’t even think it’s really about the attention; she usually goes full drama after she’s already being doused in attention. It’s also usually related to illness, even and especially when there’s nothing wrong with her. I’m not sure if it’s to up the ante, if it’s a triggering thing…I have no idea, but it drives me insane. And it usually makes it hard for me to believe any health-related whine she makes.
And…that makes me feel guilty when she really is sick.
Such is the case when my daughter clanged around in the dark this past weekend at 4am. Yappy and I poked our heads out from the covers…Ok, Yappy poked *his* head out and then I reluctantly followed. I called her name, asked if shew as ok and prayed that she was so I could roll back over.
The truth is that she’d complained for a couple of days about stomach pains, which isn’t really new. She’d complained before bed and I encouraged her to take some Advil, drink some water and go to bed. I’d heard her a few hours earlier, putzing around in the middle of the night. I slid my eyes closed and relished that it was Friday and I could sleep a little late.
Alas, Hope was really, really not feeling well. Like, really not feeling well.
Mom-mode was activated, and I began coordinating the effort to get us to the closest ER. We were at the hospital within 30 minutes and in a hospital bed in another 15.
We were there about 6 hours, but around hour 3 is when Hope brought the drama. I was bleary-eyed, craving coffee and chicken fingers and a pastry. I’d played numerous games of Mahjong and catnapped a few minutes here and there. So, when Hope decided that she could not tolerate having her IV flushed for the CT contrast she needed all hell broke loose with the CT tech, the orderly, the nurse and the doctor.
This was my face the whole time.
I finally quietly asked everyone to leave me alone with my daughter for a few minutes as she raged in hysterics. I then went Darth Vader Mom on her. Seriously, I went off. I lost it on my kid who was in a hospital bed. I feel like I probably should feel guilty about doing the quiet, deadly yell but I don’t. Hope was so damn extra and I was so damn sleepy and hungry and getting that CT scan was going to be key in diagnosing the problem and that was necessary to get us out of the ER.
Hope’s hysterics were standing in the way of progress.
By the time I notified everyone that the CT with contrast *was* happening and that Hope was *now* ready for transport, my daughter looked more concerned about me than the CT scan, and rightfully so.
Meanwhile, I waited and worked on my fantasy where they put me in the CT or MRI scan, told me to hold still and then I fall asleep.
Of course, things from there went without a hitch, and we were out of the hospital with info on kidney stones an hour later. We stopped got some Starbucks and chicken fingers and had breakfast.
As I tucked my daughter in for a nap, I explained that sometimes I have trouble knowing how seriously to take her complaints, that I don’t understand the hysterics that turn on and off like a faucet, that the way my tolerance is set up I just can’t suffer a lot of her nonsense.
In the midst of all of this, I worried about Hope. The WebMD of my mind had diagnosed some awful things were wrong with Hope. I prayed. I fretted. I texted family. I felt a little scared, and in some moments lonely. Hope, for all her prickly, high drama antics, is my baby girl. I love her expansively.
As it turns out, Hope will be fine. She had a kidney stone; which prompted lots of family chatter about what would make a kid have stones?
I don’t know, so I reached out to our extended family; turns out family health history explains a lot (Yay #openadoption).
Hope will be fine. I am fine.
I’m going to sit with some mom guilt with a side of ER mom boss and contemplate how those things sit side by side in drama-filled parenting.
January 24th, 2018 at 9:22 pm
Such a hard thing to balance. Show yourself some grace and maybe with time Hope will come to understand your message about “crying wolf”. Don’t beat yourself up I know I had my share of not believing my drama queens’ real illness as well.
January 24th, 2018 at 9:23 pm
aw, poor Hope, kidney stones are painful! And you have no need to feel guilty, mom! You got her to the ER, and you got her to get into that CT scanner when she needed to. You were feeling skeptical, but you got that shit done.
I am the veteran of several of these ER trips with my older girl, and none of them ever turned out to be anything in particular. My favorite moment from the ER trips was when a nice nurse explained to my 10 year old that they were going to put an IV in her arm so they could give her fluids and medicine if they needed to. She looked at the nurse thoughtfully and declared, “I don’t think that’s a very good plan.”
i hope you and Hope have both been able to get some much needed rest.
January 24th, 2018 at 9:37 pm
I stopped talking Hope to the ER a couple years ago. I tell her she had to wait until the urgent care is open. We are regulars there and the nurses and phlebotomists all know us well. Last time we had a new PA doing the work up and she wanted to do a strep test. Needle lady pipes up, “She doesn’t need it, she always has constipation. Drawing blood is like drawing syrup.” Any other place I would have raged, but there I just cosign. Hope is an attention junkie and likes medical stuff to get a fix.
January 25th, 2018 at 1:10 am
Oh gosh! I’ve had two kidney stones and both times I ended up in the ER. The first time I could’t figure out what was going on and waited way too long to seek help. Never been so thankful for modern pain meds. Glad it got figured out!
February 4th, 2018 at 11:26 am
Mom boss with a side of chicken fingers? Yessss!