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Apparently, I am not the only one in my family with issues of  letting go.  (I feel compelled to add, for the sake of clarity, that my issues are not akin to Nik’s!)

We saw Nik’s beloved Doctor Mary this afternoon.  It’s true, she is beloved; she is the only doctor Nik will ever fully —and joyfully— cooperate with no matter how awful he may be feeling.  He adores her and makes her laugh; it’s a win-win social skills situation all the way around. 

But I digress.

The results from the lab cultures will not be ready for a few more days; apparently the specific cultures Doctor Mary requested can take up to five days.  But we don’t think Nik has an infection, really; the severity of symptoms ebbs and flows —from severe to nearly nonexistent— in the course of any given day.  There is, thus far, always a slight lull after Nik’s had a couple of really awful days full of explosive diarrhea.  (What?? TMI?  Try living with him for a while!)

The abdominal x-ray —which I must say Nik was an absolute champ for— showed no structural concerns but did show a significant amount of stool in the large bowel.  At first blush, it appears that he is developing a bad case of  constipation —bordering on a partial obstruction.

I won’t go into graphic detail about what leads Doctor Mary to this conclusion.  Imagine your kitchen drain being partially clogged; it still works, just a little slower.  When it gets really bad, you have to, erm, help it along.  Same thing with Nik.  Of course, this doesn’t address the underlying cause of the situation; one thing at a time.

So, if I disappear over the next couple of days, though I hope not to, you’ll know it’s simply because things have gotten —as the good doctor put it— “worse before getting better.”  If that doesn’t do the trick, we’ll revisit the issue with Doctor Mary at the end of the week.  She may want another x-ray to see just how bad things look.

Fingers crossed that it all, ahem, comes out okay.

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…I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug…

…I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

Excerpts from Hippocratic Oath—Modern Version

(Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.)

I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and love in response to yesterday’s post about our latest challenge. I have gone back to read and re-read your comments many times today as I wait for the phone to ring with word of an appointment with the diagnostic team.

Mea culpa for unwittingly leading you astray on one point —Dr. Mary is one of the “good guys.” Nik’s former pediatrician, whom we loved dearly (but who did not tell us about the diagnostic referral group), retired over the summer. Dr. Mary took over her practice in July and saw Nik for the first time then. Fast forward to September and Dr. Mary has become a loved and respected member of Nik’s medical team.

Dr. Mary is one of very few doctors on our team —which includes no fewer than six doctors —who has taken the time to listen to our concerns and questions and honor them. She is genuinely interested in our theories, believing that we truly do know Nik best and understand his communication like no one else does. She has shown us time and again over these past couple of months that she trusts our judgment about our own child and doesn’t think we are imagining phantom illnesses and symptoms.

She supported us in our fight to take Nik out of school, and has acknowledged to us that some of the specialists at the hospital are difficult to work with. She thinks that we are seeing the most brilliant neurologist in the entire state, but agrees with us that the brilliance is useless if we cannot access it when we need it because the doctor is so in demand. She truly understands the importance of the doctor-patient/doctor-parent relationship.

Another point in Dr. Mary’s favor —and it is no mean thing— she ADORES Nik. It is mutual. Only for Dr. Mary will Nik lift his shirt in anticipation of the stethoscope. Only for her will he sit placidly and turn his head, reaching to assist with the otoscope. For no one else will my son even think about opening his mouth to allow the quickest peek at his throat. I don’t know if it’s the fact that she is a mother of three small children or if it’s just because she is a genuinely good and caring soul, but Nik trusts her as much as he trusts his Daddy and me. Niksdad and I respect Nik’s instincts tremendously.

Upon my oath, she is a gem without compare.

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