Saturday 5 November 2011
Because I wasn't already feeling like a shit mother.
"Well at least you know who to blame", said the arsehole GP to my youngest after going through our (read my) genetic history. Because, apparently I passed on my shit genes on purpose. Because I knew that my faulty DNA was going to cause my children a life of pain. Because I'm a sadistic cow like that. Me and Joan Crawford, best buds in the Mummy Dearest club.
You know what's worse than watching your child in pain and being unable to make that pain go away? Knowing that you're the cause. It doesn't matter one iota that I never chose to pass my crap onto my kids. It doesn't matter that I had no clue about what was going on at the genetic level in my body when either of my kids were conceived. None of that matters.
I've known for a while now that I've passed my health issues onto my kids. I deal with it every day. I lay awake most nights beating myself up about it. Every time I see that little grimace of pain on one of their faces I grab out the mental whip for a good dose of self-flagellation. I sure as hell don't need some bastard with a stethoscope and the bedside manner of Charles Manson to rub salt in the wound.
Sitting, listening to a doctor or physio list off what is wrong with your child's body. Hearing words like "interesting", "special", "surgery", "I've never seen.....", is like being sucker punched again and again and again. Handfuls of referrals to specialists and for scans. A punch in the gut. Prescriptions for pain meds no little body should ever need. Another mental strip for my back.
All of this coming a day after him telling the school nurse not to ring me. Because he didn't want me to be stressed about trying to get to school as I'm unable to drive that far thanks to my own broken body. Two sublaxed patellae at school and being wheeled to the bus in the school wheelchair, and he doesn't want to stress me. Needing to be carried by his brother up the stairs at home because he can't weight bare and he's worried about me. Nothing can make that better. Nothing can assuage the guilt.
He shouldn't have to worry about anyone but himself. He should be able to know I'll always be there. I'll always come to get him. That I would slay the dragon and crawl over broken glass, to be with him. Not subjugate his own needs for mine.
And all I want to do is take away his pain. To give him back a childhood without pain and heartache.
But I can't.
So I put on the mask.
And I stuff down the guilt for later. When I can gorge upon it in the privacy of 3am.
I make hot chocolates in pirate mugs. And sit on the couch with him to watch re-runs of Myth Busters. I gather ice packs and crush up pain meds and mix them with honey to make them more bearable. I gather the pillows and make crap jokes. I hug him and tell him that I love him. That we'll get there. And, that it'll be okay.
And I hope that he believes me.
And maybe one day I'll believe it myself.