Thursday, January 8, 2009

Drew's Mystery Ailment

Yesterday Drew woke up from his nap and he couldn't walk. He was fine when he went to sleep and when he woke up, he stood up and fell over. Not really in a brain-failing-to-communicate with legs kind of way - it was more like a putting-pressure-on-the-leg-collapses-it kind of way. He proceeded to spend the rest of the day getting around by either crawling (on the stairs or carpet) or slithering like a snake (on the hardwoods). If it wasn't so pathetic, it would have been comical.

For his part, Cade was quick to take advantage of Drew's handicap. This next sentence is really long, but it exactly describes what happens, so stay with me here. Prancing around in his underwear after bath, Cade filched a quarter out of Drew's piggy bank and proceeded to dangle it in front of Drew while doing a dance and then shove it in the top of his butt crack/underwear waistband and race down the hallway laughing hysterically while Drew slithered behind him crying. There's nothing like a little brotherly love/stripper dance to finish off the day.

I searched the offending leg for broken bones, scratches, bruises and bites - there were none. I pressed him for an explanation and he claimed that it started hurting when a crab crawled up from the beach and bit him. Not helpful, given that we haven't been near a beach since May. He also claimed that the area in pain was his knee, despite the fact that he was crawling around on his hands and knees. We did a "faking it" test (read: bribed him with candy to walk) and he failed, leading us to assume that the injury was, in fact, legitimate. I gave him a dose of Motrin for what I assumed was inflammation of some sort and sent him off to bed, thinking he would wake up better.

Only he didn't. In fact, in the middle of the night, we found we heard a thud and found him half-asleep, crawling to the bathroom, moaning "Water! Water!". Hmm. Can half-asleep people fake injuries?

Off to the pediatrician's office for me in the morning! But not before a stop at the preschool to drop off Cade, where three different people informed me that either their children or others they knew also woke up one day unable to walk. Diagnoses ranged from MRSA to a bacterial hip infection that required a month in a wheelchair. Awesome.

At the doctor's office, we were treated to not only a visit with the pediatrician, but also xrays and blood work, plus Josh barfed all over me for good measure. The children enjoy ganging up on me like this. Three hours later, we still had a gimpy leg and no diagnosis. Our pediatrician agreed Drew was not faking it, but couldn't make a diagnosis and told us to wait it out through the weekend and come back on Monday if it wasn't better to discuss specialist referrals. This was awesome too, because it gave me the opportunity to wonder what kind of specialist referral he had in mind - ortho? neuro? oncology? Given a lack of definitive information, my imagination loves to run wild.

Back at home, the children were climbing the walls and it was a fairly warm, sunny day, so I packed Drew into the stroller/wheelchair, strapped the baby into the Baby Bjorn, and coaxed Cade into walking next door to the park. Drew limped around at first and then began (gimpily) chasing friends from the neighborhood around the park. By suppertime, he was a new man and pretty much recovered.

Normally, I would be mad that I missed bible study and wasted an entire morning that included signing a waiver that I wasn't pregnant (x rays) and conducting a physical restraint in the presence of needles (blood work) at the doctor's office. But on this day, I am so grateful that my son is apparently healthy again and I can avoid the dreaded specialist that I don't even care.

A small reminder that nothing should ever be taken for granted, especially not the good health of our children.

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