Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Less Than Adequate

My daughter Secunda has been complaining of leg pain off and on for well over a month now. I dismissed it as "growing pains" because she takes growth hormone shots (every night, without complaint - this child is strong as well as sweet). Finally, her regular walk became a sailor's roll, she was limping so badly. Her pediatrician ordered x-rays, which showed the growth plate in her left hip had slipped. This is akin to an elderly person falling and breaking a hip. We were referred that week to a pediatric orthopedist at Riley Hospital for Children (since that's where her endocrinologists are). He examined her on Thursday, said she'd need surgery on Friday. She now has a pin in each hip (because kids with endocrine issues are at a 70-80% greater chance of this happening with the other hip) and is hopping around with a walker. Secunda is recovering well: mommy less so. The guilt at making my daughter live and walk with such pain is eating away at me.

But wait! There's more to feel guilty of! Because Secunda and I were in Indiana at the hospital, I was unable to do any shopping for my son Tertio's 8th birthday Sunday. We pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. We had budgeted for birthday, in a manner of speaking, but had not budgeted for hospital stay. On a birthday, the child gets to choose our meals for the day and with dinner we have cake and ice cream and gifts. Tertio wanted Chester's fried chicken for supper - we could no longer afford that. We had a meal which he wouldn't eat, a home-made cake which wasn't his favorite, no candles, no ice cream, no gifts. He was very disappointed. And I felt very guilty.

Tertio was made happy again, and my guilt assuaged, with the promise of a "do-over". With our next paycheck, we celebrate his birthday again. He chooses the meals again and this time we have all the things he missed on his birthday. If only there was a "do-over" available for Secunda. She has forgiven me for waiting so long to get help for her, because she is a strong, sweet child. However, I still feel the guilt. God help me.