Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Worry McWorryson.

I am a worrier.  By nature.

When I was in fourth or fifth grade, I missed so many days of school over anxiety that my school counselor pulled my parents in to a meeting with me and read me this book:

Good luck if you want to buy it--apparently it's a collector's item now.

I used to be on Zoloft, and I still take a Xanax every once in a while, when my worried thoughts get in the way of my normal daily activities.  The problem with Xanax, as I've stated before, is that it knocks me out, which keeps me from worrying, but kind of screws with my day.

The reason I'm bringing this up is that lately, I've been overcome with worry about something I have no control over.  Last week, the kid was sick with a cold (which he STILL has, going on two weeks), so I took him into the doctor.  She had an intern with her this time, so they did a very thorough once-over on the kid, more so than usual.  She happened to notice one of his cafe au lait spots (smooth birthmark-looking spots on his skin), and asked me how many he had.  I said I wasn't sure, but he had more than a few, and I'd never really thought much of them.   She went on to tell me that at his next checkup, in 10 months, I should count how many of the spots he has and mention it to his regular doctor, because those spots can be a symptom of a disease called Neurofibromatosis (NF for short), but not to worry because he's very smart and seems very healthy.  I left, not thinking much of it.

A few days later, I remembered what the doctor had said and casually mentioned it to the hubby when we were out and about.  A day after that, he said he'd been worrying about it, so I headed straight to Google.  Holy crap.  What a horrible disease.  Neurofibromatosis can cause tumors to grow on nerves anywhere on the body, particularly the skin and spinal cord.  There is no cure.  It is treated by removing the tumors when they appear--there is no way to know when or if they will appear, and there is no way of preventing them.  Some cases are mild and cause little to no problems for the patient, while other cases are debilitating.

Immediately after the web search, I looked over the kid and counted his spots--six or more, combined with any one of a number of symptoms, basically means he has it.  So far, he has five of these spots.  They've been appearing on his body for the last year.  I'm FREAKING OUT now.  Every opportunity, I look him over and check under his arms, on his irises, and in his groin area for freckles (another symptom).  Worrying about this is consuming my thoughts all day--it's the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of in bed at night.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is not to gain sympathy or hear "it's all going to be ok", because nobody knows that for sure.  I just really wanted an outlet to get all these thoughts out of my head.  I'm making a conscious effort from here out NOT to worry about this.  Seriously--what good will it do anyway?  Even if he does turn out to have NF, there is nothing I can do about it.  We're going to roll with the punches here.  I've always been careful never to take a day with the kid for granted, so that won't change, but he'll probably get a few more hugs and kisses from here out.

...it's going to be harder than ever not to spoil him.
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