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Friday, 13 June 2014

word of the week

My word of the week this time around is kind of a confusing one.  For me anyway.  Linking as always to The Reading Residence, my word this week is :

panic

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pan·ic   (pnk)
n.
1. A sudden, overpowering terror, often affecting many people at once.See Synonyms at fear.
2. A sudden widespread alarm concerning finances, often resulting in arush to sell property: a stock-market panic.
3. Slang One that is uproariously funny.
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or resulting from sudden, overwhelming terror: panicflight.
2. Of or resulting from a financial panic: panic selling of securities.
3. often Panic Mythology Of or relating to Pan.
tr. & intr.v. pan·ickedpan·ick·ingpan·ics
To affect or be affected with panic. See Synonyms at frighten.

[From French paniqueterrified, from Greek Pnikosof Pan (a source ofterror, as in flocks or herds), groundless (used of fear), from PnPan; see Pan.

(Sourced here)

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In case this is your first time here, a quick intro - I have three children (as of Wednesday) aged 10, 11, and 12.  Smiler, the oldest, has a wide range of complex health conditions (including haemophilia and epilepsy) along with a severe learning disability.  Petal, the youngest, is healthy and has no such issues.

But when she was at a school camp, Petal was rushed into hospital with a blown pupil and difficulty with coordination.  The staff in A&E were very concerned, but after many many tests and checks could not find anything else wrong, and her symptoms were gradually improving, so she's now home and fine.

I am the hospital parent in our family.  I couldn't cope with being at home with the other two, sorting packed lunches and school runs, while Mr Manley is the opposite, so it all works out very well.  Smiler and I have passed through A&E probably ten times or more in the last six months, mostly with spontaneous nose bleeds, possible broken bones, and repeated jaw dislocations.  Petal, on the other hand, had never spent a night in hospital, or even been seen in A&E.
Until now.

I was panicking.  I cried in the car on the way to meet her at the hospital, I could feel myself shaking as I saw her eyes, knowing very well from Smiler's neuro issues as well as my own that this could be very very bad.  The barely constrained panic only became more intense when I watched the faces of the staff as they saw her eyes, and went quiet.
From too many nights on various wards and too many hours in A&E I know that quiet and apparent total calm mean that very often it is time to worry.

I can calmly hold Smiler down for blood tests, put him in a headlock as I apply pressure to stop a nosebleed, watch him being anesthetized - I don't shake, I don't cry, I just get on with doing what needs to be done.  

But Petal - I panicked.

She's home now, complete with a list of follow up appointments for the next week or so, and peeved that she missed school camp.

But me - I thought I could deal with doctors and hospitals and the emotions that come along with them, but it turns out I can only cope if the child in question is Smiler.
Does that mean that I wouldn't be as upset if he became very ill?
That I think his pain doesn't matter?
That I love him less?
I don't have the answers.

But this is why my word of the week is panic.

At the time, because I was scared something was wrong with my daughter.
And now, because I'm scared that I'm not more scared when it's Smiler.

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The Reading Residence

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14 comments:

  1. What a moving post, I have goosebumps. Being a Mum I a very complex thing, isn't it? For what it's worth, I simply think you're used to it with Smiler, and he's older. Younger children are more vulnerable, and it's instinct to protect them (more). I'm glad she's home, and your situation stabilised.

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    1. Thank you sweetie - I think you're right, and half of their panic was probably shock rather than worry, if you know what I mean! Thank you for reading, and especially for taking the time to leave a comment - much appreciated.
      Take care
      Lucas

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  2. Oh bless you. I think you're used to handling situations with Smiler maybe and when Petal had something it's totally out of the blue and not something you were expecting. It doesn't mean anything more than that I think. Totally understand your fear and panic-sometimes past experience isn't terribly helpful in dealing with a situation. I really do hope all is well for Petal xx

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    1. Thank you honey, that makes a lot of sense. I feel better about the whole thing now that I've thought it through (without being completely exhausted!), and writing this post really helped - kind of cathartic, you know? Thanks for commenting - it means so much to have that bit of support and validation!
      Take care
      Lucas

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  3. Poor thing! I hope Petal is alright now xxxx

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    1. Thank you - she's been basking in all the attention to be honest!
      Take care
      Lucas

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  4. I agree with the other ladies, it's just that you're used to being in that situation with smiler so it was probably a shock to have to deal with a medical emergency with Petal. Hope she is recovering well x

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    1. Thanks Tracey, I think you're right - Smiler has more health crises and it sounds terrible but they become commonplace, you know? Petal is doing fine - her eye is back to the way it usually looks!
      Thanks for the support Tracey, and take care
      L x

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  5. I'm sure all your children know you love them and all of them want their caring mum with them when they're poorly x

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    1. Thank you Stephanie, I hope so!
      Take care
      Lucas

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  6. Awww honey I think you are being too hard on yourself, IMHO you were more panicked because it was so unexpected. I think we can all fall apart when it is such shock and it doesn't mean you love one child less than another, you can just love people differently. #WotW

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    1. That's very wise sweetie - and very much appreciated! I think it's the unexpectedness that made a big difference, and it was really odd being in an environment that others find frightening but that I'm familiar with (through Smiler), but still feeling out of my depth!
      Thank you, and take care.
      L x

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  7. Oh, what a tough and stressful week for you. I would definitely have panicked. And I've no doubt at all that you love Smiler just as much as Petal, but you're expecting and prepared for his visits and ill health, this one was out of the blue and just something else for you to come to terms with and have to deal with, that makes it hard and a shock. I do hope she's improving xx Thanks for sharing with #WotW

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  8. Thank you for the support Jocelyn, it's such a relief that people haven't jumped on me for it, you know? As you say, because it is expected with Smiler (like our trip this afternoon to get stitches after he fell and ended up with a nasty cut on the back of his head!) it just doesn't push the same buttons - if it did we'd be nervous wrecks by now, so I guess your brain has to find a way to deal with it. Petal is absolutely fine - we just have to hope she's not following my path now!
    Thanks again for hosting #WOTW Jocelyn, it's lovely to read about what's going on fit everyone!
    L x

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