Ever since we arrived home from Gideon's stint in the Children's Hospital, I have had agonizing moments of should-I-call? The clinic, that is. Does this medical issue warrant a phone call? I don't want to lose my credibility when it comes to calling if this is no big deal. Then there is a voice somewhere deep within that reminds me how I thought Gideon's leg pain was no-big-deal at first, and then I never hesitate in calling. I haven't been a crazy mom stalker of the clinic -- not yet, I don't think. The last few times I have called have been legitimate issues, and that has helped in my calling confidence. Until today...
Here's the back story: The last time Gideon was an ornery sobbing mess (and wasn't on steroids), he needed blood. His body was deprived of some essential juices, so of course he was becoming wounded-animal-like. Dr. Lobel assured me this was normal, and that this behavior was often a sign of needing a transfusion. These past few days, Gideon has been laying on me a lot and he has had bouts of ferocity like I have never seen. He would get frustrated and then start hitting and clawing the nearest live being within reach. My sweet little baby boy! Where was he? There HAD to be something wrong. Then this morning I noticed a couple dots of petechiae on his neck. Petechiae can be a sign of low platelet counts. The picture didn't turn out as clear as it was to the human eye, but you can make out a couple of those dots:
So, with the vicious streak, the sleepiness, and the petechiae, I called in and of course, my marvelous clinic told me to come on in for a blood draw to check it out.
It turns out, Gideon did not need a transfusion. In a weird way, even though I feel guilty about wasting these precious minutes of this lovingly busy staff, I felt so relieved. I don't have to wonder. And now I won't have to wait and worry for an entire week before our next appointment. Every time there is a blood draw, we get a piece of paper reporting Gideon's numbers. Here they are from today:
Hemoglobin: 11.3 (Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. Normal levels in children are between 11-13).
White Blood Cells: 1.7 (White blood cells are the infection-fighting cells in the blood. Normal is 4.3-10.8, but for a child with leukemia, white blood cells are expected to be low. Chemotherapy does that.)
ANC: 935 (Absolute Neutrophil Count: Basically shows how capable the body is to fight infection. 1000-1800: risk of infection is low; 500-1000: moderate risk of infection; less than 500: high risk of infection).
Platelets: 256,000 (150,000 to 400,000 is normal. GIDEON has NORMAL platelets!)
So, the great news: Gideon didn't need a transfusion today. The bad news: His terror-streaks were from HIM, not a medicinal problem! Yikes. I'm hoping this is a phase, all. I realize that the boy is going through a whole lot. I have also been told by several people, "Oh! Don't punish him! He has so many hard things he has to deal with!" Here is the reality, though: It'll be harder for him in the long run if he is absolutely, positively spoiled and not held accountable for his actions. I need everyone to realize that I am not looking at this cancer as a death sentence. I believe he will make it out of this, and I will not let brattiness run amuck onto the streets of this world once he is in remission. Not from this house, I promise. So, with every bad choice comes a consequence. He has lost his Lightning McQueen powerwheel for a day, and that was a hard lesson. He knows I will follow through. When it comes to the battle of will power, I will always win. Here is a time in my life that I am happy for my strong stubborn tendencies. Sometimes our quirks can be our assets!
We had our wrestling match of willpower over nap time this afternoon. You would have thought I was forcing my three-year-old to take to the Egyptian streets. As you can see, I won. He's sleeping. I'm hoping the naps will help curb the Crabisaurus Gideon.
I can share some positives, though. He is not a complete monster these past couple of days. He was cheering for Green Bay since they have "G"s on their helmets. He went around saying, "Gooooo, Gideon G's!" every time The Packers did something good in the Superbowl. He also loves WINGS (I discovered during the Superbowl)! Chicken wings, that is. I guess this should not be a shocker since he is such a drumstick boy. We are expanding our love of chicken, though. That's good. Expanding ones horizons is always valued, I think.
I must also share that I adore Gideon's suffix usage. If he is asking, "Who moved my car?" He will actually say, "Who move-ED my car?" Or, when something is plural, instead of saying, "Look at the pretty leaves," he'll say, "Look at the pretty leave-IZ!" I liquefy over this. He has been calling snowflakes "snowflags" since he could talk. It is more poetic, I think... Snow particles waving in the breeze like a flag. Hmmmm... That is a hot chocolate for the soul image, yes? He has not changed this since I have never corrected him. He will be the most grammatically incorrect child (of an English teacher, no less!) to ever have existed. But he will be cute, and you will love to listen to him talk.
All of this Gideon swooning has softened my heart to the willful child he has become of late. Thank you, blog.
P.S. This is the LAST day to CHEER for Grand Marais, MI! Voting ends at 11:59 tonight! Click here one last time, please.
...and my FAVORITE Superbowl commercial: