Monday, October 21, 2013

Once a mother

Once, years ago, I was having lunch in a cafeteria with a man I cared a lot about when I looked at his plate--chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes with gravy. "You don't have anything green on your plate," I said accusingly. He sighed. "Once a mother, always a mother." I've laughed over that line a lot in the years since.
Today I wasn't laughing so much. A son is never too old for a mother to worry. My oldest son's wife alerted the family early this morning that he had an "episode" with his Crohn's and was at the hospital. Turns out he passed out twice in their bathroom, maybe hitting his head both times. He doesn't remember. So reports have trickled in all day, and texts have been flying amongst the family, but long story short--we don't know much. Both a neurologist and a gastroenterologist have seen him, scans are ordered, and we know he is to spend the night. He of course swears he's going home tomorrow. We're still waiting for some definitive word. We know the basics--he has Crohn's and it had bothered him the last few days, he lost blood, he fell. But we don't know a treatment plan and so on.
Colin loves to complain I gave him Crohn's because when he was but a week or so old I, knowing little to nothing about babies, gave him undiluted formula with the result that our lovely pediatrician, a friend, came by the house to take us to the hospital where it was found he was fine and I was the culprit. Truth is, of course, that these days research seems to indicate Crohn's is hereditary, but Colin, like all my children, is adopted and we have no parental health record beyond the time of his birth. And what good would it do to know that one of his biological parents had it? We'd still have to deal with it today. I keep thinking it's one of those diseases they're close to finding a cure for, but I fear the truth is that auto-immune disease continue to baffle the medical world.
I am as worried about his wife and children as I am him. I can only imagine what Lisa felt waking up to find him passed out on the bathroom floor, though now I laugh at her first reaction. She thought an intruder was in the house, so she grabbed a baseball bat and her phone. She's tough, and she would have gotten that intruder! Then she realized there was no one in the house and set about calling 911 and caring for Colin. Their youngest, six-year-old Kegan, saw his father on the floor in blood, which is bound to have traumatized him. This afternoon, Kegan and eight-year-old Morgan were at their father's bedside, reading to him. Lisa said she figured it was good for them to see him acting normal, even if he was in a hospital bed.
This is perhaps the third serious episode he's had since his diagnosis some 15 ears ago, but I suspect he just doesn't feel good a lot of the time. I know this is not a life-threatening episode, but I guess I, like all of us, live in fear of the next one for this son who is such a good guy (okay, Jamie, you're a good guy too), such a good husband and father, works out, faithful at church, good at his job as a controller. Colin is the one I turn to for financial advice, input on care of my disabled cousin, and, when he's under my roof, handyman repairs. He is a rock for me, and selfishly I don't want to worry about him. But more than that, I am so glad he has such a happy family life, happier than I've ever seen him, that I don't want to see him hurting. It's like he's a little child again, and I can soothe him by walking round and round with him in my arms as I did when he had an earache. That's really what I want to do.

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