Monday, May 17, 2010

Illness Protocol

I have been wrestling with how much to say to anyone about the toddler. Obviously, here I've been pretty tight-lipped about things other than to say there is a problem.

But I can't do that indefinitely with family as much as I might like to.

Why am I keeping secrets?

First, I think the reluctance to say anything is a form of denial. As in, if I don't talk about it, it doesn't exist and if no one else knows, then I can pretend everything is okay. It makes it easier for me to compartmentalize in a way. If I spilled the beans, my worries would dominate the conversation which would be a real killjoy.

Second, some of my family members have not been so well behaved when dealing with my recent illness.

I spent some time this past weekend responding to questions like "What do you think I did to make you sick?"

To which I responded, "You've got nothing on prednisone."

Early on in my medical mess, people were calling me screaming "You're going to diiiiiiie and I'm going to kill your doctors if they let you." Invariably these loudmouth phone calls came in the middle of the toddler's nap time, which is just not a good time for screaming. I stopped answering calls from certain numbers for a while.

I shudder to think about the phone calls the toddler would elicit. I may have to change my number.

There's this whole emotional management facet to my family dynamics that I just don't want to deal with. I can't be everyone's babysitter, you know? It's hard enough navigating things myself let alone to take anyone else by the hand.

Given how some people have been behaving with me, I think it's understandable that I may not be rushing to say anything to anyone about the toddler.

I don't know what the protocol is here though. Am I doing my family a wrong by not saying anything now? Or is it better to wait until there's a diagnosis or a scary important test involving sedation*? (*Which parents who've gone before have told me the toddler is likely to have.)

Probably I should say something when the test is ordered. By the time a toddler needs anesthesia, it's probably best to let close relations know, yes?

However I am thinking I may try to control some of the extremism I've witnessed recently with some strong statements about what we need and don't need from everyone in terms of support.

Maybe that would work?

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