Friday, August 2, 2013

All of the Expertise I Never Wanted

Teach me wisdom and knowledge
 because I trust your commands.
~ Psalm 119:66, NCV ~

I will never forget my first day home from the hospital with my first born child.  I was clueless.  I had no training.  I had little help.  I put her in her crib and let her sleep for hours that first day, never realizing that she was in trouble because she was jaundice.  It wasn't long before the visiting nurse came to test her blood and determined that our daughter's bilirubin was high enough to be problematic.  She was readmitted to the hospital overnight and kept under a special light to help her body get rid of this excess of blood byproduct.  Thus began the first and easiest chapter of my expert parental medical education.   

Many years and 2 more children with chronic diagnoses later, I am a virtual treasure trove of medical information.  With ADHD, multiple severe allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, depression, severe hemophilia A, PTSD, and social deficits all part of the mix in our household, I could create a list a mile long of things I know that are typically foreign to most parents.  While my neighbor worries about having a magazine picture house, I can instantly share facts like:
  • The half-life of recombinant clotting factor VIII is 12 hours.
  • Signs of head trauma include dilated pupils, vomiting, dizziness, and sleepiness.
  • Many antibiotic allergies can be outgrown, but not erythema multiforme.
  • Grapefruit juice is not compatible with Buspirone, an anti-anxiety drug.
  • Wheezing and asthma attacks are not always audible.
  • Only the best schools will help you with an IEP in addition to actually help your child make progress reaching the goals set forth.
  • Hydrating yourself before any sort of venipuncture can make your veins easier to find.
  • There is a difference between frank blood (bright red) and coffee grounds (also blood) coming out of your gastrointestinal system, and the coffee grounds are a smell you will never forget.
  • Elastogel offers one of the world's most amazing ice wraps.
  • Social skills training is something that the typical world takes for granted, but presents a virtually unending challenge in the Autism Spectrum world.
  • Lupus, arthritis and Lyme's Disease can all have similar symptoms.
  • What a test result shows and how a body behaves can often be 2 completely different things.
  • Versed is a drug that could have far more versatile use beyond pre-surgical relaxation of a child.
  • Doctors think they know everything because they see so many patients with a given diagnosis, but only those living under your own roof know exactly what the diagnosis looks like in that family.
  • Disorders/diseases don't like to follow rules.
These are merely the tip of the iceberg.  I am like a virtual "Cliff Clavin" when it comes to medicine because I deal with it every day, probably much like you do.  In fact, I can even put a needle in my own child's vein before I've ever had my first cup of coffee in the morning.  I also know what will cause each of my children to reach the breaking point medically or emotionally, and just how to calm each of them.

I never wanted all of this expertise.  With it comes much stress, exhaustion and heartache.  Yet, I'm so grateful that the Lord has surrounded us with good medical care, and has given us a mind to process all the information.  He has granted us discernment on when to push medical professionals and when to trust them.  And maybe our trials and volumes of acquired knowledge will be a blessing to others along the way.  That makes it all incredibly valuable.

PRAY:  Praise You, Lord, that you grant knowledge where it is needed!  May all that You have imparted to our family be of blessing to others we encounter as well.

Photo Image Courtesy of 123RF

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