In all of his life, Lucas has been the one who has suffered through the most, medically speaking anyway.
It all started right after he turned two. He suffered through ear infection after ear infection after ear infection which lead to tubes, tubes and more tubes. Lucas had three or four sets of tubes before he turned seven. Right after Claire was born he had his head stitched shut when he tried to "fly" from the couch through the air. Lucas had a bought of toxic synovitis, which landed him in the hospital for three days waiting to see what, if anything, needed to be done. He had a mastoidectomy to clear infected fluid out from his inner ear. And Lucas has had a hole in one of his eardrums repaired twice, all before he hit double digits.
When he was little and an ear infection would hit, he would cry and sob and rock back and forth in extreme pain. The pain from the toxic synovitis was so bad they had to give him morphine in the hospital. None of this was life threatening or terribly scary for us...well, maybe the toxic synovitis was a little scary until we knew what it was ~ an infection of the synovial fluid surrounding his hip joints. So I have to say, we've been fortunate in all of these little blips in Lucas' life.
Now that he's older his tolerance for pain is nearly unbelievable. He broke his thumb a couple of years ago when he was sledding and wanted to continue playing and sliding down the icy hill. Lucas separated his should playing hockey and it wasn't until a couple of days afterward that he came to me and said, "Mom, does this shoulder look normal?" I took one look and called the doctor. In both of those instances he never complained. He never said something hurt or "Woe is me." He's a tough, little nut.
So, now he's headed in for another surgery on different part of his body. In one of his last hockey games of the season, he went down hard on his knee. We knew he injured it but with ice, time and rest we thought it would heal. No such luck. It's a meniscus tear, the doctor said. It needs to be repaired with surgery, Lucas heard. His face blanched as white as it did when the doctor pressed on the injured part of his knee. Lucas knows all too well what surgery entails...
But his face brightened when he was told he would get special treatment at school. A letter would be sent in requesting a five minute early dismissal for all classes and, most importantly, use of the elevator. Lucas is all in now.
He's so far in, in fact, that he came home from his appointment, got out his long board and took off down the road. He figures if he has to have surgery anyway it's not going to hurt a thing to go ahead and enjoy the time before he goes down. A funny, little aside to the story is that the doctor doesn't exactly know how bad the tear is because the pictures were fuzzy. He reprimanded Lucas for not holding still during his MRI and Lucas responded, "I was never told I had to stay still." Ah, sweet Lucas.
So, yesterday I called Lucas' primary care doctor to get an appointment to let the surgery center know he's healthy enough to undergo this procedure. The receptionist asked for his date of birth and when I gave it to her she asked, "Oh, is this for Lucas?"
I told her it was and she said, "OH, the poor guy."
"I know," was my reply.
"Oh dear. Oh dear. Tsk. That's just awful. Poor, little Lucas," she said.
"Well, I have to say I'm glad it's getting fixed," I said.
"Tsk. True. But still. Poor Lucas," she went on.
"Yeah, I know but he'll bounce back quickly. He's young and healthy," I said hoping to end the conversation before she put him on his death bed for a meniscus repair.
What a strange and surreal experience it was to console a doctor's receptionist. And I hope I never have to do it again, especially not for poor, little Lucas.
Oh, for the love of my children...