Thursday, October 12, 2006

I have no idea...........

I have absolutely no idea what having a bone marrow biopsy feels like. All I know is what it looks like on the face of my son.

Before my eyes opened this morning I wondered what Steven was feeling if my stomach was already in knots like this. And all too soon we were heading to the hospital for the dreaded bone marrow biopsy.......

One doctor started explaining exactly what they were going to do. This was too much information for my churning stomach - I know what they do, as does Steven, but he insisted in telling us in detail - everything. I could see Steven starting to get nervous and then Dr P came in with all the needles and stuff and started explaining the procedure yet again. We tried to get them to stop the descriptions, but they said they have to say it all........I pulled the chair right to the top of the bed, turned it so that I could not see what he was going to be doing - even put my hand up against the side of my face to shield any potential accidental sightings of that needle going in. The doctor did chuckle at me positioning myself so firmly.

And this time Steven had his face turned to me. It feels selfish to describe my pain and anguish when it was not me going through the procedure, but it hurt so much to see my child having to deal with this pain. His knuckles turned white, his eyes were either squeezed tightly shut or fixed wide open staring while he clenched his teeth together as the bed literally shook as the doctor did his thing. A couple of times, I wiped the sweat from his forehead, reminding him to breathe long and even breaths. Just breathe. Just breathe. There was nothing I could do to help. No words made any difference, but he did manage to breathe with me and answered when the doctor spoke to him. It really blew my mind when Steven asked me if I was ok! I guess he did not want me turning green again and I firmly told him not to worry about that and just deal with his stuff without worrying about me.

Then it was over. Except the doctor was talking about having to go back in - as one sample he pulled did not look good enough. That look on Steven's face took my breath away. Not again! And then he grit his teeth, clasped his hands tightly under his chin and we went through it all a second time. This time seemed harder on Steven. Funny how the rest of the world dissappears and the only thing that counts is that the pain leaves his face. And breathing. Seeing on Steven's face what a bone marrow biopsy feels like was totally exhausting and very emotional for me. I still cannot imagine what it feels like for him. Hours later I am still tearful at what I saw today.

And then he started shaking, said he felt fine but just could not stop the shaking. Doc seemed to think it was ok and put the bandaid on, told him to turn over, checked it again and said we could leave. This was not even five minutes after it was all done. Just before we walked out, the doctor showed us something in one of the other rooms and we stood chatting for a few minutes and I saw Steven lose color in his face - he just did not look right and I asked if we could sit somewhere for a while. They brought him a soda to drink and a few crackers with peanut butter and he sat in a chair relaxing for about half an hour. He still had the shakes so badly at times that the coke almost spilled from the cup, but he was laughing about it - still saying he felt fine, just could not stop the shakes. His color was back and his eyes were not shiny anymore so we left after a while - walking slowly. He was chirpy by now but I could see his back was sore and he said he still felt a lot of pressure. But he would not let me drive his car home, which did not surprise me at all! :-)

I would gladly have this procedure done to me every week if it meant that he would not have to go through that again! Watching his face, seeing his pain, his bravery and his incredible smile when it was all over - its too much to think about today without the tears falling.

By the time we walked out to the car, he looked pretty good again, tired, but pretty good. I would never be able to imagine what he had just been through if I had not been there. I hated being there, but would not have missed it for the world. It tears me apart to see that look on his face and humbles me when, fifteen minutes later when I asked him about sedation the next time, he says "nah, maybe not - now that its over, its not too bad." And I will be at all these procedures with him as long as he will allow..

This mama needs sedation! Seriously.......

I salute you, Steven. My son. My hero. I love you.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Annie and Stephen my prayrs are with you both on this journey. Why are we given these crosses to bear -- we will never know while we are here on this earth. I admire your courage Stephen as you have a whole life ahead of you this is just yet another stepping hurdle. Annie - Oh my, I can feel your pain as a parent as we cannot bear to see our child in pain. May god give you both the strength to support eachother and beat this ugly beast.

God Bless you both.