The reasons why…

“Why do we have to go?” My five year old son asked me earnestly as I headed out to merge onto the highway early this morning. His 9 year old sister was sitting quietly on the other side of the middle seat of the vehicle.

“To make sure you are well,” I responded as matter-of-factly as I could muster, whilst judging the speed of traffic in the lane beside me and avoiding being run into by a tailgating motorcyclist all at once.
“But I am well,” He stated. “Why don’t my friends have to do it too?”

What could I say… he is well.   As is his sister.   It’s not their, or their brothers’ faults they need to have an abdominal ultrasound every six months or so, followed up by a check up with our paediatric oncologist. So how to explain it… after all, he’s been doing these trips for the past four years. He should understand why.

I started to tell him the story of his elder brother’s illness… and that sometimes, these things are passed on in families. These scans are the only way this type can be found and if it is found soon enough, then it’s easier to treat… and hopefully get rid of.

“So why can’t we eat then?” I could tell he was thinking hard on the subject.
“Because when you eat something, they can’t find your gall bladder on the ultrasound machine, as it gets all squished up, plus there are some other reasons why they can’t get proper pictures of your insides when you are digesting food,” I turned my attention back to the peak hour traffic.

He was quiet for the rest of the drive, listening to the stereo and pondering. I could hardly see him directly behind me in the rear vision mirror but when I caught glimpses of him, I had to smile.
His enthusiastic greeting to me this morning was, “I didn’t have breakfast, I promise!” and had me in fits of giggles. It’s all too normal for my children to fast before their long day each time. Guess I’m lucky they are all so accepting now.

We arrived 10 mins early after the busy drive down and a walk up the hill, punctuated, of course, by protests of how far it was and how they needed to be *dropped off* instead.
Our usual sonographer was accompanied by another younger, unfamiliar one. The newer man called my daughter’s name… as our regular medical professional asked Master five to accompany him to the first room and indicated I was to follow my little Miss.

During the hour long scan, I could hear my younger child chatting to his sonographer and soon enough he found his way into our room when the more experienced scanner had finished.   Coming in to check on his colleague’s progress with Miss 9, he soon took over to finish the few areas proving difficult to pinpoint.

“Why can’t we have breakfast?” My daughter suddenly asked the regular sonographer as he sat down.
“Well if you eat, it creates lots of bubbles of gas in your tummy that hide all the things we need to look at and take pictures,” he informed her.
“That’s not what mum said,” she raised her eyebrows.
“No, I mentioned the gall bladder issue,” I offered.  He agreed that would also cause a problem with the test.

She eyed me suspiciously as her younger brother became engrossed in the large pile of noisy, electronic musical toys kept to amuse distressed babies and toddlers. He soon had three of the crazy items competing for the title of “most annoying toy”. I silently praised both men’s patience as neither even flinched.

Four hours, a long play in the Wonder Factory, a brisk, fair walk to the other side of the hospital to the food court and some lunch (with a small box of hot chips perhaps ) later, we found ourselves waiting for the oncologist.

Sometimes miracles do happen… he was early!   He waved us in with a smile.

“Hi Dr T,” Mr five grinned cheekily as the little Miss plonked herself on a chair.
Whilst he sorted files, my son stood at his right side and gazed over his desk. His eyes fell on his and his sister’s charts.

“Why are they here?”
“Why is my two names on mine?”
“What are these for?”
He bombarded the doctor with questions unceasingly. Given a short space in between the quizzes, the specialist attempted to answer and distract my child all at the same time. He failed.

“Why do we have to see you?” The doctor stopped writing in the file and turned to him.
“So we can make sure your tummy isn’t sick,” he said.
“But it doesn’t feel sick!” my boy argued.
“Well, sometimes you can’t feel it… so we need to check,” he turned back to his task.

I think Dr T might get bored if he didn’t see us,” I winked at my son. “He needs a laugh at least every few months!”

“Very true,” the oncologist gave me a wry smile.

As we walked back to the car, my lad was still curious.
“Why doesn’t Dr T just say he’s looking for cancer?”

He’s obviously smarter than we give him credit for.


~ by C J on April 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “The reasons why…”

  1. omg this story just cracked me up. He is so clever.

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