It’s been a long, busy week. The kids have been on reduced schedule all week, which means they’ve been home from school lots earlier in the day and keeping me hopping.
And, I don’t know . . . I kind of have the doldrums.
Which I’m not going to go into a lot of deets about. I pride myself on being an honest, open book, but some things just aren’t meant for publicizing.
Anyway, so stuff has been getting under my skin. More than usual. Case in point:
This morning I had to take Lilah to the doctor. A specialist, not our regular pediatrician. See, she has this . . . growth. On her bottom. She’s had it since babyhood and it’s mostly likely just a skin tag, nothing to worry about, but we had it checked out a couple years ago and were told to keep an eye on it, and over the last couple of years, since she became potty trained and we are therefore not faced (literally) with her little heiny anymore, it almost slipped our minds. Until somehow or other – after a bath or something – recently, it came to light that this little anomaly is still there. So I got a referral to the pediatric gastro-enterologist again (seriously, it’s external – I would have thought a dermatologist would be called for, but no). So that’s where we went this morning. Not the same female doc at this specialty clinic we saw last time. A man. Who left me feeling quite uncomfortable. The way he examined my four-year old daughter’s behind close up and personal with no gloves (!!); the way he tickled her afterwards (on her belly and chest) . . . to put her at ease? I don’t know, but it felt weird. The way he told me that yes, it’s a skin tag and almost certainly nothing to worry about, “but if it changes, you can take pictures and email them to me and I’ll take a look.” Hmmm. Really? I’m going to email pictures of my daughter’s butt to you, send them out over the internet where anything can happen to them? How do I know you’re not some perv who collects pictures of children’s naked bottoms? Granted, the email address he gave me was a professional one, not a personal one, but still, I found that highly odd. Am I just in the dark? Is this common practice nowadays? Email your doc a pic for follow-up. Huh.
So that didn’t sit well with me. But it’s kind of one of those things . . . blurry. Did he do anything inappropriate, or was I just imagining things? Being paranoid and putting my own spin on what is really completely innocuous? It’s unsettling to just not know for sure, and therefore to not know what to do about it, if anything.
He was looking at our last name, too. “That looks familiar,” he said. “Not a common last name. Where have I seen that before?” I told him, “Well, we’ve had lots of dealings with CHOC with some of our other kids . . .” He pointed to Finn, who was sitting in his stroller through the proceedings. “Him?” the doctor asked. “Yes, he’s been here to the hospital a time or two.” “Oh?” he said. “Well, he has Down syndrome . . .” I said. “Yes, I can see that!” He said. “So what’s he been in for? Heart disease? Leukemia?” Asshole.
Wow. That really got under my skin. I’ve wondered for the longest time, in some vague way, if people can see right off the bat that Finn has Ds. I guess I have my answer now. I know this guy is a doctor and is therefore probably tuned in a little more to “the look.” And why would it even bother me if people can tell at a glance that Finn has Ds? I mean, I see people with Ds, and I get this warm feeling of connection inside. But it goes without saying that most people don’t feel all warm and fuzzy when they see Down syndrome. Those telltale facial features, they can be like a scarlet letter, announcing all kinds of misconceptions and stereotypes. And it’s safe to say that it makes most people uncomfortable and put-off. My son. My beautiful baby boy.
So, yeah, kind of finding that the little things are getting to me lately.
Life, it ain’t no bowl of cherries. Or, maybe it is, but you know, cherries have those gawdawful pits in them.