She doesn’t want me to talk about it, and I can’t say as I blame her. The physical manifestations of tummy troubles are personal and often unpleasant. I get that.
Most people don’t want to know about the cut, color and clarity of the inner workings of the intestines, either. We’re not making diamonds after all. I get that, too.
Still, I was worried.
She’d run to the bathroom so many times. … More than usual anyway. Urgency with her isn’t new.
I’d always chalked it up to a combination of being lost in play and not being fully literate in her body’s cues. But, this was different. It had been days. It wasn’t getting any better and I was rethinking my assumptions. Maybe it’s something worse.
Worry, worry, worry.
A family history of tummy trouble coupled with the feeling that the entire world is on the edge of an immune-compromised cliff had me on the brink of panic.
Think, think, think. …
“Remember you were drinking from the garden hose … when was that?”
“Mom, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Oh, you were swimming in the creek Sunday. Maybe …”
Pester, pester, pester.
"When did this start?"
"What have you eaten today?"
"Are you drinking enough?"
"Enough, mom! Enough."
She didn’t want to show me anything. She didn’t want me following her. She’d begun looking for my location, and then sneaking into the bathroom furthest from me. She was hiding evidence of accidents. She was tired of my questions and increasing alarm. I was scaring her, too.
But as a parent, I believe I prove the point that "Don’t Worry, Mom" is an oxymoron.
She didn’t want to go to the doctor, I didn’t either, but I was sitting on my hands trying to keep from consulting Dr. Google. It was probably just a virus, but Dr. Quackdotcom was bound to take me someplace even more dark and frightening than my mind was already heading. Her real doctor, I hoped, would be more reassuring.
I convince her (and myself) going to the doctor will be the best thing. She’s not so sure, especially when we return home with instructions for a bland diet and a "hat" in which she should … never mind.
She was curious as to how the whole testing matter would work, and therefore positively gleeful when her stomach started its nightly rumble. It wasn’t pleasant, for sure. But oddly enough, having a scientific purpose for poking around in her private affairs made my interest less awkward for her. And it gave my fears something to do beside wring their hands and pace.
In the morning I was somewhat relieved see a little improvement. She wasn’t right as rain, but at least it was no longer thundering. I took the samples to the lab and crossed my fingers hoping the improvement was as sign, and getting the results would force my worries to rest.
I’m sure my fears would have rather been sitting in a beach chair with a mystery novel and a fruity drink instead of on a counter marked "biohazard," but who are they to complain? A holiday is a holiday.