Monday, October 15, 2012

You Plant Tulips

There was no question that after the hearing incident, my wife and I became a tad more nervous.  My daughter developed congestion, fever, and ear pain.  The fevers lasted for a week.  Burned by our last few encounters with pediatricians, we were hesitant to bring her in.  Ear infections came and went.  We were weary to expose her to more antibiotics. 

Eventually she got better.  The mucous dried and the fevers resolved.  But over the next few months we noticed something disturbing.  Our three year old daughter was having trouble hearing.  She kept asking "what" and turning toward her right side to hear better.

The ENT examined her and felt the ear drum looked good.  No signs of scarring or damage from infection.  Thus we were surprised when the audiometry testing showed neural damage and complete hearing loss on the left side.   It must have been the high fevers.  One never knows.

Shell shocked and feeling responsible for our daughters new found disability, we spent the next few years questioning ourselves.  Each fever or cold became a testament to our parenting abilities.  Would we miss something again (even though the ENT assured us that it was not infection that damaged her ears)?

So when she developed fevers and ear pain again, we couldn't help but be a little nervous.  Our regular pediatrician wasn't available, and we hesitantly made an appointment with the doctor on call. 

We had been warned about the older doctors in the practice from friends and family.  We were told that they were outdated and curmudgeonly.  I admit, that when the aging fellow with the tattered coat came in, my heart fell.  His pockets were empty and he didn't carry a computer like all the other docs in the practice.  In fact, the one accoutrement in his lab jacket was a single ballpoint pen in his breast pocket.

It took less than a second for everything to change.

He bent towards my timid daughter and got on his knees.  He stared at her lovingly, and his eyes smiled as he addressed her directly.

Do you know how special you are?  Does your mommy and daddy tell you how special you are?

My daughters eyes lit up.  Her shyness disappeared, and she laughed and played happily as he examined her.  Her ears looked fine.  It was likely a virus.  The doctor spoke gently to us reassuring that everything would be okay.  He looked at my daughter and then my wife.

You plant tulips.  You get tulips.

We went home elated.  For once, I felt like I had actually been to see the doctor.  You know, the kind who isn't hiding behind a computer screen.

The kind who you entrust the lives of your children to.

1 comment:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Grace found you today and you allowed its presence. Blessings to you and your family of flowers.