Supermassive Spinal Something

Hi my name is Sarah and I haven’t written my blog for a very very very long time.  Quick refresher-I am a part-time librarian and part-time writer in good old central Iowa.  I am married to an evil genius who makes cheesecakes and takes quantum physics for fun.  I have a 12 year old boy whom we refer to as the Professor, and a 9 year old girl whom we refer to as the Princess.  It becomes obvious once you start reading some of my posts…

This summer we went to visit cousins in Wisconsin, and the Professor was doing his usual loping run as he tried to keep up with his sister and boy cousins.  My cousin’s husband turns to my husband and I and asks “Does he have one leg longer than the other?”

We shrugged and said that he’s just really uncoordinated, and life went on.

Several months later I revisit that conversation in my head and think “Hmmmm… why DIDN’T we notice that before?”

As it turned out, the Professor did indeed have one leg longer than the other.  As well as one leg more developed than the other.  And scoliosis.  This apparently was just the tip of the iceberg.

After our leisurely vacation, things must return to their normal summer ways until school starts.  Part of our summer fun was to have well child check-ups to get them over with before school starts.  Yay FUN!

Both kids had good appointments, except that the Princess didn’t get 100% on her eye exam and she was PISSED.  The Professor had a little bit of a curve in his spine.  The doctor looked him over and said to go up to x-ray and have them take some film of his spine.

Scoliosis.  A 23% curvature.  Apparently they refer at 20%.

It’s probably nothing.  Several friends of mine had children that had scoliosis.  They go see a doctor who says to keep an eye on it, and that’s it until the next six months.

So we went to a Pediatric Orthopedist in another town about 45 minutes from here.  He was very thorough.  Took many more x-rays.  Pointed out that one leg was longer than the other.  And more developed.  And to be safe he schedule an MRI for us.  Just to get a closer look if something is causing the scoliosis.  You know, just a precaution.

So we got an MRI.  It went off without a hitch, except that he had to pee in the middle of it.  Perfectly normal for the Professor, I promise.

Two days later I’m shoving cans into the machine at Hy-Vee when my phone rings.  It’s the pediatric orthopedist’s office.  The doctor is very friendly as always, but right away I get the feeling that something isn’t right.

“How do you think the MRI went?”  He asked cautiously.

“Ok I guess.  We weren’t there that long.  Is everything ok?”

“I was just wondering if you and your family is available to come down to my office.”

I look at my watch.  It’s lunchtime.  My children were eating lunch at school and my husband is an hour north at work, probably eating his lunch too.

“I can come down.  Is there something wrong?”

“This isn’t news I like to give over the phone.  I was really hoping to see you right away.”

I can feel all the blood draining away from my head.  “We could make arrangements to come in Monday.”

The doctor says calmly.  “The person who read the MRI called me right away.  You see there’s a mass of some sort in his spine.  I’ve already made a referral to the Children’s Hospital in Iowa City.  This is a situation that needs to be addressed immediately.”

At least I think that’s what he said, I was already drowning in my own sweat and panic.  I get off the phone with the doctor and immediately text my husband to please call me.

Five minutes go by and nothing.  “It’s about the MRI.  They found something.  Some thing.  In.his.spine.”

He calls.  I tell him.  We agree to go down on Monday with both kids, not sure if this is changing our lives forever.

IN the meantime I’m still standing there in the bottle redemption room, holding beer bottles that aren’t my own, trying to force them into the little machines so I can have a few extra dollars.  At this point I am out of words, and just want to get my stupid little slips of paper so I can maybe get a coffee and a few extra groceries. Only I don’t give a crap about any of those groceries, because now I have to wait until next week to get what’s really going on with my son!

In walks the pastor of my former church with a bag of his own bottles.  He smiles, asks how I’m doing, and proceeds to start putting his stuff in the redemption machines.  I clutch my bag and say something idiotic and then follow that up with “Oh these aren’t mine.”

He winks, and tosses his empty bag in the trash.  “That’s right.  These weren’t mine either.  Have a good day.”

Next up:  “There’s something in his spine.  Some THING in his spine.”

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