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Lupus, Late and Lice

Posted Sep 16 2010 12:00am

Don’t let the alliteration fool you.  This is not a Three Good Things post. Actually, it’s more like Three Bad Things.

I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon today about the liposuction.  I mentioned both my recurrent miscarriages and my mystery pain, and he told me that he is almost certain that I have lupus.  When I told him that there is lupus in my family, he was even more convinced.  I won’t go into his arguments or his credentials here, but the bottom line is that he convinced me that I shouldn’t write it off just because my bloodwork was negative.  (Lupus is such a problem in pregnancy that it is part of the standard battery of infertility testing, plus I’d been tested by a rheumatologist a couple of years ago.)  It may sound crazy, but I hope I have lupus.  If I do, it is treatable.  And it would explain every single health issue that I have.  So I guess that’s not such a Bad Thing after all.  But still, my god, lupus.  Liposuction and everything else is on hold while I explore this new possibility.

Returning from the appointment, which was about 20 miles away from home, I took a wrong turn (I was thinking “lupus, my god, lupus.”) and ended up being 45 minutes late picking Sam up from school.  (That’s what happens in the DC area when you make a wrong turn.)  I called and called the school on the way there but nobody answered until 15 minutes after pickup time.  Poor Sam was sitting there waiting for me, not knowing where I was.  It was awful.  I felt like I had abandoned her.  It was even worse because, during this first week of school, the new kids go home an hour early, and every time Sam sees their mommies coming and I don’t come, she cries.  I’ve been reassuring her all week that, “I will ALWAYS come and pick you up.”  And then I wasn’t there.  One of my worst parenting moments.  Ack – I’m flinching as I write this.

Then Sam’s teacher handed me the dreaded letter saying, “There has been a case of lice in your child’s classroom.”  They said Sam was checked and nothing was found, so I didn’t think much about it.  Then we went to Chick-Fil-A (as a way for me to make amends for my abandonment), where I told Sam she could play in the indoor playground and we could get a shake.  But standing in line, I saw a tiny black bug on her head.  I pulled her aside and looked at her scalp and it was covered, I mean, just covered, in tiny white specks.  I had just read in the letter that this is what the lice eggs look like.  So we got our food (and shake), but I told her she couldn’t go in the playground.  She was devastated. The place was so packed we couldn’t find a table, so one of the workers brought our tray of food out to an outdoor table.  I thanked him for bringing the food and said, “With the day that I’ve had, I really appreciate the help.”  We sat and ate, and a few minutes later, the worker came out and said, “Since you’re having such a rough day, I thought I’d bring you a little treat.”  And he gave us a yogurt parfait.  It was an excellent Teaching Moment, as I explained to Sam how most people are nice and good, and how that man just made my whole day.  That was a really Good Thing.

Then I noticed that the little white specks came right off Sam’s head when I brushed them with my fingers.  It turns out that Sam just went a little wild in the sandbox at school.  I promised to take her back to the Chick-Fil-A playground tomorrow.  So that worked out ok, too.

I don’t have any neat way to tie up this little story.  I just had a remarkably difficult day.

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