I had the best intentions of posting something light and fluffy here today. I also have a post planned to go into more detail about the tweetup I attended with Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King, and this awesome project/fundraiser he's organized. But sometimes life has other plans, and at the minute we are in the thick of a medical mystery with Eli and it is sucking every bit of energy out of me. I can't do light and fluffy, nor can I give Mr. King and his project the attention it would deserve.
Because my boy is hurting, and no one seems to think this is a matter of urgency except for Mike and me.
I wasn't even going to go into it here, mostly because it involves the word "penis," and you should see the odd things people are already googling that land them here. Trust me, you don't want to know. If talk of penises and pee are just more than you'd really like to know about us, this might not be the post for you. I apologize, and ask you to come back later. Fluffiness coming soon! I promise!
So here's the deal. Sometime around Christmas, we landed in the pediatrician's office for what I thought was a urinary tract infection. Eli was in the midst of potty training, and out of the blue he started complaining about his penis hurting. We got a bit of a chuckle out of it, as 90% of the time people can't really understand what he's saying – we understand, but we've had some practice. But the boy can enunciate "My penis hurts!" clear as day. I take him in, he pees in a cup, it comes back negative, they send us on our way. Some kids just have sensitive genitals, the doctor says. Buy him soft underwear and make friends with Vaseline.
Ever since then, though, he has flare ups of the same issue. It's the only way I can describe it. He's fine for a bit, then he starts complaining again. Lately, the complaints are accompanied by redness, and sometimes swelling. Then we started seeing small amounts of blood in his urine. My gut tells me something is wrong beyond simple chafing. We're back in the pediatrician's office again last week. After a thorough examination, she guesses that his urethral opening looks smaller than normal. They'll refer us to a pediatric urologist and go from there.
So we're waiting and waiting for an appointment, and no one calls us back. Yesterday it flared up again, and it was the worst it's ever been. Eli's beside himself when he tries to pee, which quickly disintegrates into physically not being able to pee. The hole is literally blocked. I left two messages with the pediatrician's office, and no one called me back before they closed. I finally got a hold of the on-call pediatrician, who thought we should take him to the ER. Mike and I about lost it.
Listen, I would do anything, pay anything, to make my kids better. But when you have a $10,000 deductible and every penny before that comes directly out of your pocket? And you're telling me to go to the ER for something that could have been resolved through an office visit if anyone had bothered to call me back? The shirts hittin' the flan, yo.
It turned out the situation wasn't as dire as the pediatrician initially thought. After some Motrin and a warm bath, Eli was able to relax enough to pee. It could wait until morning to work out the details of getting him seen.
I've spent most of today either on the phone leaving messages or waiting for someone to call me back. The receptionist at the urology clinic can't get us an appointment before April 9th. I can't handle another month of this, nor can I imagine another month going by without a flare up. Not to mention that each time he has a flare up, it gets progressively worse. So then what? We end up in the ER, getting him catheterized, just so they can tell us we need to see a specialist ASAP? Oh yeah, and you owe us a couple of thousand for that handy little ER visit. No thanks. I'll pass.
As it stands, I'm waiting for a nurse from the urologist's office to call me back. If I plead my case, there's a chance they'll deem us worthy to come in before next month. I hope they can help. I hope they can understand what it's like to see your baby in so much pain, for something you have to do multiple times a day. In the meantime, prayers would be appreciated, if that's your thing. Wine and chocolate also work miracles. I want the light and fluffy back, too.