Monday, August 24, 2015

Second Opinions, Second Chances, Second Thoughts

A Second Opinion, An update on my son:

We walked into the doctor's office full of fear.  The sign on the door said "hematology and oncology."  The atmosphere was serious, tense, quiet.

"It's your body, if you have questions, please ask, don't be afraid," I told Peyton hoping to empower him and take a little of the fear away.

We were waiting to see the specialist to go over the results of the 20 vials of blood that were taken to rule out everything from Lyme disease to Leukemia to a protein deficiency.  After a bad concussion in May and multiple visits to a neurologist and MRIs and tests, we found ourselves waiting in an office with "hematology and oncology" on the door.

The doctor went over test results, talked with the neurologist on the phone while we were in the room, examined Peyton and then told us his thoughts.  

"He's good," he announced.  "I mean we have to watch him and check his protein levels every three months, but if it's low we'll treat him with medicine. He's healthy."

Tim and I let out a sigh of relief simultaneously. It felt like we hadn't exhaled in two weeks. Then the doctor asked if we had any questions.  Peyton spoke up just like I had encouraged, well sort of.

"Does that mean I can play football?," he asked.

"I don't see why not," the doctor said.  "You are young and healthy and need to live your life."

Peyton sat up straighter and beamed with happiness. I sucked in my breath again and felt like I was going to pass out.

As we left the doctor's office, we told Peyton that we would have to talk and figure things out.  What should have been a joyous occasion (leaving a doctor's office with a "your son is healthy" and feeling grateful about him not having cancer and being alive and ahhhh!) wasn't. I was torn. I was worried. I was scared of my healthy son playing football.

After meeting with the neurologist two weeks earlier and finding out about a potential blood clotting disorder, upon his suggestion we had ruled out football for this year.  But now, doctors were saying it was okay. We called the neurologist who cleared him for play since the test results came back much better than he had originally feared.

The decision was on Tim and me.  

An update on Tim and me:

Tim wanted him to play right away after he heard he was cleared. I did not. 

What I really want is it to be 1978 and nobody knows anything about concussions and all the moms and dads are smoking in the stands of their kids' football games telling them to "hit harder."  Because you better believe I'd be there with my feathered hair and my pack of Marlboro's cheering on my kid louder than the other moms.

I want to be a good mom and a good wife and a good person. I want to make all the right decisions. I want everything to be okay always and forever.

But things aren't okay when you and your spouse/best friend/love of your life and you don't agree on something that involves parenting.  It sucks.  

My knee-jerk/child-of-divorce reaction is always "oh shit Tim this is how it all begins...people fight about __________ and then they start living separate lives and then they get divorced and lives are ruined forever."  Insert "money"  or "working too much" or "how they don't go on enough dates" or "their kid playing football" into the blank space--I am always afraid of divorce no matter how strong our marriage is and has been and hopefully always will be. 

I believe that we (our marriage/our family) will eventually be stronger because of my fear and the fact that we are dealing with the tough stuff and having all the conversations (and I mean all of them because I am a talker about all things) and because Tim is an amazing guy who listens and talks and cares. But it sucks when you don't totally agree on a parenting decision and this is new territory for us.

A Second Chance, An update on our decision:

Peyton is playing football.

Second Thoughts, An update about how our decision feels:

Peyton is happy and healthy and enjoying football practices.

Tim and I are happy that he is happy and healthy and enjoying football.

Tim and I are still having all the talks and working through all of the stuff (and madly in love and staying married forever because, duh).

I am preparing myself for the season--sitting in the stands, watching my boys, cheering for them, not worrying myself into a panic attack, trusting doctors and specialists.  And I am preparing myself for people that think I'm messing up.

Usually I am a pretty confident person, some might say bad ass, maybe.  I know who I am. I can take criticism. You don't like that I dance online, I get it. You don't like that I am a Democrat, I get it. No big deal. Being different is good. If we all agreed about everything the world would be boring. I'm not everyone's cup of tea. I mean I wish more people were Democrats and that everyone liked me all the time, but I get it. 

BUT I feel particularly vulnerable about football and my kid and my marriage and my/our choices.  Because I'm still uncertain and scared and unsure.  Because I don't want to hear your horror story or why you don't let your kid play football. Because if you don't agree with me I hope you lift me and my family up in prayer instead of judgement. Because even if you don't agree with me, I would so appreciate any love or support or high-fives or nods of encouragement right now. Because I know we can't be the only parents that have made hard decisions or disagreed or muddled our way through or were unsure but full of love, I mean we can't be the only ones.


  1. Keeping you guys in my thoughts. I know it must be hard. I wonder if he'll tend to not hit as hard in football, even though his initial injury wasn't from football.

    1. Thank you. I have no idea what to expect. I am pretty sure I am the only one afraid here so he'll be hitting pretty hard which honestly is pretty good in football (easier to get injured when you are afraid and not aggressive). I have to tell you since I think you will get this...I truly tried to channel Tammie Taylor on we she handle this conflict with Eric. Lol!!!!

  2. Lifting your beautiful family up in prayers Angela! I can only imagine how scary this vulnerable feeling is - have faith!! Hugs!

  3. I support you, always.
    And never stop dancing online. xo

    1. Thank you. I need support and appreciate yours so very much!!!

  4. You aren't the only ones who have made tough decisions, and second-guessed your way through all of them. We are all waiting for our "adults-only" membership card. You are teaching your kids how to do LIFE, and you are doing just fine. xoxo

    1. Um, exactly! I am so waiting for the membership card! Thank you for understanding, supporting and caring and commenting!!!!

  5. We're all just doing the best we can. You got all the info you could and the lines of communication are open. That's the way it should be. I support you, I love your dancing and I wish for the best all season.

  6. No, you can't be the only ones. You also can't be the only ones who've wished to be parenting back in the 70s when things would have been simpler.

    I will be thinking about all of you.