Posted by Duff

As part of this growing experience called CAE, last week, my husband and I took The Dervish for an MRI. Just to rule a few things out, they tell us. Let’s be honest, since I make a policy of it here: when you cross the sky walk into the beautiful new cancer center affiliated with a renowned hospital, your mind does a terrified tango with those few things to be ruled out.

You might say, “Is that floor marble?” Because your feet pass over a  shiny speckled path like those seen in the casinos our state is becoming famous for, and the water wall and floor-to-ceiling windows can almost make you forget where you are when you move from the waiting room to the atrium.

But there are still gurneys. And for every poker-faced medical expert who walks through the revolving  doors into their everyday with a fresh coffee and hair still damp from a shower, there is someone like me, for whom this day feels anything but ordinary. And, as I saw, there are people who have it way, way worse.

Thank you to Bridget, the sweet nurse not assigned to our case, but whom The Dervish adopted in the hallway (You’re beautiful, she told Bridget. I love you). Bridget, who made small talk with me after The Dervish chose her Daddy to take her to anaesthesia and I was left to wonder what it looks like when your child goes under. What it feels like to watch. And my husband, who has seen a lot, still won’t tell me.

It’s no big deal, you know. Kids are put under all the time. They get tubes or need bones set. And in our case, nothing invasive occured. There was nothing to heal from, and although expected to be drowsy upon awakening, The Dervish was moonbounce-ready after a few crackers and some apple juice.  And now it’s over, except for the results, which I should have in a few hours. Results, they tell me, they expect to be good. But although they tell me this, and I think I’m fine, I just did a load of laundry and forgot the soap. So.

After all that, the MRI was normal.

But I never, never want to walk in and see my child unconscious on a gurney again. Once was enough to put me in touch with fragility: mine somewhat, since she is and has been a trooper through all of this (she woke up ready to punch fight before smiling), but if I’m honest with myself, and with you, its hers I’m most worried about.

And we all know that worry never goes away. It’s an occupational hazard.