Is it a bruise or is it a horrible muscle disease treatable with only the blood from slugs
He was born dramatic. Any little twinge of pain would cause blood curdling screams to erupt from his tiny newborn lips. It didn’t get better as he got older. Instead, the screams got louder and the fury unfathomable. I clung to the hope that maybe he would be a singer or an actor.
Before the hypochondria set in, he was terrified of external items and situations. Trains were the first terrorizing thing for him and he was sure they were all out to get him. No matter where we were at, if he heard a train, he would absolutely go ballistic. He would alternately panic and run off or just fall down in a heap of dead weight determined to go on no further.
Fall, and October specifically, were a disaster for many years due to his certainty that pumpkins were out to get him.
After the trains, it turned to the weather. Any ominous clouds meant that our deaths were imminent. Any weather at all was a tornado. The beach was not a place to vacation, but a hell on earth where hurricanes murdered people daily.
The weather stage seemed like it had no end in sight. Years passed and then, at eight years old, my son was told about WebMD. As you can imagine, this was my worst nightmare. I would come home from work to his pleading to go to the hospital. He had confirmed his worst fear by diagnosing himself with elbow cancer or sickle cell disease. I spent six months trying to convince him that he did not have AIDS.
This child is number three of my four biological children and holds first place for keeping me green at this mothering thing. Every issue or trial that he puts me through is completely new to me and never to be repeated again. It is also a new scenario for my own mother and any other parent that I have ever asked how to deal with his shenanigans.
Fast forward to now. He is a tall, handsome fourteen year old with a slew of friends and a sharp wit. He is confident and popular and shows no signs outwardly of the social skills I was worried about him having. However, he still wrestles with this hypochondria/paranoia. I try to shield him from as much as I can, but he finds ways to listen or watch the news. He alternates now between worrying about what catastrophe will shortly end all of humanity and what ailment that I am not worrying enough about, which will turn fatal any second.
I wish I could end this article with a statement such as, the extract of hummus ended up curing this! Or, his blood was low on orange juice and a quick infusion fixed him right up.
He is still a ball of nerves, but it has gotten better. However, we are both certain that I am dropping the ball on something. I told him that he has plenty of time to figure out specifically how I’ve failed him. He can tell the therapist when he’s older. For now, I will continue to make him safe and loved. He has learned to laugh at himself when he becomes unreasonable and I think that’s as good a place to start as any.