Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Entry #1: Don't Panic

I'm starting a new series of posts. Since O's diagnosis with CF I've contemplated writing a book. So, I'm going to start here with my blog. Here goes.

No one should start a conversation with the words "Don't panic." As my dad would say, that's like telling someone to look at a white wall and not think of a polar bear. The first thing you'll think of is a polar bear. So, naturally the first thing you do is panic.

Less than a week after my son was born our doctor called to tell us that his newborn screen was abnormal..."but don't panic," she said. I had never heard of cystic fibrosis, so I didn't. I did what I always do--I went to my computer and googled it. After reading everything I could find online, I was confident we had nothing to panic about. O showed absolutely no signs or symptoms of CF.
We scheduled a second newborn screen. It was maybe a day or so later when they contacted us to say the second screen was also abnormal. His doctor was confident that it was a mistake--O was gaining weight quickly and showed absolutely no signs of CF. However, they thought it was wise that we journey to the local Children's Hospital for further testing.

Our visit to the Children's Hospital was long and frustrating. "Why do we have to do this? We know he's fine. Why are we putting our little sweet baby through this?" I kept saying these things over and over. Even after seeing O, the CF Specialist said that there was no way that O had CF--he was just too healthy (and BIG).

The next day I received this call "Tamara, it's Scott." I sat in silence. Who the crap is Scott, I thought. Obviously the silence made it clear I had no idea who Scott was, because O's CF doctor continued to introduce himself.
"Your son has CF," Scott said it bluntly, without warning or hesitation in the slightest. More silence on my end. He proceeded to give me information, to firmly and gently instruct me on the next steps we were to take. I think I only said over and over "I have to go. I have to call my husband." The doctor gave me his direct line, and made me promise to call him right back.

Thus began the whirlwind journey of becoming a mom of a kid with CF. Since then we've had many calls that always begin "Don't panic." Yep, now I always panic.

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