I spent the morning holding Quinlan's hand while a doctor we had just met removed part of his right big toenail.
(Pause while everyone winces......)
And it reminded me of the time I stayed home with Quin one Monday morning over two years ago (because his tummy was hurting and he'd vomited a bit and he was in constant pain), and his eyes were the same then as they were this morning as the doctor administered the local: I know you can't stop it, they beseeched, but please, Mommy, MAKE IT GO AWAY.
And I remember how that Monday we went to the pediatrician who didn't think it was appendicitis, but wanted us to try some suppositories in case he was backed up. And I remember how the suppositories didn't do jack, and how by 4PM I was asking the pediatrician which emergency room I should take him to.
I remember being whisked through triage at CHOP around dinnertime, and standing baffled in the ER hallway being told that the blood work showed pancreatitis -- an ailment usually affecting heavy drinkers, not ten-year-old boys.
I remember wheeling Quin down to ultrasound on Tuesday so the doctors could rule out any abnormality of the bile duct or gall bladder. And I remember knowing with absolute certainty even before the technician touched the ultrasound wand that we were going to find cysts in his kidneys.
I remember bawling my eyes out in the hallway outside Quin's room when the doctor confirmed the PKD diagnosis, even though I'd already seen the cysts with my own two eyes.
And I remember sleeping on the thin padded bench in his hospital room the next three nights while he received IV fluids, as the only treatment for pancreatitis is complete bowel rest. And at some point during those five days, I ripped a cuticle, which became infected. And by the time I sought treatment a month later, the infection was in my nailbed and unresponsive to antibiotics.
So I went and allowed some doctor I had just met to remove part of my right index fingernail. Which didn't work, entirely, so a month later I went and allowed him to do it again.
I hope first time's the charm for Quin.