This week has been an emotional rollercoaster. On Tuesday I took the boy to the doctor because he was having a lot of pain in his left leg. I had taken him in the week before due to a sinus condition and cough, but now I'm worried that somehow it's all tied together.
Mind you, I'm operating on less sleep than I'm used to having - I have been waking with JH in the middle of the night, helping him through bouts of coughing, administering medicine, reading poetry aloud to help ease him back to sleep, and then laying there wide awake trying to untie the worry knot in my brain.
Monday afternoon I got a note from his teacher saying that he was getting a leadership award, and that's when he also mentioned that his left leg was hurting. So Tuesday, after I managed to get out of work for an hour for the awards assembly, I brought him home, went back to work, and took him to the doctor when I got off work. They did an ultrasound on his leg, did blood tests, which he was very, very brave about. He was SO scared to have the blood test. His eyes welled up when they told him, and he was embarrassed. When the ultrasound tech had finished (after an hour and half, due to the fact that he has more than the normal amount of veins in his leg (something he thought was pretty cool!), she left the room to find the radiologist. The whole building was quiet - it was after hours by then - Joe-Henry told me he was ashamed that he cried and wasn't brave.
I told him that courage had nothing to do with tears. The bravest, strongest people cry. Tears are cleansing, healing things, and that there is nothing shameful about them. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean not feeling things. It means facing things through tears sometimes.
I had to leave work early today to pick him up at school again. His leg is hurting, a bit higher today, which scares me. We see the doctor at 1:30 and the ultrasound tech at 3:00.
I am doing my best to keep MY brave face on. To be his support and to keep my emotions in check. But if the tears flow, I'll try to remember the words I spoke to the bravest kid I know.