Shall I go back to the first grade?

When a doctor asks about my son’s medical history, I start with,  “the short version, or shall I go back to the 1st grade? ”  It’s become a family joke. I can try to give the short version or keep my mouth shut and let Jake speak for himself, but I will inevitably fail. Last year Jake was so sick- sick of the hospital, sick of the endless rounds of doctors and students, and sick of repeating the same things over and over. An infectious disease doctor was trying to pry information out of him, and when I started to answer for him, she shushed me. Yes, she shushed me like I was a child. When she finally allowed me to speak, I said, “I am trying to give you and every doctor that comes into this room as much information as possible, as many details as I can remember in hopes that something will click with someone and someone will figure this out and save my child’s life.  She could not find the source of Jake’s fever; it was later that a last minute Hail Mary pet scan revealed a large mass of bacteria hidden in unidentified “gunk” in his lung…

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