While Andrew touched hands with a giant ape through the glass cage at the national zoo today, Will and I headed over to Children's Hospital for his much-awaited CF test. I mapquested my way to and from the hospital, so that was one stress eliminated.
I was also feeling a lot less stressed about Will's health, as well. We hadn't heard him coughing in over a week, and he just seemed to be doing better. My prediction of the outcome changed from 50-50 to less than 25% that he had CF. The purpose of this post is to inform, not create suspense, so I will state here that the outcome was a negative read (meaning that the test indicated he did not have CF). I was somewhat anxious as I carried him into the hospital, but my feelings now stemmed from a desire to confirm that he was not sick, not a fear that he was and an anxiety to begin proper treatment. In short, I was feeling pretty good.
The tears that came into my eyes ss I walked my almost certainly healthy little baby around that waiting area were not for him. In that sea of kids waiting with worried parents, I was painfully reminded of that small but sizable percentage of kids, maybe even kids in that very room with me, who were not going to be getting good news today.
Will was smiling at a really sweet little girl whose mom was trying to distract her from the giant plastic bags taped over both of her tiny arms. She really liked my baby, and he seemed to do a better job of keeping her happy than the giant fishtank placed in the waiting area for that purpose. Her mother told me that she did not know whether she or her husband were CF carriers and that they had no family history. I thought to myself that her odds were good that she was ok. And then I heard her terrible coughing. That was when I felt so deeply sad for all those kids whose little bodies have to fight such adult struggles.
There were lots of kids in that waiting room today, two of them were younger even than little Will. All the tests were completed by 2pm and sent to all the various pediatric offices to relay the news to all of us anxious parents. Today was, for our family, the conclusion of a fear, but for some other family, it was the beginning of a new, and scarier, life. I am thinking about them tonight.