mindfulnessI keep saying I'm going to stick with My Week in Pictures series. There are so many in between moments that include lots of love and life experiences (and lessons) that I feel deserve a photo or story.

So ... Let's try this again. I'm going to restart my series with this one photo. I don't have a full week of pictures to share. Just this one that I snapped earlier this morning. It's been one of the most difficult weeks I've ever had to endure. Photography, work and this blog were the last thing on my mind.

A few weeks ago, my son woke up with his cornea completely swollen. I'd never seen anything like it so I rushed him to the emergency room. They really couldn't figure it out either and basically just diagnosed it as conjunctivitis. But I had my doubts. While there, I called his opthamologist to schedule an appointment that day.

His vision tests checked out fine and his swelling went down on its own. But the eye doctor wanted to make sure we cover all bases and asked me to have him checked for other things like Lupus and Sjogren's Syndrome based on past similar eye issues (but they were not as severe). He felt that his eye swelling may have something to do with his lymphatic system not working properly. It was a Friday afternoon, which meant I could not schedule anything until the following week.


The following week I took him to his ND (our family doctor is a Naturopath) for labs. We waited a few days and went back to the doctor's office to go over each line of his results - from his Vitamin D levels to things that she had to map out for me because 1. Biology was never my thing and 2. She is extremely thorough and believes in educating her patients. After covering pretty much every cell in his blood stream, we made our way down to the urinalysis report. It showed a high amount of protein and blood. She explained the many implications of that and requested that I get an ultrasound done of his bladder/kidneys to rule out kidney stones or ... a tumor.

The last word is all I heard.

I cannot tell you what was said after that. My world completely stopped. My eyes started to welt as I sat there trying to put on the strong mom face. He was sitting right next to me, but I don't think he really processed what she said.

I immediately set up the ultrasound appointment and asked (OK, demanded) that they send the results to the doctor by morning. I called the lab twice the next day to ask for an update. Fear and logic were at war with one another. I needed to know, but did not want to know. Everything was going to be fine and - oh my God - I could not bear to see my son suffer. It was a roller coaster. My mind started racing with what-if so I did the worst possible thing you can do -- I started googling symptoms. That's a sure fire way to completely allow fear to take over. Yet, I couldn't stop. I kept catching myself. And when I did, I would immediately sit in silence and simply breathe to center myself again. I knew that all these thoughts were not going to change the result. Whatever came our way, I needed to be present. I needed to be the hand my son holds and I could not do that if I'm falling apart.

Last night, the doctor (who knew I was pretty much refreshing my email every second and sitting by my phone) emailed me and stated in capital letters of excitement NO KIDNEY STONES. NO TUMORS. All I could do is hug my son. He had a slight idea of what was going on but I don't think he really took it in. He said he kind of felt worried but had a feeling it was something that we can resolve. I'm happy he didn't feel one ounce of the torture I put myself through. I will gladly be that vessel for him.

Needless to say, I'm elated. But it certainly gave me some insight into what many parents must be going through. My heart aches for any mom or dad who has ever gotten a result they did not hope for.

We discovered, after a second urinalysis, that a lot of water, green smoothies, leafy greens (and much less of things he would prefer to eat) lessened the protein numbers by half. I've suspected some sort of food allergy for a while. That's the next course of action.

So there is my very full week in one picture that says it all. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Mine will be filled with a lot of down time and quiet moments with my son. If you have children, no matter what is going on in life, give them many tight hugs and cherish every moment.

Books: Love and Mindfulness by Tiddy Rowan