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    The Brain Tumor

    October 16, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    I really shouldn’t use such a title. Usually when bloggers use a title like that, they are serious. This, on the other hand, is just a little story to entertain Grace on the day before her birthday.

    I don’t remember exactly when it started, but sometime this summer, my daughter, A., began to complain about her head. She actually cried out and grabbed the right back side of her head. I, however, had been in another room and assumed that she had bumped her head, not that the pain was spontaneous.

    But then it happened the next day. And the next.

    I began to read up in my various health books, trying to decide if this warranted a trip to the doctor. I came to the conclusion that it would either get worse or get better, but I also put a mental time limit on how long I would allow even a mild head pain to continue without a doctor’s attention.

    It seemed to get a bit better for a time.

    And then it happened.

    One afternoon, A. woke up screaming from her nap. This was early summer, so she was still in a crib, and she looked so pathetic, screaming and holding the back right side of her head. I was overwhelmed by that motherly instinct that yells at me that I must take the child to the doctor now.

    I was convinced she had a brain tumor.

    I called Si. It was late enough that our doctor wouldn’t couldn’t take her. So we went to a pediatric urgent care. Si met us there. My parents even ran over to keep the other children.

    All of us were worried.

    And yet I was glad. One the main reasons I had hesitated to go to the doctor was that this was unpredictable. How could we show the doctor where it hurt, and how severely, when half the time it didn’t hurt at all? But driving her, screaming, in the car, straight to urgent care? This would get the situation the attention it deserved.

    We were pretty much the first ones in the door. We didn’t have to wait long for the doctor. He examined her pretty thoroughly. He looked in her ears, in her eyes, took her temperature, checked her reflexes.

    There was no sign of neurological problem, so he suggested we watch her, even though we had been watching for about a month, maybe even longer.

    So we went home. And, really, we did feel better knowing that there was nothing obviously wrong.

    And I watched her and watched her and watched her. And then, one day, I saw the pain “come on,” so to speak. She has this habit of sucking her left thumb while using her right hand to play with the hair on the back right side of her head. Apparently, as her hair had gotten longer, she would accidently get it twisted in a knot around her finger. When she pulled her finger out, she was essentially pulling her own hair.

    If you have ever had your hair forcefully pulled, you know that the pain is excrutiating at the onset, but can also be residual in a lesser degree.

    Mystery solved. The “brain tumor” was nothing more than a toddler pulling her own hair.

    And I cannot tell you how relieved I was that we didn’t go to our regular doctor so that I didn’t have to explain it all to her.

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    2 Comments

  • Reply Tammy October 19, 2007 at 3:06 am

    Oh my goodness! I had a sister who did that, we couldn’t stop her…she was practically bald on one side of her head!

  • Reply Gracie October 16, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks for my pre-birthday story! Oh, your kids just cracks me up! So cute…I had to pass it on to my co-worker. We couldn’t stop laughing. Too cute!

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