Cataracts and Blood Stats

Before i give an update on the situation with my two ‘main men’, may i please firstly express my sincere gratitude to all who have offered words of encouragement, to all who are praying for me and my loved ones, for the wonderful Fr. Peter Edwards who will be will be remembering us this evening at First Vespers of the Sacred Heart ( At the moment I worship at a Sacred Heart Catholic Church where the parish priest is also a Fr. Peter ….so how about that!)…and grateful thanks to Phil of Carpe Canem for imploring his blog visitors to pray for my intentions.

I am fortunate indeed to have such compassionate and prayerful friends.

First I must tell you the GOOD news.

We picked Mum and Dad up at 7.30 am to take them to the hospital for Dad’s cataract surgery. Me and the kids then went off to a nearby town centre so we could have breakfast , thinking that by about 10.30 Dad’s surgery might have taken place. However, no sooner had we sat down to eat shortly after 8am than mum phoned (thank you Lord for mobile phones!) and she said that rather than Dad being the only one to be seen at 8am there were 6 other people there waiting to have the very same surgery ….and that rather than returning to the hospital after brekkie, we should go home and wait for a call.

At 12 noon mum phoned to say the surgery had taken place and that it seemed to have gone well and that i could, shortly afterwards, collect them if that was okay.

We’ll know for sure the success of the operation tomorrow morning when Dad removes the eyepatch, but it is all looking rather good at the moment! He still has one cataract to be removed from his other eye, but that won’t be for a few months yet and the one removed today was far denser and larger.

Thanks so much for your prayers, I am convinced they helped everything go so smoothly.

And Alas, the Not so Good News

As regular readers will know, we’ve waited an agonising month for Wonderboy to finally have more blood tests done to confirm or negate that he has a blood abnormality and iron deficiency that had showed up in his first blood results.

The original blood tests were actually accidental in as much as Dr. T wasn’t suspecting anything other than a possibly slightly out of kilter iron study….it was a surprise to me to get a blood test done on Wonderboy at all as we had only gone to check out a sudden lump that had appeared on my sons head (which has since disappeared).

Dr. T was new to us, she was on short term work in the area and we found her very ‘on the ball’ and thorough from the get-go…this has not been our usual experience with doctors at the local surgery and so it made a refreshing change!

Here is more info on the story of Wonderboy’s recent health problems over the last 6 weeks or so for those who are new to the blog or to Wonderboy’s story thus far.

Wonderboy’s Lump Discovery

Initial visit to see a nurse practitioner

The Doctor visit

First indication that there may be a blood abnormality and iron deficiency

Second set of Bloods are Tested

This weeks Post it Prayer Request

and now we’re bang up to date I’ll continue….

Today we went to Dr. T for the results of the second set of blood tests.

She said that the results confirmed that Wonderboy has not only a ‘very low iron level’ and that this is unusual, but that more worryingly, his red blood cell count is still abnormal.

This was not what we wanted to hear.

Dr. T said that she would write a letter to the specialist this very afternoon to request an appointment for Wonderboy and when I asked how long it would take to get an appointment she said that it should be ‘very soon’.

She also added that it is a very good thing that we have found this problem fairly early on in Wonderboy’s life and that it didn’t go on unnoticed, though when I pressed her as to why that might be (ie; i was trying to guage the seriousness of this blood disorder!) she was unable to answer (Perhaps because she does not know, or does not want to cause us further anxiety).

We are not embracing this news.

Wonderboy will now be referred to a specialist and I do not know what life will hold for us. Truth be told, I had almost convinced myself that he’d been given the wrong test results the first time around.

I want to know what the blood disorder is and how it will affect my son, I want to know if he was born with it or if he contracted it at some point in his life, I want to know of the long term effects on my son’s life…will he live an otherwise healthy life?…..but now there is yet more waiting to be done.

In the meantime i have letters to write…especially to his head of year at school….Wonderboy has been through so much since he started high school….after years of being the victim of bullying throughout primary school, he was bullied rather severely through his whole first year of High School and this second year his teachers seemed to have been the bulys instead….they have told him he is lazy, dim etc.

Well, maybe now at last we may have a reason for him never being able to concentrate, for his lack of attention etc..the doctor actually said that the symptoms he has are actually what would be expected with someone with a very low iron level…and that it could all be related to the blood disorder too, related to him having too many red blood cells.

I don’t want him to be ill.

God knows that I have begged Him on my hands and knees to remove any illness from my son and to give it to me instead…

Wonderboy has taken the news quite badly.

He said all he ever wanted was to be ‘normal’ but that it just never seems like he’s going to get ‘normal’.

I told him that normal is just a word.

From aged 2 years till he was about 8 years we attended hospital regularly about his asthma….he was never able to participate in too much sports with other kids and even though he’s a strapping young lad, he is regularly in need of his asthma meds and this does affect things he does to a certain extent.

Because he used to be less active, he was unable to lose the usual puppy fat that kids get as they develop…he was never fat, but the other kids picked on him and said he was a wimp, a weakling, a fattie etc…so he started acting up a bit to show he was not feeble, trying to defend himself in fights….even when he ended up on the floor being kicked by lads who left him hurt and alone.

He has mentoring help at the moment at school because so often in this second year of high school…rather than teenagers bulling him he has seen more and more of the lack of understanding and tolerance from his teachers who have complained incessantly that though he is a lovely boy he doesn’t work very hard and never seems to listen or absorb what they are saying.

And just when we thought we were tackling all these problems at long last, this comes and knocks him down again.

Oh Lord, in your Mercy help us!

Now about Dr. T…Something i wanted to share with you is that I am convinced that any other Doctor at that surgery would have put Wonderboys symptoms of being tired, irritable, feeling low etc…just down to puberty.

But not Dr. T.

Dr. T was on her first day at the doctors surgery on the very first day she saw my son…..she pushed for the blood tests and picked up on everything, suspecting an underlying problem all the while….she was actually interested in Wonderboy and she was very thorough and very compassionate the whole time….well today when we saw her again, she told us that tommorrow she leaves to return to her home and her usual workplace in Manchester…..it is with sadness we will see her go….but in thanksgiving that we have seen on her first day of work at our surgery when we first went in with the head lump and through all Wonderboys tests and now we also see her on her penultimate day of work.

I thanked her most sincerely for having picked up on Wonderboy’s symptoms and for having the foresight to send Wonderboy for blood tests….then she looked at me and Wonderboy and put her hands together and said

“It was meant to be….it was meant to be that I was here at this time for you…I do believe that”

Oh thank you God for such wonderfully dedicated and compassionate doctors!

I pray that the specialist is as thorough.

Please, of your charity, continue to pray.

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30 Responses to Cataracts and Blood Stats

  1. Phil says:

    Deb,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Wonderboy’s results. I can only imagine how you (and he) are feeling at this time. As I said before, remember that you are not alone and that there are many people praying for you – both of you – and that Christ promises to be with you, until the end of time (Matt 28).

    Yours, in Faith, Hope and Love,

    Philx

  2. teresa_anawim says:

    “brekkie”..love it!

    I do count this an urgent prayer request and Dr T and Wonderboy…and MOM will be in my prayers.

    Now my Dad 84yrs..had both of his eyes done this year and….after having to wear glasses his entire life…he is ‘spectacles free’…and his eyesight is better than mine…no kidding!
    He also had a larger one on one eye which they warned about.
    I trust that your Dad will have good success.

  3. Carol says:

    I outgrew chronic asthma (a very sickly early life) somewhere around my 15th year. I wouldn’t tell a kid that I thought it was because I’d taken up smoking cigarettes, but I do attribute it to that. I think the nicotine dilated airways or something, I dunno–my Micmac great-great-grandmother used to smoke a corn cob pipe for her asthma (nope, no idea what she put in there), but I also do know other (NON-smoker) folks whose asthma pared down as they got older. My girlfriend’s son when he reached his mid to late teens only needed an inhaler once in a blue moon, after quite a different start in life. As did another friend’s son. As for losing baby fat, my most gorgeous boyfriend ever told a similar tale as your son — until his junior year in high school. For some reason, he shot up to 6’2″ and his whole body filled out as nicely as any guy could’ve wanted. Tell Wonderboy to expect the good kind of unexpected; it happens. As for wonky blood reports, my son got one which scared me after I asked a nurse to translate it for me. But so far, so good. He must’ve had a million more tests in preparing for Iraq, and if no one found anything too askew there, and he’s have said so and didn’t, I’ll not worry.

    But my son’s not a young boy, no, and so, you must be feeling the weight of the cross right about now. I wish I could say all will be well, but no one can. We’ll certainly be praying for an all’s well, tho’. And we do rejoice in your dad’s successful surgery–I hope he’ll enjoy the seeing of many many things and faces that had become too blurry these recent years. Hang in there. Moms are rocks for their kids to cling to. I know you will be and do whatever you have to.

  4. Rosemary says:

    OK. This is not what we wanted to hear. However, the specialist may still say that this is some quirky, easily treated thing. You know. I googled excess red blood cells and didn’t find much. Didn’t she say that it might just be that he has always had a high count and that it might not mean anything? Let’s not panic until we hear what the specialist says. Still might be fine. I’m still praying.
    I am so sorry that Wonderboy has not been treated kindly at school. I am PARTICULARLY sympathetic to situations like these. Some teachers are so inclined to believe the worst about a child. It couldn’t be that the teacher is failing the student. No. It must be that the child is not trying. I’m afraid such situations have been an occasion of sin for me. (smile) Wish we could just talk.

    And… so glad to hear that your dad’s surgery went well. That was quite a day. God bless you.

  5. Suzanne says:

    THe thing you HAVE to get over first is fretting and taking guilt on yourself. You may not even think you sound this way, but since I know a little bit about having a very sick child, I can read right through it.
    Don’t allow yourself to do that…everyone will continue to pray and you do just that and enjoy your son. It is certainly more healthy for him if you let go of the fretting or letting any guilt form…it doesn’t do one lick of good and you waste alot of time doing that. OK?
    I want to share something with you that may or may not help. My good friend’s son had a tumor in his head for years and until recently, they did not know it. He started bumping into things and acting irrational. Actually, I think I noticed some of the irrational stuff a long time ago, but we thought he was a whiny child, but he probably was having great headaches and thought that was the normal way to feel since he’d had this thing growing for years! So, they took care of it, but he was all but blind afterward
    and they basically told the parents, he may never see any clearer…that after a certain age, the problem may be settled and the things that needed to heal or grow better..well, it may be too late. She asked us all to pray with John Paul the Great since little John was named after him. Well, low and behold, after several months of wearing very very thick glasses and no change, he all but recently began to see and almost has his full vision back! Praise be to Jesus and thank you John Paul the Great! I consider this a miracle…and anyway, so you just find someone who you want to pray with and go to town and let us know and we will too. In the meantime, I’ll choose my little David to pray with for your son…be at peace, my friend! God loves you all so much..there are reasons for everything.
    Suzanne

  6. Melanie says:

    Deb, I am praying and praying for your intentions.

  7. Easter A. says:

    ((((((((((((((Deb)))))))))))))

    Much more of that from everyone who comes here. Know that you and your precious ones are loved and prayed for. Mom, this is the time when God is not only walking with you… He is now carrying you! So let him. He can handle it.
    🙂

    Lots of love and prayers for all of you…

    I will be back to see how your dad is doing…

    Love,
    Easter:-)

  8. Karen says:

    Deb, glad your dad’s surgery went well. As Re: the Wonderboy – it’s hard right now – but in the long run, perhaps best to think of finally finding out what ails him is the silver lining of the cloud. Because now that you know there might be something physically wrong, they can check it out, and hopefully get the problem fixed. And it may well be that ones the problem is pinpointed, there is a cure for it, and you’ll know how to cope better with it knowing you have “X” to deal with, rather than the great unknown.

    Continued prayers for you all.

    Karen

  9. Tom says:

    I’m still paying for your son, Deb.

    I know it’s almost impossible to do because we all do it when faced with a situation that keeps us full of anxiety, but don’t jump to conclusions about anything yet. As I wrote, this is easier said than done. A million things go through our minds (ALWAYS the worst) in the absence of information.

    I will keep you both in my prayers. Please keep the rest of us up-to-date.

  10. Moni says:

    Deb, I know this is not what you wanted to hear. Yet, it was noticed early, you had a thorough and compasionate doctor…. may the blessings on this hard path to walk with him continue.
    You all continue to stay in my prayers!

  11. I am adding my prayers, and also praise that your dad’s surgery went well, and that Dr. T was there for you and your son just at the right time. As she said, that was no accident. May God continue to place the best, most caring medical professionals in your path as you and Wonderboy go through the rest of his testing.

  12. Antonia says:

    Hey, I am so sorry to hear of the results of Wonderboy’s blood tests. It’s not the news I hoped or prayed to hear. I have learnt quite a lot in my medical studies about such conditions but it is quite rare to find it in a child, so I am truthfully not at all sure of its significance or long-term implications.
    Thank you for keeping us updated however of this situation.

    I don’t know if this is helpful and maybe you already know it, but there are two medical terms for ‘too many red blood cells’: they are “Polycythaemia” (or ‘polycythemia’ for the Americans) and also “Erythrocytosis”. They both mean the same thing; elevated levels of red blood cells.

    I know it’s easier said than done, but having been in a similarly scary position like this on two occasions in my life, I would definitly advise you not to do too much googling.
    Lots of the stuff on the internet is really terrifying to read and difficult to truely interpret and understand the extent to which it applies to one’s own specific situation.

    Do the googling afterwards, once you have an answer.

    In stead I would strongly recommend that in the mean-time you write a list of questions to bring with you when you see the Consultant in the Hospital.

    ~~

    I’m glad to hear your dad’s cataract surgery went well! It’s such an amazing operation; so quick and I am certain it will make a big difference to his quality of life.

    GOD BLESS

    with lots of love

    -x-x-x-x-

  13. Alexa says:

    Awww man. This is distressing, to say the least. I know what it’s like to fret over the health – and the well-being – of a son. My oldest, George. You remember things I’ve said about him…

    As for Wonderboy’s response to all of this – well, I hope that he knows, or is told, that God only chooses special people to deal with things like this – to help Him carry His Cross. It is honestly His way. I truly believe it! How else could a Man have dealt with all the suffering and pain He endured during His Passion? It is all of our sufferings and pains combined that he felt, all our sins – and the strength He mustered as a Human comes in part from the strength we all offer-up together as His Body. It’s a heavy concept for an adult though, I guess, let alone a kid.

    But I’m talking to you too, Deb. Nothing is for naught. There is a reason for ALL of this. ALL of this. And Dr. T. – though you may never see her again – has gained, I’m sure, something from it all as well – perhaps she has gleened an example of motherly virtue from you! You never know…

    George was bullied to the Nth degree while growing up. Today, at 25 years old he still feels marginalized. But, he makes it work as much as he can. He could do better at it, in my opinion, but he does what he can…

    I will keep you all in our prayers this evening – including your Dad and Mom.

    (I tried to write out some stuff here that I’m almost certain I didn’t express correctly – so, forgive me. I tried. I’m comment-box challenged.)

  14. Antonia says:

    Just some thoughts I had while doing some reading…

    As I’m sure you know, the job of red blood cells is to carry oxygen around round the body.

    Polycythaemia can be broadly divided into two groups:

    PRIMARY and SECONDARY.

    The *Primary* type is where an individual has lots of red blood cells because something has gone wrong inside their body; for whatever reason their body is making too many red blood cells. Some of these causes are scary, like tumours. Or it might just be in his genes to make that many red blood cells.

    The *Secondary* type is where the body makes more red blood cells because the number of red blood cells it has isn’t enough to carry around oxygen. So in order to carry around more oxygen, it makes more red blood cells.
    This happen in situations where the individual isn’t breathing in enough oxygen. This is well-known to happen to people who live at high altitudes, and also to people who have chronic lung conditions like emphysema or chronic bronchititis.

    It is therefore theoretically possible that very severe chronic asthma could also cause this. I don’t know how well controlled your son’s asthma is on a day-to-day basis, and whether he is pretty much always short of breath. If so, this could well be something to think about. Being chronically short of breath, over years, might well affect your blood’s oxygen levels enough to stimulate your body to respond by producing more red blood cells.

    Note, I am not a haematologist, so don’t take this as proper medical advice!!! It’s just one thought which is theoretically plausible!

    Again, with lots of love & prayers
    xxx

  15. Mimi says:

    First, Thanks be to God for your dad’s surgery results.

    And, secondly, hon, I’m so sorry to hear about the continuing struggle with Wonderboy. My prayers continue

  16. Sarah says:

    {{{hugs}}} all around. It hurts so much more when it’s our children. I will pray a rosary a day for Wonderboy. I will pray pray pray for him (and you – that you stay strong, stay the course, never lose faith, keep friends and family near for support you’ll need). God bless you.

    Thank you for keeping us up on this so we can pray for specifics.

  17. Debs Mum and Dad says:

    Many thanks for your prayers and thoughts for Peters cataract operation, yesterday which went well. Please continue your prayers for Wonderboy.

  18. Owen says:

    Lord, you are the good shepherd and the great physician and the Word of life – to whom else shall we go. Bring about your miracle for this dear family.

  19. Renee says:

    What Owen said =) Love and prayers, Deb. You are not alone!!

  20. Placing Wonderboy in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, and may They give you strength to cope with your son’s illness.

  21. Barbara says:

    Deb,

    I am speechless – I have not been around in blogland much over the last few months and I was not aware of this situation.

    It goes without saying that your whole family are in my prayers and in my heart…

    May God’s grace keep you calm…

    Bxx

  22. Tim J. says:

    Things are hectic here, but prayers your way for your son’s health as well as peace for your family.

  23. Cathy Keller says:

    Prayers indeed, continue…And praise God in all things. You offer us all such a wonderful example of that!!!

  24. Easter A. says:

    Deb, I know you prayed with us…

    For Deb and those who joined us in prayer
    RE: Prayer to St. Joseph for the Unemployed

    Kimberly of Catholic family Vignettes thanks you for your prayers! She joined many families in praying the Prayer to St. Joseph. Though her husband was not unemployed, she asked that her husband’s intention be included. Her husband was hoping to get a better job and he got it this week. He starts at this new job next week!

    God be praised!

    Thanking God for you,
    Easter at Mostly Prayers

  25. AutumnRose says:

    Praying for you both!

  26. “his teachers who have complained incessantly that though he is a lovely boy he doesn’t work very hard and never seems to listen or absorb what they are saying.”

    as a teacher Ihave to say that nowadays most boys (and an awful lot of girls too) don’t work very hard at school or absorb anything I say …so I’d say that WB is perfectly normal 🙂

    seriously prayers ascending.

  27. Jean says:

    Dear Deb,

    I’m happy to hear that your dad’s surgery went well.

    Please know that I am lifting up you, your son, and your family in prayer. May God fill your heart with peace as you place your trust in Him.

    Uniting my prayers with yours,
    Jean

  28. Valerie says:

    Deb – I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting you lately. I’m also very sorry to hear about the health problems your son is going through. As you know, my oldest has had her own health issues which have altered her life, so if you ever need a friend to talk to who has gone through all of this anxiety and confusion and fear, please let me know. I shall keep you and yours in my prayers. Love ‘ya!

  29. mum6kids says:

    I will just keep praying then.

    I second Antonia’s tip of writing down the questions you have. There is nothing worse than that hospital carpark moment when you are kicking yourself for all the stuff you didn’t say.

    I am sorry that Wonderboy has been through so much. Having two children who were bullied- one by peers and my dd by he form teacher who thought it was a great idea to get my dyslexic child out in front of the class to write words she couldn’t spell on the board! – It’s horrible. He has my respect for surviving it-and you do too.

    Try the AA approach-one day at a time and the Serenity prayer.
    God bless you and your family.

  30. ukok says:

    Bless you all for your kindness, your wisdom, your encouragement, suggestions and of course, your support. You’ve all certainly given me a lot to think about.

    Dad is doing just fine, it’s like he got his sight back for the first time in years!

    With Wonderboy, I’ll keep you posted as and when i learn what’s happening. Thank you so very much for caring!

    (((hugs)))

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