Tuesday, June 4, 2013

wisdom in the wait

Jon and I have been grappling over the tube decision for a few weeks now.

I come from the perspective of a scientist--the studies, the overwhelming consensus from medical professionals, etc. Jon has the perspective of a theologian--faith in the unknown, going against the grain of what is widely accepted as true. For me the answer is obvious: get the tubes. For Jon, it's not so cut-and-dry. He wants tubes to be our absolute last resort. He found some studies that showed children who waited after the initial recommendation for tubes longer than those who got them right away had no different outcomes six years post-op. Furthermore, he is considering the risks (no matter how small) that Elden could react poorly to the anesthesia and/or suffer from potential hearing loss long-term as a result of the surgery. We've reached an impasse multiple times and have had to stop our discussions to walk away and cool off.

The thing is, I'm making peace with the idea that there is wisdom in the wait. Jon has proven this to me time and time again. For example, when we were house hunting, there was a much smaller house that was about five-thousand more than what we paid for ours. I wanted to jump at the opportunity convinced nothing else would come along in time, but Jon encouraged me to be patient just a few more days. And then? We found the one we bought--much larger, less expensive, and in a nicer neighborhood. Then there's the whole baby situation. If I had my way, we would have been pregnant within the first few months of getting married. Jon insisted we wait because "babies are hard!" and I don't even want to picture what our lives would look like now if we had taken the path I desired at the time. There are numerous more examples like that in our relationship over the last six years.

It's not at all easy for me to be patient (shocker!), especially with things like this. I am a fixer by nature and my instinct is to do everything I can to solve a problem. After feeling so ridiculously helpless dealing with Elden's colic for the first half of his life, when I was presented with tubes as a possible solution to these ear infections I wanted to sign the dotted line like, yesterday. However, in the teeny off chance that a gluten sensitivity is causing all of this, I don't want to subject Elden to anesthesia unless absolutely necessary. The ENT told us he didn't see harm in giving gluten-free a try and postponing surgery (they initially had openings the week after we had his appointment, we booked it for a month after) unless another ear infection arose. In our instant gratification society, it's hard to go against the norm. It's hard to wait. It's even harder to wait gracefully. I'm trying to take a step back from my inherent desire to magically fix everything and be patient with this gluten-free diet. We had originally agreed upon waiting until he got 1 more infection to do the tubes and I had begun to renege on that agreement. We both have Elden's best interest at heart, we just come from different perspectives. There is no harm in waiting for confirmation of a decision either way.

After a re-check today, the fluid that was in Elden's ears from his Friday check-up had begun to thicken and was on the brink of becoming infected again. His pediatrician wanted to do the cefdinir injection but Jon asked if we moved his surgery up to next week if we could just do an oral course. He agreed so now we have a 10-day prescription and a call into the surgery scheduler to see if we can get him in early next week. We both have peace with this decision, and even though the wisdom in the wait didn't turn out the way we hoped, I have a bigger appreciation for my husband and how he stands up for what he believes in--within reason--and advocates for our son even when met with scowls.

1 comment:

  1. Dave and I are like this, too - a really good balance for each other and we know we both have Leo's best interests at heart. I'm so glad that all the decisions we make in parenting are not made alone (and that we have God to lead us!).