Being Angry

I am really trying to remain positive through all of this, but tonight, I am just angry.  While the totality of the situation is overwhelming and upsetting, it is the things that don’t even seem like the biggest obstacles that are rubbing me wrong.  I haven’t been this angry about things yet.  And I’m not going to apologize or feel bad about being angry, either.  It is what it is.

About two months before Reece was diagnosed, even before the whole process began, Reece had his “big accident” at church.  We checked him into Sunday School like any other Sunday and not ten minutes later were paged to come to the check-in desk.  I walked downstairs to find Reece sobbing with a blood-stained rag in his mouth.  Apparently, he and a few pals were playing “monsters” and chasing each other around the room.  Reece’s foot caught the edge of a rug and he tripped, catching his mouth on the corner of a table on the way down.  Two of his teeth (his front right tooth and the one next to it) managed to shift upwards slightly.  He bit his lip, although he was quite lucky he didn’t bite all the way through it.  After a trip to urgent care that day and a trip to the dentist the following day, we were told to watch and see what would happen.  His teeth eventually discolored and then went back to their normal color.  He is a thumbsucker, so they have shifted around some, but you would not know anything happened looking at him today.  We were told that the dentist would monitor them and that those teeth could eventually fall out, but overall, they look normal and we had mostly forgotten about any stress related to the incident.

Fast forward two months and Reece receives his diagnosis.  In the process of discussing a bone marrow transplant, we are told that Reece will probably need to see his dentist prior to transplant to ensure he doesn’t have any cavities.  If he does, he will need those teeth pulled.  Fast forward to today…

I talked to the social worker regarding several topics and, during that conversation, asked her if we needed to get him into the dentist.  She advises that we do so; I call the dentist to see if we can get him in this week.  The dentist is going to work us in early tomorrow morning.  He calls me directly this evening to say, among other things, that he is concerned about the two teeth that were impacted by the tripping incident this past fall.  There is about a 10% chance that those teeth could die off, making him susceptible to infections, so he is recommending we pull the two teeth.  Whoa.  That is not what I was expecting to hear.  And you might be reading this thinking, “they’re just his baby teeth/that’s superficial/you have much bigger issues to worry about.”  And I agree with all of those things.  But I can not describe how sick and tired I am of playing out all of the realities of the situation in my mind.  I am flat-out not willing to do this unless the situation absolutely demands it–and it might. 

Naturally, I told the dentist that I will talk to Reece’s doctor to see what she has to say.  But I haven’t felt this strongly opposed to any of this process so far.  I assume that is mostly because there isn’t an option with most of it.  Sure, we as parents can opt to not transplant, but that really isn’t a choice for us.  I am sure if the doctor comes back and says things in that certain tone with those certain words that it needs to happen, we will okay to have it done.  But I am putting my foot down until then. 

I am tired with and angry about the situation.  Every day has stress mounting and this was the last thing we needed to hear.  I can not let them pull his teeth unless they absolutely need to do it.  I mean, how much do we lay on one kid?  Sure, to any other kid, it is just getting his teeth pulled.  To me it is making my child sick, taking away his social life and activities, changing his life circumstances, making him susceptible to anything and everything that lies in the environment and his own body…and getting his teeth pulled.  And that is sparing all the details of the days that lie ahead.   NO.  I will fight this one.  I may lose, but I am not just letting this happen without voicing strong opposition to it. 

It was two and a half times MORE likely that Britta would be the donor and that didn’t happen.  But I guess the chance of Reece having his diagnosis is about one in a million (literally), so the odds don’t seem to be on our side  anyway.  And once you actually ARE that ONE in a million, you start to realize that anything can happen.

I have a good friend who once told me to feel every emotion fully; if you suppress your emotion–whatever it may be–it does more harm than good.  I have heeded this advice on many occasions.  I know we are intentionally created to be emotional beings.  The Bible documents many of God’s emotions–including times when he is angry.  Jesus agonized over His impending crucifixion, He rejoiced with His friends, He mourns the loss of people, He shows strong empathy towards others, He shows anger, and He even weeps.  He never apologizes for any of His emotions; He never says, “I’m sorry I feel this way.”  In the next day or so I will post about our wonderful and joyous time over Christmas and the things we have been doing as a family.  I will discuss my relief over my latest ultrasound and my excitement over our new little one.  Tonight, I am angry and I’m not ashamed about it.  If I don’t let it bubble up, I can’t move on and that’s when it will become a problem.

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3 Comments

Filed under Bone Marrow Transplant

3 responses to “Being Angry

  1. I think being angry means you are being honest. I’ve always believed God was big enough to take it….not that he deserved it…but take it. By saying you are angry is being real and honest with yourself and God. I pray that God moves you through the anger quickly because it’s not a fun place to be. Prayers continue for you and your family.

  2. Fellow MOPS Mom

    I truly appreciate your transparency. Our pastor recently taught from Job: one of the lessons that came out of this was to grieve honestly and fully. Job was a true servant of God who trusted Him completely, but he experienced his grief fully. God commands us to “fear not” over and over again…but that doesn’t mean He thinks that is an easy command to follow. I have not experienced the full complexity of a situation like yours, but I did have two children who contracted pertussis last year (one infant) and it was a scary, anxiety-filled time to say the least. Every decision I had to make as a mother was agonizing. And, my head was filled w/countless “what ifs” and periods of intense anger and fear. I remember my faith-filled mother crying angrily to God,”Why are you letting this happen to my daughter, she already has too much to handle?”

    Please don’t think that I am comparing my relatively short ordeal w/my children’s health fully to the rare situation your family is in. But, I can tell you that my experience with this 3-month illness (and lots of doctors who didn’t know quite what to do), in retrospect was a huge milestone in my relationship with God. My fear and anger turned into a love and trust in Him that I had never quite experienced before. I learned to completely rely on Him because I had no other choice but to do so. In retrospect, I wouldn’t change a thing about that journey, including the angry moments. One song that really spoke to me during this time was “Better than a Hallelujah” by Amy Grant … He longs to hear us call for Him even if it comes from fear and anger at times.

  3. Sarah Naranjo

    Looks like your heart was right on this one! Intuitive mommy!

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