This morning the kids woke up extra early so we could have a good breakfast before a 8AM lab appointment for Sage. It was a long overdue routine blood test and I figured hustling her in early before work would insure I could be there with her, holding her hand as she cried.
Yet, there would be no crying.
The bravest little almost-six-year-old in the world sat there cool as anything, watching the needle enter the crook of her arm and draw blood. “It doesn’t even hurt,” she said and we all cooed and oohed and praised her for being so tough and totally awesome, even as her older sister cringed.
She jumped out of my lap, ready to head to school. A totally routine day, only with a Garfield bandage on her arm.
And then she fainted.
“My head feels funny,” she said, and the nurse and I caught her just in time to watch her eyes go glassy, the color drain from her face, her knees buckle, and her her little body start to crumple toward the ground.
I felt the color drain from my face too. There is nothing more terrifying than those fleeting seconds when the entire Web MD List of Horrible Ailments runs through your head. In my mind (and probably yours?) it doesn’t take more than a fraction of a second in for a simple low blood pressure incident to turn into a yet unnamed seizure disorder caused by a dirty needle resulting in a condition yet to be discovered until this very second in this very lab room in Brooklyn.
I pulled it together, calling her name as the nurse cradled her in a fireman’s carry and started doing the things you see on medical TV shows. “What grade are you in, Sage? What grade are you in?”
“Kindergarten,” she said, as the pink came back into her sweet lips and cheeks. And then she laughed, was wondering why I would ask her such a silly question. Or why I would ask her teacher’s name. Or why I would ask the name of her school.
We steadied her and just sat and drank water for a while until she said she was feeling good. The world’s most awesome sister (now certified) hugged her with relief and scooped up Sage’s backpack for her.
I offered to take her home. I offered to sit with her in school for an hour to make sure she was fine. I offered to tell her teacher that today she has permission to drink orange juice in class despite any rules to the contrary. I left her reluctantly. But I left her happy, coloring, and feeling kind of special with that Minute Maid bottle on her desk and the cool Garfield bandage on her arm.
This week, with Mother’s Day coming up, I joked with the Bump about the time I first realized I was a mother. But you know, there are so many moments you know you’re a mom. Like when your daughter is hurting and you would give anything in the world to make it you instead.
She’s fine. She’s more than fine. Me, I’ll be shaky for the rest of the day.