The kids would barely recognise a Doctors surgery. The two big kids have only been once or twice each and the twins have not been to a Doctor ever and they are 4 this year. It's not that the kids are particularly problem free. No, it's just we tend to specialise in rare and exotic illnesses here (hello Heinoch Schoenlein Purpura) as well as open wounds requiring stitches, both of which land us directly in the Emergency department of the local Hospital and bypassing the local Doctor.
The only problem with not having a relationship with a Doctor is that when you do need one urgently it is impossible to get in because they have a waiting period for new patients, sometimes up to 10 days. One of the twins was experiencing a breathing problem of sorts and I needed to see someone straight away. After 3 knock-backs I went to a Medical Centre.
The Doctor was quite concerned when we came in. Little Buddy was otherwise fine but seemed to be struggling with the inhaling part of breathing and then making quite a disturbing sound on exhaling. Definitely not asthma the Doctor said. I first noticed it some weeks ago but maybe only once a day. It started getting more frequent and pronounced until it was happening with almost every breath. I was given a referral to a Paediatrician who, I was told, would likely order some scans and probably some oxygen testing. Scary stuff. My worried brain went into overdrive as I visualised being sat down for a diagnosis of lung cancer or some other exotic illness. To stop my worrying getting out of control I stupidly told myself that it obviously couldn't be anything too serious because he is an identical twin and his brother would have to have the same thing, which he didn't. There is absolutely no logic to this type of thinking. Oh the mind of a panic-stricken parent!
I couldn't see the specialist for 3 weeks and this was too long as far as I was concerned. Breathing is an essential function to live and I needed to see someone straight away. I didn't think I could go 3 weeks without sleep worrying myself silly. The Doctor agreed and found another specialist who I could see 2 days later.
So we arrive to see said specialist who checks over Little Buddy with a fine tooth comb and then watches him play with his brother on the floor with some toys while we chat about our recent caravan trip around Australia. Little Buddy had done his inhaling/noise making thing about 20 times while we were there and I was anxious to know what the specialist had to say.
"Well he is in tip-top shape, absolutely nothing wrong with him," he says.
"But what's causing this breathing issue?".
"It's just a quirk. Completely harmless. There's nothing wrong with him" he says.
"What do you mean a quirk? Oh, like a tic? Does he have a tic?"
"No, just a quirk. Some people have a throat-clearing or small cough habit. It's just the same. He has picked it up somewhere and just doing it out of habit. Completely ignore it. Don't even talk about it to him or anyone and it will just disappear".
Yes, I'm relieved it's just a quirk but that was not what I was expecting. And right at that moment I take a big deep breath in to ponder this information and then let out an audible high-pitched "hmmm", the exact same thing that my son does and to which the Specialist just looked at me and grinned.
I totally just made a dill of myself. I never noticed it before but there it was. A 'light-bulb' moment.
Now I like to think myself as fairly self-aware. You know, like when you hear a Father talk about his hyperactive child while all the while he is drumming his fingers impatiently on the table and can't keep his feet still or when the mother can't work out why her daughter is so feisty and 'spirited' when she herself displays the exact same traits. Whenever I look at the personalities or funny habits of my kids I can usually pinpoint them to either myself or The Pianoman. However, I never noticed this quirk of mine. It's true there probably were many times during the moving-in and un-packing stage where I would go from room to room and do a big old sigh which was probably witnessed by the twins. The Pianoman didn't even notice this quirk of mine. It seems a frazzled Mother can do the a deep sigh and audible "hhmmm" without raising eyebrows but it is quite disturbing seeing it done by a 3 year old.
Anyone else with a quirk, funny habit?