I hate taking my kids to the doctor. Especially now that they’re older because I can’t really bribe them with snow cones or milkshakes. They know what’s coming. And when they’re sad I can’t just find a cool sticker or hold them in my lap and rock them like I used to.
When Ty got sick earlier this week I thought I’d give him a day or two to rest before we went to the doc. He wasn’t getting worse, but he also wasn’t getting better. So today I had to take him in. Mostly because we had to get that lovely doctor’s note - or as I call it the “get out of school free” card.
Anyway, today’s visit kind of caught me off guard. I did the thing where you sign in online and wait from home, which I LOVE. We walked in and saw a doc within 10 minutes. I fully expected them to tell me Ty had the flu or strep, give me a couple prescriptions, the get out of school free card, and send us on our way.
RED FLAGS went up when they routinely took his blood pressure and it was 161/75. I looked at it, closed my eyes, and looked again to see if that would somehow change the numbers on the machine.
The nurse said “Is his blood pressure usually that high?”
…um no ma’am…
“That’s REALLY high for a teenager.”
Then she did the swab thing while I took deep breaths and prayed about what to say to Ty. I could tell as soon as he recovered from the trauma of the strep and flu swabs, he was going to Google “high blood pressure in teens.” So I did my best to intercept that. I said “Ty, do NOT google ‘high blood pressure in teens.” He laughed nervously and said “I was just about to.”
I asked if he was stressed about something. He said he worries about a lot of things, but nothing in particular.
That’s when the fear hit me.
Like a ton of bricks.
I felt it in my head and shoulders.
And the voices in my head said “It’s because you let him eat so much crap. I’m sure it’s the excess salt intake. You should cook more. Without salt. You should meal plan. You should never have let him take Lunchables to preschool. You knew better.”
I figured if that is what was scrolling through my head, I better ask him what was going through his. We talked about anxiety, how he hates Science class, I made sure he wasn’t failing any classes or having problems with friends and then I resorted to Christianese and said “Ty, how’s your prayer life?”
I’m laughing now as I write this because he looked up at me and said “My what?”
“Your prayer life, Ty. How is it? Do you pray?”
"Yes mom. I pray."
"But like when something is really stressing you out, do you give it to God or do you let it take over your mind and really stress you out? Because I do that way too much. I take responsibility for stuff that’s not mine. We can give it to God!”
“I pray Mom.”
I took a deep breath.
Then I took my own advice and offered a quiet prayer up asking God for peace right there in that room. To be present with us. And I asked Him to silence the noise in my mind. And relax my shoulders.
I changed the subject with Ty and then the doc walked in. The first thing she mentioned was his blood pressure. We were at urgent care, so she suggested I set up an appointment to see his pediatrician right away.
I literally almost picked up the phone while she was examining Ty to go ahead and make the appointment - or google specialists in our city. But as she was listening to his lungs and looking in his ears and throat, a peace came over me. A peace that made no sense.
Then I literally heard that still small voice say “He doesn’t have high blood pressure.”
She stepped out to get the strep and flu swab results and I said to Ty “I don’t think you really have high blood pressure. I’m going to ask them to check it again.”
He just shrugged. Poor guy didn’t feel good and now his mom was acting cray. He just wanted lunch and some antibiotics.
When the doc came back and said he tested positive for strep, she asked if he drank energy drinks or lots of cokes. No and no. But she was still concerned about the BP. I said “Would you mind testing his blood pressure again?” She said sure, and got the nurse.
His BP was normal.
Of course it was.
She did mention that we should check it periodically when we’re at the grocery store, and we will, but I fully expect it to be normal.
This is why I pray.
If I hadn’t prayed, my whole day would have been derailed. I would have given in to fear. I would have spent God-only-knows-how-much time texting friends and family asking them to pray for Ty’s high blood pressure. And googling. I would have been stressed out TO THE MAX. I would have been resisting the urge to buy a BP cuff for the house so I could check him often. I would have anxiously awaited the appointment with the pediatrician expecting her to have all the answers.
That still small voice saved me today.
It brought me so much peace. Ty too. We got Chipotle. Extra guac.
Learning to hear His voice and asking Him speak into my chaos has been a learned behavior for sure. Tonight I’m telling Him I want to hear Him more. I want to run to Him first. I want to ask Him what He thinks about something before anyone else gets a say.