Friday, June 1, 2007


I know my co-worker is irritated with me. (On just a hunch, I could alone base it on the long pause and eyeroll that he gave me as he walked past my cubicle after hearing the answer to his question.) This is the fifth day in a row that I have forgotten to bring my Notary Public certificate in so that he can make a copy and send it to the supply company to purchase a Notary stamp with my information on it.

But I just haven't been able to think straight all this week. It has been terribly difficult to get any sort of answers about my brother's condition from my parents: 1. Because one parent is absolutely clueless to what is going on with anything involving the kids. 2. The other parent that should know what's going on in detail has decided that it was much better to just...forget.

When I physically left my parents' house eight or nine months ago, it wasn't the first time I had left it. Mentally, I had already left my concerns at the doorstep a year or two prior. Or at least tried to.

I remember that day I went to go pick up my belongings that had been crudely shoved into trashbags with my friend, Trish. I remember watching her as she pulled my baby brother's arms that were trying to reach out for me. I can even more clearly remember the look of despair and sadness in my baby brother's eyes as he was crying for me, watching as my mother threw bag after bag at me as I walked through the front door.

When I got into the car, and Trish began to speed off, I just started sobbing uncontrollably. I knew that memory would stick in my brother's mind forever, and I immediately began to worry immensely over my siblings, and their safety while living in that house.

Things have gotten better over time. (Therapy for my mother, medication for my father.) But all of a sudden, this past Sunday, that same worry and fear for a sibling's care and safety rushed back in.

When I first found out about my brother's white blood cell count, I was freaked out. I sat at work with a blank expression and constant tearing in my eyes.

So quite obviously, on Sunday, when I went to visit my parents and siblings, I had dozens upon dozens of questions that were roaming through my mind. What was this disease? Why did they think it was transfused through the blood? Wasn't the last time he had a blood transfusion months ago? Wouldn't this issue have shown itself sooner if it was passed through a blood transfusion? What did all of this mean for Adam's health? When were they going to get more tests done?

"I don't know," my mother replied, simply - with hardly any expression.

"I don't understand. You talked to the doctor, didn't you? The one who read his first blood test results? How can you say 'you don't know'?"

"Yes, of course I talked to the doctor. And yes, he did say his white blood count is lower than it should be. Much lower. Said it was very serious."

"Well then, what does Adam have? Is it treatable?"

"I don't know. You're asking me too many questions," my mother paused a second and then looked at me, "Okay, so I forgot. The doctor told me what it was, and I forgot. But it's not like it's that huge of a deal, they are going to be doing more tests on him in the upcoming weeks because they think he also might need surgery again soon. He's been having pains in his head and his back again."

[Wait, back up. Did she just say she forgot?]

I dropped the discussion. More out of being horrified and stunned than anything else. How can you forget your son's diagnosis? How can you act so nonchalant? Okay, okay, EJ, calm down. Don't over think. Don't overstress. I can't help but be pissed thinking about this situation.

It's been a week now - they tested Ads for Epstein Bar, Mono, and a bunch of other things. Last thing I heard from my Dad was that Ads tested positive for a very slight and mild case of Mono. They aren't sure whether that's why his white blood cell count is low or not. He tested positive for one other test, the one that they used to diagnose him with, but my mother can't seem to remember.

Whatever it is, I am sure it doesn't help that all these surgeries (the opening and exposure of his spinal cord and nerves) keep exposing his body to possible infections and such.

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