Monday, June 1, 2009

A Worry Wart

Several weeks ago I had an anxiety dream. In the dream I became panicked because my constant worries about the baby were preventing me from actually enjoying being with it. I was worried about worrying.

Saturday afternoon my first real reason to worry arose. Wednesday’s ultrasound seemed fine. The technician did not seem troubled by anything she saw and commented that everything looked fine and the doctor would look at the images later in the week. We breathed a sigh of relief and went to lunch. Saturday we checked our voicemail message to find a request to call the doctor’s office. I usually do not regret not having a cell phone. I am perfectly happy pretending it is 1982 most of the time, but not receiving the message until Saturday morning meant having to wait until Monday morning to find out why the office needed to speak with us. Thirty-five hours spent worrying and speculating what could be wrong (if anything).

Amanda called the office this morning and spoke to our doctor’s nurse. Being a nurse in a small office must be a terrible job when having to tell someone what is going to be perceived as bad news. The actual facts often do not even register because I think most people’s immediate response is emotional. You may feel scared. You may feel shocked. You may feel saddened. You may feel something else, but you feel. The receptionist needs you to listen, think and absorb the information. Amanda came over to my office to tell me that part of the baby’s brain was small and underdeveloped. I think she was projecting her own fear that she has done something to damage the baby’s brain during development.

Amanda called the office back to clarify what that meant and what part of the brain was the problem. The receptionist clarified (or more accurately corrected) Amanda’s interpretation of the first conversation. The baby has a small cyst on its brain. The receptionist assured her this is not uncommon and almost always disappears on its own. We scheduled an appointment for a second ultrasound in four weeks to make sure that is the case.

We still have questions about what this means and plan to bother the nurse with a few more questions tomorrow morning to verify what we read on the internet is accurate. We assume the cyst is a choroid plexus cyst (CPC). The choroid plexus is the part of the brain that produces fluids that protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord. The cyst is similar to a blister on this part of the brain, and appears in 1-3% of ultrasounds. Without other symptoms (such as abnormalities of organs, hands and feet), the cyst is considered an isolated CPC and is harmless and disappears in 99% of the cases.

Four weeks is a long time to wait to see if everything is fine, but I am learning that worrying is not a huge help.


Unknown said...

My love to you both and baby Postilius. I am sure in four weeks we will all breathe a sigh of relief -- but it is going to be a very long wait. I love you. -- Mom

Unknown said...

I think once someone decides to become a parent, you guarantee that you're going to worry forever, but I wish you didn't have something to give you a reason. It sounds, from this, like the odds are on your side since the rest of the US was normal. Have you had a chance to talk to the doctor again? And yeah, that's a long time to wait but we're all waiting and hoping with you. Love you guys.