When a simple blood test turns into another not-so hidden battle

Took my son for an appointment to have his bloods taken this morning. All part and parcel of finding out why he keeps having migraines, headaches, sickness, etc.  The doctor’s ready to make a referral but wanted to rule out common causes before referring to a paediatric specialist. I like the doctor. She makes sense and she listens.

My son was super relaxed about having his bloods taken (watched the whole thing, never murmured).  The nurses were lovely.  On our way out of the doctors the woman on reception was anxiously calling me over to the desk.  She had my ex-husband on the phone asking for information about what was going on at the doctors. She was asking whether it’s ok to give him information about why our son was having the test…

Even though I could feel my heart rate raising a little, I just was super calm and said “Yes that’s fine, we mentioned it on the phone last night to him that our boy was having a blood test this morning and maybe he’s just looking for more information”. I smiled and made things look normal in front of the children.   But the very act that he’s on the phone to the doctor shows that he wants to discredit me again and cause fights.

The episode did unnerve the children though. Why is Dad on the phone? He already knows what’s going on?  And why was the receptionist so unnerved?  Who knows how he came across to her on the phone?  This woman who deals with literally all sorts of people and all sorts of illness, day in, day out, looked really quite stressed at the point where she had my ex in her ear – and I’m not surprised.

The children were anxious, especially my son.  As we were walking away from the doctors I said to the children that Dad is just making sure that everything is ok.

But my daughter, who doesn’t miss a trick, said, “Dad says (son) doesn’t get ill – that it doesn’t happen and that you’re making it all up”.  This I know.  Here we go again.  Because the fact is we all have eyes to see when my son loses colour, feels sick (or does vomit) and can’t tolerate the light and has to sleep for 12 hours straight.  It looks a lot like migraine to most of us – and we’re keen to find out why.  The kids can’t fathom why Dad denies it.

I said “but we know it does happen. And if your Dad says it doesn’t then it’s a problem that HE has. Meanwhile, we need to be realistic and deal with this issue – the doctors and the nurses are helping us to find answers so that it doesn’t keep happening. Because it’s not nice for (son). And the focus is on getting him better.”

This whole issue – the insinuation that I’m inventing our son’s illness. Aargh, cos I don’t have anything better to do in my life than invent an illness for my child.  This is yet another form of parent alienation attack on me (he’s running out of options, so next move, drag the kids into it).  He’ll have the kids denying it soon enough just to make me look crazy.

For my own part in this, I’m pretty much over it.  If he has a problem with me taking our son to the doctor about an illness that is undiagnosed, in order to find answers and get a solution for the benefit of our son’s health, and then following her instructions to have a blood test, then that’s HIS problem to own. I’m very clear on that. I’m also very clear that my actions are 100% grounded in normality and have the best intentions for the wellness of my boy.

But my children – how can they reason and rationalise that Dad wants to fight with their Mum so intensely and so hard that he’s prepared to put up a fight about something that could potentially muddy the waters in finding a solution to his own child’s illness?

This is the bonkers thing – the impact is directly on our son here.  Does our son receive the message that Dad has some ulterior motive in not wanting him to be well?  I truly hope not, although there WILL be confusion on the part of the children, because Dad’s behaviour on this frankly makes no sense.

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