One of the [many] side effects of Vincristine is neuropathy. We are asked about Eve's gait each week. Is she stumbling? No more than usual. Is she falling down more often? Well, no, not for a two-year-old. Does she look like she's getting slappy-footed? Is slappy-foot even a real medical term? How will I know if she is?? Oh, you'll know.
But the thing is, I'm not sure I will.
Maybe I was absent the day that the maternal instinct fairy sprinkled her dust over my big, pregnant belly. (Maybe the stretch mark fairy left her no room?) Whatever it is, I am missing something in the instinct department. When I was pregnant with Natalie, I went to the obstetrician twice a week during my last trimester. Twice a week, I asked my doctor how I would know when I was in labor. Twice a week, the same annoyed doctor began to reply, "Oh, you'll know."
Imagine the doc's surprise when, eight months pregnant, I showed up for a regular appointment complaining of a backache. Apparently, I did not know that I was in active labor, even though I was five centimeters dilated. Had I not had an appointment scheduled for that day, I would have been at home watching Discovery Health and eating Taco Bell, probably giving birth to Natalie on our living room couch. Oh, apparently I didn't know afterall.
And the kids...the poor kids need to really be screaming for me to think they have an ear infection. They better be feverish, too. Because I won't know they just aren't acting right. Preschoolers never act right! I might be more inclined to think the kids are working on their catcher signals than pulling on their ears out of pain.
I never knew when they were teething. We just randomly put Orajel on their gums whenever they would get too fussy. Even if there was no pain to be numbed, it would shock them just enough to bring the screaming down a few notches.
So now that I am aware of this neuropathy side effect, and am equally aware of how easy it would be for me to miss it, I am doubting myself as of late. Each week the doctors seem a wee bit surprised that her stride has been unaffected. "She walks like normal...I think...I mean I'm pretty sure...I don't know...would I notice??" I'm worried that she's got the slappy-foot, and I haven't been paying attention.
But you'd think I'd notice, right? Right?