First of all, thank you to all the commenters, emailers and Tweeters who contacted me after I wrote this post about my concerns about two pea-sized lumps that had mysteriously appeared on my seven year-old son’s neck.
I found everyone’s comments both educational and reassuring. It’s times like this when you realise how brilliant social media is.
And so, a progress report.
Despite taking my telephone number and promising to call me to make another appointment, I heard nothing more from the GPs’ surgery so decided to find out as much as possible about the lumps myself.
I had a fleeting panic attack when I looked into lymphoma after a comment, but then decided my lad’s symptoms didn’t quite match those of that fairly common cancer.
Then I was told that the comment was ‘limpoma’, which I thought was a typo, which turned out to be a harmless fatty deposit!!!
By and large, everyone I spoke to said: ‘Don’t worry. They will go away.’
And then at 5pm on Wednesday evening, my son’s nose suddenly started to stream; then he started to sneeze like a nostril in a pepper factory; and then he started to break into a hot sweat; and then he went cold again; and then he went as white as a sheet. And finally, he asked to go to bed. At 7pm.
But instead of feeling anxious about this flu-like onslaught, I felt a massive sense of relief. For at last it provided a reason for those swollen nodes/glands on the back of his neck: they were raised in defence of an infection that was incubating inside his body but that had not yet erupted from his olfactory system.
He slept the sleep of the righteous on Wednesday night, sweating profusely, but not stirring a muscle.
His Mum and I agreed that he should take Thursday off school. But when he woke up, bright and early as usual yesterday, he was determined to go.
‘I’ve got to do my spelling test,’ he said. ‘I’ve been practising all week.’
Well-trained, you see.
His fever had broken; his nose had dried up; the colour had returned to his face. And the best – the BEST – news of all is that the lumps at the back of his neck and halved in size. They’re still there – and they’re still unexplained (though hopefully nothing more serious than LIMPOMAS) – but most definitely nothing to worry about.
‘OK, if you’re sure,’ I said.
‘Yes, Dad. Sure.’
And off he ran – yes, ran – to school.
Children’s bodies really are miraculous, aren’t they? They fight infections like the SAS – smash, bang, wallop, over. No fuss, no bother, no martyrdom. Just a whole lots of worry for their parents.
Anyway, I’d like to thank everyone once again.
Only one issue remains to be resolved: the lack of contact from the doctor’s surgery. Will they call? And if they do, what shall I say? It is a worry that, as far as they’re concerned, a little boy is running around with lumps on his neck that two GPs had no clue about what they were. Is it really that easy to slip through the net? I know it’s my responsibility to take him back if I’m still worried, but what would be the point, when all they seem capable of doing is ticking boxes and Googling symptoms. It is a worry.