Elizabeth needs her tonsils out. I'd been pre-fretting that it was going to be one of those Huge Stressful Hassle Money Referral Phone Call Situations where I would first have a huge stressful hassle of referral forms and insurance stuff and phone calls, then drive far away to see the specialist and pay a $35 copay, only to have him say, "Hm, why don't we first have her come back in three months so I can look again, and then I'll start a bunch of tests and trials that will require referrals and long drives and childcare arrangements and copays and phone calls and surprise after-bills from your insurance company but that in the end will give us no conclusive answers?"
So it was kind of good that he took one look and said, "Oh. Yeah. Those should come out. I mean, I get a lot of referrals where it could go either way, and so I have people come back in 3 months or try a bunch of other things first, but these are filling her whole throat." And then he just launched into instructions for post-surgical care, including details about HORRIBLE PAIN and WET SCABS that...I mean, I was standing there with hands clenched in front of me in Classic Anxiety Pose, and he's telling me that if I can't force her to take fluids afterward I'll need to check her back into the hospital for an IV drip. His frankness was both alarming and reassuring: evidently these horrors are completely routine.
I DO know this is a pretty routine procedure, and if one of you were worried about it I would be empathizing with your anxiety and telling reassuring stories of my own childhood tonsil-removal: "I mean, I didn't want the greatly-anticipated ice cream and popsicles afterward because I felt too crummy, but other than that it was fine." I wouldn't be promising it would be fine with your child too because what am I claiming, that I can see the future? that by speaking the words with the tone of a prophet, I can make them true? BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO SOME PEOPLE, even when other people state confidently that they won't. But I COULD say that it would LIKELY be fine---because it WOULD likely be fine. Statistically, bad things AREN'T likely to happen.
So I'm thinking all those things for myself, too, and also feeling glad that it's apparently a clear-cut case and I don't have to struggle much with the decision, but I'm also thinking that SHE COULD DIE ON THE OPERATING TABLE. Or they could make a mistake and she could end up losing her voice permanently. Or it could turn out later on that the key to longevity, cancer avoidance, and avoiding anxiety disorders is held in our tonsils. And also she will CRY and maybe be SCARED. And I will cry because I will see my tiny girl in a tiny hospital johnny going into the operating room, and it will feel like an episode of a medical drama and that sort of thing always makes me immediately burst into tears---but I will need to NOT cry because if I cry that will alarm her.
And anyway, I am a little stressed, even though I know it will likely be fine and that nothing on that list is likely to happen except the parts with the crying, and while she's in surgery the medical staff will shoo Paul and me to the hospital cafeteria and I love cafeterias. And Elizabeth is greatly looking forward to the ice cream and popsicles, just as I was as a child...UNTIL I WOKE UP.
NOTHING CAN HAPPEN TO HER, is the problem.
Anyway, this and another couple of stresses (glimpse of future with teenagers; second glimpse of future with teenagers; fretting about Edward's SHRIEKING FLAILING SOBBING during swimming lessons; cat coughing up hairballs which I thought was summer shedding but now I see several large almost-bald patches; over a month late now to have Henry's 4-year photos taken) were threatening to send me into A Grim Mood. There was a twinge here and a twinge there, and then more twinges, and it's kind of like wondering if you're coming down with something or not: "Is that just a sneeze, or is it the first of many? Is my throat a little sore because I slept with my mouth open, or am I getting a cold? Is that little flash of 'what's the point of any of this, really?' just a little thought in the thought soup, or is it a portent of mood to come?"
When I realized a Spiral of Grim was indeed forming, I tried to nip it in the bud. Coffee seemed called for, but SPECIAL coffee. I had espresso discs for the Tassimo, but I didn't want one of the creamer discs. So I microwaved a cup of milk, then brewed the espresso into THAT. Meanwhile, I put in some toast, because I wanted to eat some Nutella. Then I realized I'd forgotten to sweeten/flavor the coffee milk, so I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top---if "sprinkled" means "kept shaking until I couldn't see milk."