At about 11:15 p.m. last night, my older son roused me to say he had a major headache and wanted to go to the hospital. We arrived at 11:30 after a drive during which he informed me that he had consulted the internet... perhaps it was a brain aneurysm or a tumor, among other less dire possibilities. I said that if the internet were a reliable doctor, we wouldn't be headed to the hospital. And before we got to the hospital, he informed me that when he saw the doctor, he wanted to do it alone: "I'm sick of parents sticking their nose into every aspect of my life." How consoling and yet wearing 'caring' can be, especially at 18.
Angus asked if he should call his mother, who is in Pennsylvania visiting our daughter. I said no -- there was nothing she could do at five or six hours away except worry. He agreed, but there was a thread of the past in his voice -- mom was the one who set the tone and consolation and solution to illnesses. He was sick of interference, wanted interference, was used to interference, hoped interference might somehow whisk the problem into oblivion ... oh it was a stew of different approaches ... just as it might be for any adult. Pain, like any other experience, is a lonely business.
By 3:15 we were back at home after waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. The doctor said it was probably a migraine, to consult with a primary care physician ... who might in turn refer Angus to a neurologist. Angus signed the get-out-of-here hospital papers himself. Both of us were relieved and chatty on the ride home.
Happy Father's Day.