This entire blog falls under the heading of, “You can’t make this stuff up.” You want to end a really romantic night with your husband on the worst note possible? Check your email.
So it’s Friday night. I go to the gym at 6 and get home close to 7:30. My husband has a beautiful meal for me on the table. We have a fantastic date night at home, complete with two episodes of Dexter in bed, and by 10 o’clock we’re falling asleep (because we’re old now). I roll over to turn my phone off and check any last minute emails. And this is what is in my inbox:
Hi, you don’t know me, but I have two sons with a condition called craniosynostosis. It’s a cranial defect where plates in the skull prematurely fuse. Anyway, I was discussing my son’s condition with several of my friends, and one (who asked to please remain anonymous because she was worried it could possibly offend you) said she thought your son might have the same thing. I’m emailing you because it’s a fairly rare disorder, and is commonly overlooked by pediatricians. It is something that should be taken seriously though. The fused skull can cause points of pressure on the brain which in turn can cause delays. My oldest son with the condition is almost five now, and doesn’t talk (the doctors aren’t sure if it’s related or not in my case, but I think it is). Anyway, I hope you aren’t offended. I’m writing you only out of concern, and my own experience. I didn’t get a diagnosis until my son was almost 3, and that missed diagnosis was a real set back. I wish I would have had someone looking out for me. Best of luck with everything. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I can send you pictures of my son for comparison if you’d like.
Name (because I’m not going to be a douche-bag and publish her name)
So first I had a panic attack, silently. Then I read the email to my husband. Then we both had panic attacks, out loud. Then we stared at our son on his monitor. Then I went upstairs and woke Abe up and gave him a bottle and felt his head for 15 minutes. Then I wrote her back:
Who is this?
I wanted to write, “Who the ‘f’ is this?” but I refrained. Because seriously, who the hell is this? Who writes a mom at 10:00 at night to tell her that her child has something wrong with his head according to her friend who shall remain nameless so as not to OFFEND me. I took a few deep breaths. Then I decided this was all a joke or some spam so I entered craniosynostosis into Snopes. I prayed and prayed for hundreds of angry mothers posting their spam emails about babies with misshapen heads, but alas. Zero results. I started getting teary-eyed. What if something is wrong with my baby?
My husband began to reason it out. It can’t be real, no mom would ever do that to another mom. It can’t be real, who sends this kind of sensitive information in an email? It can’t be real, who sends this kind of sensitive information in an email from their iPhone?
My phone dinged. She wrote back.
My friend asked me not to give you my last name so you couldn’t find me on Facebook, but I only have good intentions. You should just google it and see what you think. I won’t be offended at all if you think I’m misguided and speaking out of place. I am doing this because I wish someone had done it for me.
THIS WOMAN CLEARLY DOES NOT KNOW THE “NEVER GOOGLE ANYTHING MEDICAL” RULE. She has not read myblog, NOT EVEN ONCE.
So I googled. So did David. And we saw some of the most disturbing-looking children we’d ever seen. We also saw some fairly normal looking children, any of whom could have been Abraham. “His head sort of looks like that, right? Could that be it?” It was an hour before we convinced ourselves we needed to go to sleep and trust that our baby was safe and healthy. I laid there praying for sleep or a Xanax or something. I sat up and wrote her back:
Sure. Send me some pictures of your boys.
And with that, I went to sleep.
The next morning we had a play date with a dear friend who also happens to be a chiropractor. She’s been seeing me since I was pregnant (even adjusted me while I was in labor, though I don’t remember that) and has been adjusting Abe since he was 6 days old. I knew, if anyone would, she could confirm that my child is fine.
I spent the ride to her house feeling very peaceful about that email. I couldn’t help but think no one very close to me would do this to me; they would know it hurt me too much. And God, the Universe, whatever you want to call it, would never give me something that wasn’t perfectly perfect. And if Abraham has a head disease, we’re all going to be ok. He will have the most perfectly perfect head disease of any baby out there. And I will send Christmas pictures of just my baby’s head to everyone in the world with the words, “Craniosynostosis is this beautiful, Happy Holidays, Love, The Big-Headed Cohens.”
And I was right. My friend read the email, reviewed Name‘s son’s pictures, took one look at Abe, and snorted. “Seriously? Abe’s head is fine. He has David’s head. His fontanelle isn’t even finishing closing yet. He’s fine.” That was it. Not even a second thought. And with that, I put all my fears aside.
It wasn’t until several hours later that I realized how incredibly pissed off I was. I cannot imagine ever sending a stranger to tell a friend something so personal, so potentially life changing. How do you bring yourself to do that?! And if you even know me a little, if you’ve read my blog, if you met me even ONCE at BabyGym, you know I’m not easily offended. Having no access to the “friend” who provoked this entire charade, I decided to write Name back. I did it quickly before dinner that night so I couldn’t change my mind.
Name (still not being a total douche-bag and revealing Name’s name),
First, let me tell you that never would I be offended at someone caring about me or my son. It’s not in my nature. Any “friend” of mine would know I’d be far more offended to be approached by a stranger via email regarding something so intensely serious as my son’s health. To be completely honest with you, I’m kind of surprised you agreed to play messenger for my “friend” having kids of your own. Imagine receiving an email at 10 o’clock at night from someone you don’t know telling you there could be something very wrong with your baby. It was one of the worst ways I can imagine to end a day. Anyone who knows me knows I’d much prefer a friend come to me with compassion and honesty. This method was entirely disappointing.
Second, with that all being said, I took your suggestion seriously and looked into it. Our dear friend is a chiropractor with her doctorate. She has been seeing my son from the day he was born for regular adjustments. I showed her your email as well as your boys and she did an exam today but assured me she feels there’s nothing abnormal with his head. His fontanelle is not even finished fusing yet. He has an well-baby check this week and I will bring it up to his pediatrician as well but at this point, thank God, I do not believe this is something our family needs to worry about.
I wish your family health and happiness, especially those boys.
And then I shouted, “BOOYAKASHA,” and made dinner for my perfect, big-headed little family.