state New Hampshire: recent publications

A Better Way to Break 'Bad' Health News

Today, I find out if I have cancer.

A nurse called me last week to let me know that my mammogram findings were abnormal.

“Most such findings are benign (not cancer),” she said, “but it is important that you have additional evaluations as soon as possible. I’ll connect you to scheduling right now.”

She was eating her lunch. I was walking across campus to the parking garage. It was all very casual.

And yet my world has been spinning ever since.

The phone call I received last week wasn’t just about me, my health, my present, my future. It was also the echo of a call I received nine years ago.

“We saw something on the ultrasound. Most of the time it is nothing, but we recommend follow-up tests.”

Nine years ago, the call was about my pregnancy with my second child. After that call came a series of follow-up tests. The first confirming that I was positive for cytomegalovirus (CMV) — the most common viral cause of disability for babies infected in the womb, alongside reassurance that I was probably infected way before the virus could harm my baby. Then a series of more follow-up testing, leading to a final call from a prenatal genetic counselor to tell me that my results showed that it was impossible to pass the virus on to my developing baby.

My chart, which I printed off and is now kept safely with the growing volumes of my son’s medical records, says it was impossible for my son to be born disabled by CMV.

And yet when my son was born, he was so very incredibly symptomatic for infection with congenital CMV that he was proclaimed to be the mostest impacted CMV kid ever born in the state of New Hampshire that any one of his providers could remember. He’s a miracle, right?

Today, nine years later, I am the mother of three

communication child Provident
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