Wednesday, November 01, 2006


My Mary

Today David and Mary had blood drawn for VHL genetic testing.The chances that David or Mary also has this disease is very, very slim. Still, I was happy to finally step over this last hurdle and start the process of clearing our minds of doubt.

David and Mary had other ideas. They were both nervous about having blood drawn from their arms. When Mary gets nervous, she talks...way too much! Today my daughter was in rare form.

When Jenny, the sweet and cheerful genetic counselor, talked about the whole process of living with VHL, she mentioned yearly urine tests.

Mary buried her head and asked Jenny not to use that word again.

Mary had the giggles.

Later Jenny asked who would have the blood draw first. Mary said, "I lost so I have to go first. Just make sure that lady back there washes her hands!"

Now I had the giggles.

As Jenny was going over forms and paperwork, she said, "Since you are Steven's brothers, it's important that we test you for this disease," Mary, without missing a beat, cleared her throat and said "It's important to test sisters too!"

"You're right Mary," Jenny replied. "It is important to test sisters also. Thank you for reminding me."

"No-o-o-o-o," said Mary with too-sweet smile and a little too much enthusiasm. "Tha-a-a-nk yoo-o-u-u-u! Thank you for remembering that I'm the sister. I never wanted to be a boy."

Jenny had the giggles by this point.

Both children were nervous about the needles. Earlier I had tried to calm Mary's fears by reminding her that there are special little needles for little veins.

When David sat in the chair his blood draw, Mary asked Maria, the lab tech, to get the big needle for David.

"He needs it."

"Mary," I reminded her, "be nice to your brother."

Jenny and Maria were doing their best to calm David down about the forthcoming poke and the size of the needle.

"But," said Mary, smiling too sweetly at Maria, "Look at his veins! His veins are huge! Get the big needle!"

Even Maria couldn't resist...she had the giggles.

I promised the kids milkshakes after the trauma was over.Mary insisted on Wendys because "everything there is bigger and juicier."

So, for all of her bravery today,

Mary received the World's Smallest Frosty!

Good times with my giggly little girl!

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