my little nightmare

He's sixteen. He's got the tiniest moustache and that look like he is about to slip outside for a smoko and he won't be home till well after midnight. But he isn't. He is small for his age and his muscles are made of pasty. He needs me to help him brush his teeth and wash his hair. Washing his hair is like this enormously troublesome requirement, almost as gruesome as wiping one's own butt and only slightly less complicated than tying shoelaces.

Whenever I cut his nails he acts like his fingers are being amputated without anaesthesia. Last week the dentist found a hole in his teeth. Since the normal procedure of drilling and filling it would be out of the question, he gave me a reference for a special needs dentist in town. I phoned them, to hear that for filling the tooth there is a waiting list of nine months. I reconsidered, but there's really no other option. We'll have to wait nine months to fill the tooth. Why not, after all, a little bit of caries never killed anyone yet.

Monday morning he called me. He was in school, on his way to do his cleaning task. He doesn't mind the cleaning task, even though the first time he did it, the teacher told him that the room looked dirtier afterwards than it was before. This wasn't really a surprise to him, he knows as much about himself and it made him giggle. That wasn't what he called me about: he called to tell me I had forgotten to give him his heart medication that morning, which was true. I tried to reassure him that it doesn't really matter if he takes it in the morning or the evening, but he said he had a stabbing pain in his heart and it was beating very fast. After he hung up I called the cardiologist. No matter how sensitive he can be with his nails and teeth, I've trained him not to exaggerate when it comes to his heart. If he says his heart is beating fast, it is doing drum solos the mad Muppet drummer would be proud of.

There is no solution for his heart condition, it is incurable. He is on medication and is monitored on yearly checkups. This year's checkup should have been in August and I should have made the appointment in January. It is overdue because I've grown placid about the 'routine' checkups and it is always enormously complicated to get an appointment. Appointments can be made only between 10 and 11 AM on weekdays and more often than not no-one answers even within that small window, and when they do you get sent from the locker to the wall and back a couple of times before you are given to the right person and can secure the appointment. It was 9:14 but I tried anyway. Miracle, someone answered the phone. Not only answered it, but got us an appt. For next week. NOW I'm worried...!