I could never be a hypochondriac or suffer from Munchausen syndrome by proxy (when parents make up illnesses in their children for attention). Both are simply too much work when you have more than a couple of kids. Yesterday we had an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist to check out a heart murmur that the nurse-practitioner heard a few weeks ago when we took Timmy in for a checkup. Tim said it would be nothing to worry about and this turned out to be the case, but I felt that we had to go just to be sure. After sitting in a 10' x 10' room with 4 children for well over an hour, I was ready to admit myself to the hospital just for a little peace and quiet. We exhausted all our books that we brought, blew up a "balloon" made out of a laytex glove, and Julia Ellen played "open and close" with every drawer in the room. By the second hour, the little boys were climbing all over the examining table, the chairs, and me.
Finally the doctor did a quicky ultrasound which showed Timmy's heart pumping away, while the toddler repeated, "Want the lights on," over and over and over. Finally we drove home in the dark and rain with the same 2 year old screaming from boredom and exhaustion. I am so grateful that there is nothing seriously physically wrong with any of our children, since more than one doctor's appointment a year for each is beyond my capability, mentally and physically. My heart goes out to those parents who do have to repeatedly suffer through long waits in the doctor's office with not such happy conclusions and their children are in my prayers.