I got a call first thing this morning that my 13-year-old cousin is in the hospital.
He was at my grandparent’s house yesterday and apparently he has been having horrible, horrible headaches. His little brother told my grandma the headaches have been so bad he cries from the pain. That’s not normal.
At one point during the afternoon my grandma commented on how thin my cousin seemed to be (he’s has always been dangerously thin, but that’s another story). His mom made him lift up his shirt to show everyone how skinny he has gotten. His bones are poking through his skin. That’s not normal.
It’s not normal for a 13-year-old to lose weight for no apparent reason.
Later, at the dinner table my grandma noticed that one side of my cousin’s face was drooping. She asked him about it and he said it does that sometimes. She said he looked someone who has had a stroke. His mom told him to smile. He smiled and only half of his face moved.
My grandma was obviously very concerned. When my cousin was outside she told my uncle they need to take him to a doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms are concerning in isolation. Together they suggest something is very wrong.
When my grandma hugged my cousin goodbye she encouraged him to speak up about his headaches. She didn’t want to scare him, but she wanted him to know that this isn’t normal and it is okay to complain about this.
He whispered to her that he just hopes whatever is wrong is nothing permanent.
On the way home they stopped at Children’s Hospital. Based on his symptoms they admitted him and did a CT scan. He has a mass on his brain stem, and according to my grandpa (a doctor) the measurements of the mass “are not insignificant”.
I don’t know any more than that right now. I’m just glad he’s at the hospital and I’m glad he’s at Children’s. I’m hopeful that they won’t release him until they fully get to the bottom of what’s going on.