one red marble

recurrent abdominal pain is common, representing up to 40% of cases seen in paediatric gastroenterology outpatients. reaching a diagnosis of functional abdominal pain is a process of exclusion. blood, urine and stool sample tests rule out major conditions or diseases. certain conditions progress in certain ways: for example, appendicitis worsens rapidly, and is often accompanied by symptoms in addition to pain. my daughter’s pain is localised in the lower right-hand side of her abdomen and the ultrasound scan she had focused on imaging her appendix and right ovary. the appendix is difficult to image. added to that is the difficulty of imaging a child in pain.

here’s how i feel about my daughter’s diagnosis. imagine i am holding out a handful of blue marbles and one red marble – you can see the red marble easily. if i placed the red marble in a boxful of blue marbles, you’d have to rummage around a bit, but look – there it is after all. but what if i filled a room with blue marbles? where is the red marble now?

all of this is beside the point anyway because you’ve no time to go hunting for marbles. best shut the door to the room and lock it for good measure.

enough talk of marbles for one day, i think.


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