Why yes, that IS a euphemism for Mardi Gras.
This year, Mardi Gras started out appropriately with my middle child complaining of chest pain at 6:30 in the morning. “But we haven’t even gorged ourselves on cakes and fried foods yet,” I argued. “The chest pains shouldn’t start until later.”
Still, he persisted, and I must admit, I sort of panicked. (side note: he has had heart murmur since an infant, no big deal, but I connected the two) And so, I had one of those “motherly instinct” moments that usually only end up proving that I have NO motherly instincts. I took the happy tot with me to work, where I could monitor his “feels like a knife is stabbing me in the heart” pains more closely.
You might recall that we are no longer able to see our favorite doctor (insurance woes), so it should have been no surprise that the new (read: crazy) doctor found it appropriate (and not at all panic-inducing) to casually suggest that my child needed to see a cardiologist right away. They worked us in for later that afternoon.
On our way to that appointment, I decided hot fudge sundaes from the McDonald’s drive through were in order by way of a mini-Mardi Gras celebration. We were both already having chest pains at that point, anyway, so where was the harm?
The cardiologist ran a few tests (including an echocardiogram, which was pretty freakin’ cool because I got to see his adorable little heart for the first time since I had a 3D pregnancy ultrasound), and finally determined that my 6-year-old is not 85.
Diagnosis: GERD. Translation: chronic heartburn and acid reflux.
After a day like that, I felt the need to give myself a bad case of heartburn the old-fashioned way. And even though I’m not giving up alcohol for Lent this year (like I do most years), I went ahead with my Mardi Gras tradition of tossing back a few bourbons. I also ate half a chocolate cake. I think I earned it.