Thursday, January 18, 2007

No really, he was acting sick!!

So I brought my happy happy joy joy son into the doctor’s office. The office was the fullest I have ever seen it – overflowing with children ranging from about fourteen years all the way down maybe fourteen days. All of them sick with the same flu. We the parents all had the same glassy-eyed look a parent gets on the third straight day of almost no sleep. The nursing staff were stubbornly cheerful, although there was a slight wildness to their eyes as they dashed hither and yon clutching charts.

And then there was Captain Adventure, who was…dancing! And singing! And reading books! And running! And trying to get Mommy to dance with him! Ha! HAHAHAHA! Lookit me, I’m the happiest toddler in the Universe!!!!!

I had second-guessed my decision this morning, when he bestowed upon me a Happy Happy Joy Joy morning. I had groused to myself that it was a conspiracy! That I must have enemies, who had trained my son to act sick so that I would take excessive time off work and get myself fired. (I should be so lucky.)

And yet, deep inside, I had this uneasy feeling. I left the appointment alone, even though I knew it was going to be a madhouse in there today. Watching him today my logical mind said ‘eh, must have been a regular cold and he’s almost over it now’. But deep beneath logical thought, the Momma Lizard said, “WRONG! DOCTOR! NOW!”

As we went through the pre-exam screening with the nurse, I was really feeling a tad foolish. There I sat, saying “Yes, I know he’s doing the Macarena now, but, yesterday? He was really miserable…” about a child who is singing and dancing and carrying on like he’s at Mardi Gras, with nothing more than a rather mild fever and occasional deep cough to show the medical professionals today.

The nurse was giving me that look, the one the says, “While we appreciate that you are a concerned parent, STOP WASTING OUR TIME, CAN’T YOU SEE WE HAVE SICK CHILDREN TO TEND?!” (Actually, she was giving me the ‘hmm, that’s odd’ look, because she’s not one of those types who gets all superior or thinks she knows more than you do about your child – but at that point I felt like I was wasting their time, which would have been better spent helping one of those poor, wretched children huddled over buckets and baggies out in the waiting room.)

Then the doctor came in and asked what was up with our little guy. I explained again about how, in spite of seeming perfectly OK right now, I had thought that he might have ear infections or strep or something

The doctor is listening to this as he watches Captain Adventure bumbling around the room showing off every word he knows, trying to take apart the patient bed and otherwise acting like a perfectly healthy toddler.

But to humor me, he looked in one ear.

And recoiled. Captain Adventure grinned at him cheerfully.

“Wow, that’s really red!” he said grimly. “OK, let’s check the other one…”

Another recoil. Captain Adventure laughed and clapped his hands.

“Whoa. Two for two. That’s…really something…wow. Yes. Those are really red in there. Lots of fluid, lots of pressure. Tsk tsk.”

And then he looked at the throat, cleared his own and said, “Yes, well. He’s going on amoxicillin anyway for the ears and that’s the same stuff I’d give him for the strep, but! I’d like to do the instant strep test anyway. That’s something you ought to know about if he has it, siblings, you, husband, more antibiotics blah blah blah…”


The child has strep throat. It didn’t take no seven minutes to get that result, either – BAM! Two bold pink lines leapt forth to proclaim that THIS CHILD HAS STREP THROAT!!!!!!

Now, I want you all to stop for a moment and ponder how that poor baby must have been feeling. High fever. Strep throat. TWO infected ears. Remembering my last bout of strep, I seem to recall body and head ache also played a significant role in my misery.

My doctor gave me codeine, people. Captain Adventure was being fed nothing more than children’s Tylenol – two MeltAways every four hours.

He entertained everyone at the pharmacy. He waved like a prince at his adoring fans at the supermarket. He cooed charmingly at the nice lady at Jack in the Box as she handed over the french fries.

“Oh, what a cute little guy!” they all said.

He was chatting me up as we got home. “Eh-oh! Buh-bye! Door! Ack-et! [jacket, for those of you who do not speak toddler] Muh-mah! MUH-MAH! [translation: fork over the fries, woman!] Good! Mine! Yum!!”

Quite the conversation going. I buckled him into his chair and gave him his french fries and some of my hamburger, which he began tucking into like a champion. Chatter gave way to murmurs, which gave way to nothing but the occasional sound of a juice cup being picked up and set down, which gave way to…silence…

Without so much as a thud, there he was: Fast asleep on the table, a french fry dangling from his lips like a malformed and oddly colored cigarette. {Pause to pray that this is the closest thing to an actual cigarette I will ever see dangling from his adorable little lips, amen.}

Out. Cold.

Now I told you that, so I could tell you this: I catch strep throat if I am in the same county with another person who has it.

I will bet you a burrito right here and now that not only will I catch the strep, it will manifest itself Friday evening, right after my doctor has gone home for the weekend.


1 comment:

21st Century Mom said...

Get a script right now - leave nothing to chance. Most peds will do that for you.