Saturday, October 10, 2009

Are You Positive?

Yesterday morning, I pulled myself out of bed, which was a feat in itself, since a cold front had moved through. It went from 70+ the day before to the 40's and lower 50's. I do realize if you are in the North, that is not that cold. And comparatively, it probably isn't. But we still haven't switched out our clothes so we did a bit of a scramble, especially for poor Miss Child 3. Anyway, I whipped together a batch of pumpkin muffins for Child 4's teachers, then jumped back in bed to check e-mail.

Suddenly drama. Child 2 is standing in my room sobbing. And I am totally bewildered because I have no idea why she is crying (no tornado sirens) or what she is saying. After a little of that Mommy, "What? Slow down...I cannot understand you...", she finally blurted out that she had a temperature of 101 and wasn't able to perform.

I think I have told you a little about her personality. This girl is fairly self-sufficient. Always has been. She did things (talking, walking) early, and "Me do it" were some of her first words. So in her typical fashion, when she woke up, she was feeling hot, so she swiped her forehead with our handy dandy thermometer to check her temperature. She knows that 100 degrees is the magic cut off for school. And she was supposed to perform for the third grade program in the afternoon.

I told her to settle down, that I would re-check her in a few minutes. Honestly, she looked just fine. So I was hopeful.

I waited until she had settled down and scanned her forehead myself. (Which means I have to scan everyone's...if the thermometer is out, they ALL want to know their temps!) 101.9.

So, who are you going to call? Mommy of course!

I am so thankful for a mom who opens up her home to sick grandchildren at a moment's notice. I will stay home when needed but at the same time, I try to save sick days because I never know what the flu season is going to hold.

My little patient was crushed. Third grade has been working for quite a while on a cute program about food. Child 2 had a fun part as a construction worker foreman directing the building of an ice cream sundae. She didn't actually speak, she mouthed words while a deep voice on the CD spoke the words. It was really cute. She performed it for PTA on Monday night, so thankfully we had all seen it. But I was saving pictures for Friday's performance at a school assembly. I figured the lighting would be better; I have difficulty getting pictures in the school cafeteria at times. So Child 2 was crushed, and if I admit it...I was too.

All morning I wrestled with whether to have my mom bring her in for that little bit of the assembly for her part. She didn't stand near anyone and could enter and exit quickly. I figured it was just a viral thing that probably was finishing its course (since you are usually contagious before symptoms even start...).

I finally thought, "She can come just for her part."

I called my mom to let her know. I asked how she was doing. Mom said that she (being Child 2) was complaining a lot about her throat and had been sitting in a chair vegging all day...highly unusual. She also didn't have much of an appetite. Also highly unusual.

Uh oh.

I made the decision that she needed to stay home. It was cold and rainy out and it sounded like she was getting worse. Plus during that time, Mom took her temp. It was up. I broke the news to her (via phone call) and she didn't even up put up a fight. That told me how bad she felt.

Uh oh.

I searched for the music teacher to let her know that Child 2 was definitely "out" of the program. Then I started the internal (as in my head) I take her to the doctor?

I never like making that decision. We do not rush to the doctor if I don't think it is necessary. I am always embarrassed to go and find out "it is just a virus". Like I have failed as a mom somehow for not knowing that. And we don't visit the ER unless it is a major incident. At the same time, since it was Friday, I knew that our options would be limited over the weekend. And after our last (and only) visit to the walk in clinic where we waited for two hours on a Saturday afternoon...well, in the end, I decided a visit to the doctor was necessary.

I love our pediatric clinic. I have yet to have a doctor we didn't like. We have one we visit more than the others, but we will always choose "first available" in sick situations. But the part I REALLY like is I can request appointments online. I have probably mentioned, I am not a phone person. I don't even like to order pizza over the phone. I much prefer online. So on my planning period, I did a quick form fill out on line and clicked "Send". In about ten minutes, I had an appointment for my little patient for that afternoon.

After school, we picked child 4 up and then I left the three kiddos I had with me at my mom's house, picking up Child 2 for her appointment. We ran home to prepare the house for a guest later that evening, then rushed to the appointment.

I am SOOOO thankful I didn't have the other kids with me. We were there for an hour. I am guessing there was a lot of sickness this week. The room was pretty full which is rare. (And this was just one of their "sick" clinics!) We actually got called back pretty promptly. That is when the waiting game started.

There isn't a lot to do in a pediatric exam room. Child 2 read the picture book in about half a minute. We counted the "windows" on the border at the top of the room. Then we scanned the pamphlets...whew. Was that an experience!

Child 2: Mom...what does "p-u-b-e-r-t-y" spell?

Me: That is puberty. (as I held my breath for the next question...)

Child 2: What does that mean?

Me: It is a time when your body starts changing from a girl to a young woman.

Child 2: Oh, I don't want to do that!

Me: I don't want you to either. :)

Child 2: I don't want to pay for my own cell phone or my own house. How much does a cell phone plan cost anyway?

I give her a ballpark figure. Then she requested a house payment estimate. I gave her a "roundabout" on that too.

Child 2: Okay, I will have a cell phone, but I am not buying a house.

I would like to say that was the end of it all, but I ended up pulling down the pamphlets as I came to the realization that my older children ARE approaching some changes in their lives in the next few years. There was one for girls, one for boys. She browsed the girl one and thankfully didn't truly tune into the isn't that I am ashamed to have these conversations, I just didn't feel like having them at that moment. Meanwhile I browsed the "boy's" version which was eye opening for me...I only had a sister, so it is all new. She then asked to see the boy's pamphlet. I said most definitely no. :)

Thankfully , shortly afterward, the doctor came in. He took one look at her throat and asked if she had had Strep before. I told him that she has and seems to be kind of susceptible to it though it had been a while. Of course, that meant the throat swab came next, then more waiting.

We had all kinds of conversations as mommy and daughter waiting for the test results. My favorite was the comment, "Mom, if I cannot have a baby, I will just adopt." I am thankful she has a positive view of always wonder if you have turned their lives upside down having more kids.

Finally, I heard a voice in the hallway that sounded a lot like the doctor we had just seen. He was right outside our door and I heard, "What about that test...positive?"

The rest is history. She actually got worse and worse last night, but we did manage a dose of antibiotics, and today she has yet to stop talking. :)

So now Child 2 has a bottle of pink medicine, and I have peace of mind.

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