Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cheap Shots

Before I became a mother, I used to say - and quite haughtily too I might add - that there were several things I would nevah, evah do:  1)  Take a screaming child on a plane;  2)  Let my child eat sugar;  3)  Let my child watch television;  4)  Spank in public;  5)  Take my child to the pediatrician unnecessarily.

Oh, how thy words come back to haunt thee, no?

Sadly, I readily admit that without any reservation, I went and broke rules 1, 2, and 3 within 48 hours of becoming Aria's mother.

Number 4 still remains intact.  I've never spanked in public, and I shall decline to even say on this blog whether I've spanked at all, because I'm totally not in the mood for judgment today.

Which brings me to rule Number 5.

As a Nurse Practitioner, I've always taken a bit of secret pride in the vexing phone calls I'd receive from friends late at night, imploring me for advice:  "Sarah, so-and-so has the sniffles!  So-and-so is running a fever!  So-and-so hasn't pooped in three days!"  And stifling my urge to mock, I'd perform my friend duty and soothe their fears with a witty response, like:  "Oh honey, it's just a cold.  Just think, he's building up his immunity!  Give him some infant Tylenol", and one of my favorites, "Give him a teaspoon of prune juice and everything 'will work itself out'". 

I still laugh about that one.

Can you just see my arrogance dripping off the page?

When Aria, and then Caroline, came along, I am proud to say that, although it was very difficult and I had several occasions of sitting on my hands to keep from phoning the doctor, I actually made it twenty-one months without one sick visit to our pediatrician (unless you count Aria's mild case of swimmer's ear, but I totally don't count that since Chris was in charge that day and he's the one who took her in.  Record, maintained).  Twenty-one!  That's close to TWO YEARS with no sickness. 

Is that great parenting or what?

Yes, I realize it could be due to the fact that my child has the constitution of a brick having spent the first year of her life in the paltry living conditions of an orphanage in southeast Asia.  But then how do you explain tiny little Caroline surviving her first year of life with no maladies other than the projectile vomiting, which I had totally under control. 

Like I said, great parenting.


What the heck was that?  Oh, right.  That was the sound of the needle screeching across the proverbial record. 

My record.  My twenty-one month record has now been dissolved with a preposterous little microbe called strep.  Which has, in the last two weeks, caused both my stalwart, immunologically-durable children to be.... what's the word?..... oh, right, it's, um.....


And it's not making Mommy happy.

Which brings me to today.  We are getting ready for this morning's special edition Halloween ballet class, to which the students wear dance-appropriate costumes.  Aria insists on being Cinderella this year for Halloween, but her dress is too long to dance in, therefore rendering it not dance-appropriate, so I had to come up with something costume-y on the fly that she could wear to ballet.

This, of course, was sooo difficult, as you know by now how much I hate to dress my kids up.

Introducing... Ballerina Princess Aria Grace:

So as we are jetting out the door, I'm wedging her ballet slippers on her, and I notice that her left foot is swollen.  Um.  Really swollen.  Twice the size of her right foot.  Double.  Huge.  We remove slippers, costume and tights so Mommy can have a closer look and turns out, her whole leg is swollen twice the size of the other one. 

Just to give you a little sample of the internal dialogue that takes place in someone's head who knows just enough to know there's a problem, but not enough to know what to do about it:  "Oh, sweet Jesus, my baby, heal my baby, dear God, heal her, she's got a blood clot, oh no, it's a spider bite, this looks like a staph infection, what if it's that flesh-eating staph?  They might have to do an I&D, merciful God in heaven, heal my baby, is it cutting off the blood supply?  We're going to have to go to the hospital, she's going to need two weeks of IV antibiotics, what if she gets compartmental syndrome, and then she's gonna need surgery, would they amputate?, " and so on.  Yes, it went on.  And on.

And on.

Can you imagine the drama inside my tiny little pin head?

But seriously, look at this picture and tell me you wouldn't be just a little skeered:

Meanwhile, Aria, with her one ballet slipper wedged precariously on her swollen foot, is imploring me to get a move on,  "Let's rock and roll, Mommy!  I don't want to be late to ballet!"  Exact words.  Not kidding.

So I frantically phone the pedi instructing her we need to be seen right away after ballet because we've got a bad case of cellulitis and she needs to be on antibiotics post-hasteI know, I know, great parenting - postponing urgent medical care for the dance class with costumes, but like I said before, I'm not in the mood for judgment today.

At the pediatrician's office, the doctor, who incidentally is very gifted in calming down the frantic mother who knows too much yet knows too little, confimed that yes, it is cellulitis probably from a bug bite and yes, needs to be treated with antibiotics and no, will not require incision or drainage or surgery, but yes, she will need to get a (big, huge, painful) IM injection of Rocephin, and then, music to my ears, "Mrs. Thomas, I'm glad you brought her in when you did.  Left untreated, this could have been very bad."

Um, what?

So, I'm not a lunatic-worry-wart-crazy-mom who calls the doctor unnecessarily?  Thank you, Dr. Michaels.  Simple validation for all the crazy thoughts in my head.  Chris, are you listening?   

After wiping some big tears from the injection, I went home and promptly broke rules 2 & 3.  Again, no judgment. 

But I guess this also means Number 5 remains intact.

Until the next emergency.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, my... how crazy is that??!!!

    So sorry to learn you had big tears on the plane after the first 48 hours... :(