Tuesday, November 18, 2008
winter in chicago
This week started off with a bang. My 7 year old started complaining of a stomach ache last thursday. I hear "my tummy hurts" a lot, so I did the mom thing and asked all the right questions and determined she was ok. Saturday morning after I got home from a 3 hour meeting at church, I was informed that the pain had travelled to the throat. Now this child has the biggest tonsils in the northern hemisphere, so I looked down her throat and saw.....tonsils. Nothin' but tonsils. When my wonderful husband got home from his 4 hour meeting at school, he checked it out. He is the resident expert on all things medical. He saw....tonsils. We discussed it and figured we could send some ibuprofen into her system and all would be well. By 3 pm she was giving us her big eyes look and we decided to call the doctors. They told us to take her to the hospital. See, in all our financial wisdom, we are part of an HMO. We can't go to any urgent care centers- we go right to the ER and plop down out $50 and get told that it is a sore throat and to go home, get plenty of rest and fluids. So- we decided to just forge ahead. She had no fever, we saw no white spots, and we wanted to make 5 pm church. We go to church, pick up the 4 kids who were coming for a sleep-over and go home. We had a great night- we also invited friends over, so there were now 11 children and 4 adults in the house. The 7 year old isn't herself, but she is hanging in there. Sunday arrives and she now has a fever. Guilt is rushing over me- we should have just gone to the hospital even though it is 45 minutes away. We should have gone even though she had no fever. We should have gone even though she did fine. Ah well. Jim takes one load of kids to sunday school. I take the other. I go back home and take care of the sick child. I go back and pick up my load of children (who are staying at our house all day- their mom, like me, isn't fazed by mere viruses). The kids play and have fun and run around. Jim needs to head back to church at 2:15 to rehearse for the Celebration Event that is happening at 4. I leave my 13 year old in charge of the sick one, and head out with just 6 children. It is an amazing event that may be covered in a different post. Monday comes and I know that today I will take her to the doctor. Now she has the fever, she can't really eat and she has that strep voice. I get the other 3 off on the bus and get the sick one to go back to sleep. At 8:30 I get in the shower so I can be ready to go to the doctor right at 9 when they open. At 9 the line is busy. Over and over and over. I finally get through and get in at noon. I should be so productive right? Well, I make the mistake of showing the 7 year old how to use the intercom option on our phone. Every few minutes I get an update. "Mommy?, my throat really hurts, is it time for more tylenol?", "Mommy?, I finished my ice water, could you please bring me some more?", "Mommy?, Do we have any jello?", "Mommy?, the movie finished, should I watch another one?", etc. etc. It is now 10 something and I get a call from the school. My 9 year old is in the office and has a 1 degree fever and says she has bronchitis. I respond with the ever so compassionate "Of course she does." The 9 year old informed me of the bronchitis in the morning and I checked her temp (normal). She had asked me to write a note to her teacher so I emailed the teacher informing her of the "illness". I told the 9 year old that I thought she could make it and prayed over her and sent her on her way. I made the fatal mistake of telling her that if she absolutely could not make it, to call and I would come get her. The phone rang about 45 seconds after I poured the milk in my cereal for breakfast- even though I had been up and awake for several hours, it was the first chance I had to eat. I think I threw the school secretary a bit as I laughed and asked her what my daughter wanted me to do. The secretary kind of paused and then said, "well, she does have a fever, I think you should come get her." I left my raisin bran crunch on the table and left. I had to call my friend on the way to school because I was laughing like a maniac. I just couldn't stop. I felt like I had the giggles and if I couldn't calm down they would think I had been hitting the bottle when I walked into school. I gathered my composure as best I could and collected the sick child. I called the doctor and asked if I could bring both of my sickies in to be seen. We make our way there and the results are not surprising. 7 year old has scarlet fever (which only means strep throat with a lovely rash all over her neck, back, and tummy). The 9 year old is fine. It is worth the $10 for her to hear it from the doctor. This is my quirky child. She is really smart, but really anxious. She is also the one who broke her leg in 3 places over the summer. We try to be a bit more cautious with her. So- we head to target to get the meds for the 7 year old and then head home until it is time to pick up the other 2. It is a long day- my husband has to attend the school board meeting so it is just me and the kids. I think God gave me the giggles earlier in the day to frame my mind. It was only yesterday, but I am not sure what I actually did all day long. I know laundry got done, and dishes were cleared, and people were fed, but it sure seems like a lot more should have been accomplished. Ah well. The children all made it through the day. I laughed instead of cried. My husband got home earlier than expected. I loaded pictures on facebook. Not a bad day.