Monday, December 26, 2005

Germ Central

After I posted Bear's pitiful picture the other day, the Goober Queen challenged me to a sick kid smack-down. And, at the time, she was totally winning. Bear is feeling much better, by the way, andwas driving me absolutely bat-shit crazy because hewas b-o-r-e-d. Thanks for all of your nice thoughts and prayers.

But by Wednesday night...SugarPlum was coughing. Not just that little cough cough of someone who has a cold but that down-deep-in-your-chest-can't-quite-inhale-or-exhale-all-the-way cough. My thought? Oh great, bronchitis, I knew I shouldn't have let her play in the snow today. So, SD got up early & started calling the hospital appointment line Thursday morning. (I got to sleep in because one or the other of the boys was up and needed me in there. Honestly I can't remember who anymore, the nights have started to blend together.)

We got to the doctor that afternoon, late of course, and got in rather quickly, surprisingly enough. The pediatrician was someone I had never seen before, but that doesn't come as a shock to me. Continuity of care is unheard of in the military. I saw the same doctor my whole childhood. And when I took my kids to my parents, Dr. Craig would see them as well. It was so nice. I was heartbroken when he retired this fall. Ummm, off the subject???

Anyway! Dr. Ta (really that was his name!) comes in and talks to me, talks to SugarPlum, who keeps telling him, "Well, Mommy says..." like I'm some puppetmaster or something. I tell her to tell him what SHE thinks and feels, not what I think.

He listens to her breathe. No wheezing. That's good. The child does not cough once the whole tome the doctor was in there. All I could think is that this is exactly what happens every time I take my car in for a strange noise, it never make that weird noise for the mechanic. I was sure that the doc was going to tell me that she just has a nasty cold and that the cough is post-nasal drip. Which would be fine except that it just sounded so bad you know?!

Alas, he says to me, "Well, I'm not going to send her for chest films, I'm just going to go ahead and treat this with a five day course of antibiotic."

HUH?? This must have shown on my face, because he then says:

"I heard a little crackle, which tells me that this is am atypical pneumonia. Given that she had the URI for several days before and has had fever, I'm giving antibiotics no matter what, I see no reason to waste your time with a chest x-ray. If, after five days on antibiotics, she shows little improvement, I want her back her on Tuesday, and we will then do films and blood work and see what is going on. So, we got our Zithro*max and went home.

That night, she woke up at about midnight with an earache. I gave her some m*otrin, actifed, and humibid. Then I got her a warm washcloth to put over her ear and laid in her bed with her for a while. She laid there for a long time, moaning in pain. I felt awful for her. There was so little I could do. I tried some of those numbing drops that had been prescribed for Bear a few months ago, but they didn't work. Finally, I told her I was going to check the internet. I googled ear pain, but didn't find much. So, I got on my email and sent out a "Mommy Distress Signal" to several mommy friends (who I thought might be up) asking for any suggestions. Within minutes, I had several responses. It was the coolest thing ever. And it was hilarious to see how many of us have insomnia! Of course, irony of ironies, by the time I got upstairs with the warmed olive oil (thanks Kris!) SugarPlum's ear felt better and she was able to fall asleep.

Earlier afternoon, Bug wouldn't eat and was acting strange. I offered him a smoothie, usually his favorite, and he said it hurt when he drank it and he cried & cried. Back on the phone to make ANOTHER pediatric appointment for Friday. I'm so sick of that place. I took him in Friday afternoon, and after a loooooong wait in the tiny exam room, the nurse practitioner comes in and moves us to another room at the other end of the hall. Whatever. Another person who hasn't seen my child before. Great.

She listened to him breathe. She looked at his eyes. She attempted to look in his mouth, he opened it for a moment only, but long enough for her to see that he didn't have strep throat. Then.....then she tried to look in his ears. Big mistake. He did NOT want her to look in his ears. He screamed and cried and fought and thrashed to avoid letting her look in his ears. She didn't see any sign of infection. Maybe a little fluid, but no infection. She did think that he had the beginnings of pink-eye, so she was putting in a prescription for eye ointment for him. (I was looking forward to that, I wasn't even convinced he had pink eye, had just hadn't slept)

While she was entering the prescriptions, he kept going on & on about his ear, to the point that she started to wonder if maybe he DID have an ear infection. So, she went to get an honest-to-goodness doctor to look in his ear. Great. Bug kept saying "I just wanna go home. I wanna go home!" It was so sad!" I held him down and let the doctor look in Bug's ears. Of course the ears looked great. "Perfect" I believe was the word the doc used.

So, how is everyone feeling now?? SugarPlum is breathing better, but still coughing and her ear is still hurting some. So, she is going to the doctor tomorrow. Bug is a little better. He isn't running as much fever, but he is still out of sorts and still not eating much so he is going back to the doctor tomorrow as well. I don't know what will come of these trips to the pediatrician, but something is just not right here. Maybe it's just Ohio. My kids are just not sick like this.

I'll give you the whole Christmas recap complete with pictures tomorrow. Hopefully everyone will be feeling better soon!

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