Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Stop the ride, I wanna get off

You've heard of the Carnival of Cats?? And the Carnival of Comedy?? And the Carnival of Education?

Well, here in Candyland, we have the carnival of germs. If you will recall, I used to call this Musical Viruses or the Game Nobody Wins. But now we have added bacteria to the stew, so we will just call it the Carnival of Germs. And frankly, I'm ready for this carnival to pack up and leave town already.

Bear (yes, of course, its Bear, the kid can't catch a break) was unusually irritable and whiny Sunday morning before church. He was just not right. My mommy bat-senses were tingling and I listened to him breath. He wasn't wheezing, didn't have strider, but didn't sound right. I took his temperature. 99.5. Technically not a fever, but a little high for 8:00 in the morning, so I suggested that he stay home & he was all over that idea. SD said that he would stay home with Bear so that I could take SugarPlum and Bug to Sunday School. Bear would hear nothing of it. He wanted his mommy. So SD said that he would just drop SugarPlum off and come back home since he had a lot of studying he needed to do. (SD goes to Mass as the Catholic chapel on base on Saturdays. The kids & I go to a Baptist church in the next town over and he usually goes with us. It works for us.) SugarBug, however was distraught, "I go Sunday School! I go Sunday School!" So, I stayed home with Bear and SD took the other two to church.

No more than half an hour after they left, Bear: the boy who hates to nap, told me that he wanted to go take a nap in my bed. I was all for that. So we laid down at 10:00. He didn't get up until 2:00! By then, SD had gotten the kids home, gotten Bug in bed for his nap, fixed SugarPlum's lunch and gotten her to go read in her room. Yes, he's that good!

When Bear woke up, his fever was over 101. He was all droopy and didn't want the curtains open or the light on in the living room, he said "It's makin' me a headache." I hate seeing him like that. He ate a pretty good dinner that night, surprisingly enough. But by 7:15 he was ready to go to bed. Everyone was in bed by 8:00 Sunday night.

Monday morning at about 5:00, Bear comes into our room, "Mommy! My head hurts very bad!" I took his temperature. 102.8. I gave him some motrin and tucked him in bed with us. He had those fever "jitters" for about half an hour and finally fell back to sleep. And then he slept. And slept and slept and slept. I went in and checked on him several times. Bug asked about him, "Where's Bear?" and I had to keep reminding him that Bear was sleeping. A couple of times, I would shake him a little to make him stir. I was that worried.

I had decided that Bear had meningitis. Hey! Fever, headache, light aversion=meningitis! SD asked if I had called the pediatric clinic. But I didn't want to be that crazy woman calling to say that her child has meningitis. I spoke with the Queen, whose daughter actually HAD viral meningitis once while staying at my house. Although, to be fair, we didn't know that the Princess had meningitis until after they had gotten to Tucson several days later. Yeah, that was a fun phone call for the Queen to make!

[And could I just say meningitis a few more times? meningitis meningitis meningitis. There. That's better. *sheesh*]

Anyway, she told me the leg lift thing that the Dr. did to diagnose the m********* (I'm done saying it). I resolved to use this bit of knowledge if and when Bear woke up. I went upstairs to check on Bear again and made him actually open his eyes for me. Which he did, begrudgingly, for a moment and went right back to sleep. At least I knew he wasn't comatose.

So, Bug and I hung out all Monday morning. Finally, it was naptime. I got Bug down for a nap and went and laid down with Bear in my bed. It was about 11:00. At 11:40, Bear rolled over, kissed me on the cheek and said, "Good morning, Mommy!"

Then he noticed it was bright in the room and asked where Bug was. I told him he had slept a long, long time, that Bug was taking a nap and it was lunch time. To which he replied, "Oh, no! I wanted to eat breakfast!

I assured him that he could eat breakfast if he wanted to and we went downstairs and fixed pancakes. Which I burned. Shut. up.

So for the past couple of days, he has been feverish and headachy. I was able to rule out M********, and moved on to Bubonic Ebola (thank you, Mir). What else could it be? After three days of fever, I did schedule an appointment for him at the base pediatric clinic with yet another provider we have never seen. This makes....well I've lost count now, but as I've said before there is NO continuity of care in the military and it makes me crazy.

This morning, of course, Bear had no real fever and he was in a good mood. I honestly considered cancelling his appointment, but I have played that game before and lost. I knew that as soon as I cancelled he would spike a fever of 103. So, we went to the clinic and saw a doctor (or probably nurse practitioner) whose first name, I swear, was "Anemone." She was perfectly fine, though. She listened to him breathe, looked in his ears, nose, mouth. She agreed with me that his throat was red and swollen but that it didn't look like strep. She decided to do a swab, "just in case" more to rule it out than anything.

Do I have to tell you that it was positive? Because, duh, it was. These children have my genes. All you have to do is whisper, "strep" and my body says, "Oh! Strep? Yes, we are good at strep! Watch!!" So, yes, as soon as she mentioned strep test his throat was all geared up.

Now, we are home with penicillin. Which, by the way, ranks right up there as one of the more vile liquid medicines. Any "cherry" flavored medicine is usually gross and generally abhorred around these parts. I should have asked for the pill form, but it never even occurred to me at the time.

Bear took a pretty good nap as did Bug. Neither of the other two kids is showing signs of illness - yet. I'm pretty sure that they are waiting until Friday night. We have a babysitter coming so that SD and I can have a date night. (I was even contemplating shaving my legs!) Those kids always conspire to ruin that for us. Ungrateful brats.

Then again, my throat heard that "s" word at the doctors' office today, too, and it's starting to tingle. So date night may be a pipe dream after all. I have a funny feeling that the only action SD will be seeing in the bedroom this weekend will be bringing me motrin and salt water to gargle!

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