Friday, January 11, 2008

The Perfect Ending to a Crap-tacular Week

I took the kids to the doctor's this morning because Sam needed a physical. The county assessors won't come out for his speech evaluation unless he's been seen by someone locally. Unfortunately our pediatrician only had an appointment available at the office waaaaaaaaaay out in the sticks, about 45 minutes from home. So I loaded the babes into the car at 9:30 (for our 10:30 appointment) and hit the road.

Sam seemed much better today, as far as the sickness goes. He ate a rather sizable breakfast of 1 and 3/4 of some blueberry multi-grain waffles, with a little maple syrup on the side for dipping, of course. Then in the car on the way there he had half a string cheese and a Trader Joe's blueberry bar. (Side note: what is it with this kid and blueberries?) The only thing indicative of his recent illness? A slight, infrequent cough.

Cut to the exam. Well, it turns out that Sam has an ear infection and upper respiratory infection. And he's slightly underweight (went from the 60% to the 25% since his 18 month check up). And the pediatrician is pretty sure he is speech delayed. He made Sam do a nebulizer breathing treatment in the office. When we left, he gave us our own fancy pants machine for home use. Oh and also a prescription for antibiotics. His first ever. I also left with a strong feeling that I was a horrible mother.

Now don't get me wrong, I love our doctor. It wasn't anything he did or said that out me on the 'bad parent' train. I just felt duped. Our in-house physician, Dr. SOB, assured me that Sam didn't need to see the doctor unless he was still sick today, and honestly today he seemed like a new boy. He was singing when he woke up this morning, playful and hungry at breakfast, and he played like a madman while waiting at doctor's office. (It didn't hurt that they had a bomb-ass play area in the waiting room, complete with this tree house thingie that had plexi-glass sides so you could still see your kid once they climbed inside.) Nothing he did or kind of said this week indicated that he was having any pain in his ear. And the whole weight thing wasn't really unexpected since he ate next to nothing on his most feverish days. I was counting my luck stars if I got half a piece of toast into him. But somehow I just felt awful.

Adding to my parental misery, I couldn't bring myself to stop for his prescriptions on the way home. It was pouring rain and Lucy was sound asleep. Plus, Sam was a little overdue for his nap and I felt it might be better for him to get some rest. But I still felt guilty.

I still feel guilty.


Lest you think I'm all doom and gloom today, let me share this pleasant and somewhat humorous exchange I had with a seven year old girl sitting next to me in the waiting room toady.

Seven year old girl: I think I saw your baby. She's cute.

Me: (nursing Lucy under a blanket) Thanks!

SYOG: Why are you keeping her under that blanket?

Me: Well, she's eating. (looking around for SYOG's parent. Spies dad reading Newsweek, oblivious waaaay on the other side of the room.)

SYOG: What is she eating?

Me: Um, milk.

SYOG: Really? Where is her bottle.

Me: (sweating, swearing in my head) Well, she doesn't have a bottle.

SYOG: But how...(a wave of realization sweeps over her face, which then turns red) Oh. Well, I have to go now. Bye!

Me: ... Bye!

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Mrs. Chicken said...

The Poo never pulled her ears or ran a fever when she had an ear infection - which was like once a month there for awhile.

Don't be so hard on yourself. And my sister's husband is an oncologist. He always says, "I'm on oncologist, not a pediatrician."

susan said...

You can only go by the clues you're given in this game of motherhood. Don't beat yourself up for not recognizing signs that you had never seen before that may or may not have even been there for you to see. The words "horrible" and "mother" should never go side by side in reference you make towards yourself -- you are nothing short of amazing.

Monica said...

You are SO NOT a horrible mother! Why is it that when they are sick we manage to find a way to blame ourselves? We aren't doctors! You gotta go with what you know. Just look on the bright side - at least now you know what's up and can get him the meds to make him better. I'm sure he'll be back to his cute, happy self in no time.

And so will you!

Carrie said...

i know that you know you are not a bad mother. you are wonderful. the conversation with the seven year old was priceless. made me laugh alot.


Arizaphale said...

I can only reiterate what the others have said. And in-house physicians are sometimes not very objective! We have friends with this problem. Mum now bypasses Dad and goes straight to the local GP :-)
I am glad they are going to do something about the speech and swallowing though. Early intervention on anything is the way to go. Mind you, neither of these things have anything to do with how bright he is, I'm sure you're aware of that...!!!!
So stop with the horrible mother thing. We do the best we can with what we know and the resources we have available.