Monday, May 8, 2017

When All Else Fails, Take Them to the Pediatrician

At 4 AM I heard that barky cough that all mothers know can only mean one thing: croup.

I can ID a croup cough in my sleep, and this time I think I actually did. I didn't even fully realize I was awake until I was already in the bathroom with a wheezing baby on my hip, cranking up the heat in the shower.

They say miracles happen every day. Most of them are sick kids magically healing themselves in the car on the way to see the pediatrician.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}After several rounds of sitting in the steamy bathroom and going outside to breathe the chilly night air, his cough was just barely better. His labored breathing was almost a little scary to hear, and neither of us were able to sleep.

Now, anyone who knows me can tell you I don't run to the doctor for just anything.

My pediatrician always comments on how healthy our family is, but I think the real reason we don't see her much is that I am the queen of "wait and see."

I've seen another mom, on hold with her pediatrician's office and almost crazed with worry, pull up her child's shirt and squawk at me, "Look at this rash! It's all over." From the way she was going on about it I was expecting leprous sores, but in reality I could barely even see it. Not to bash parents who'd rather be safe than sorry; I'm just not that mom.

Even moms like me have their limits, though. All throughout the rest of the morning and even after a nap, I could locate my son anywhere in the house by following the sound of his ragged breathing. If it was this bad during the day, there would be no way were we sleeping tonight.

It was time to call the doctor.
They say miracles happen every day. Most of them are sick kids magically healing themselves in the car on the way to see the pediatrician.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

A funny thing happens when you make an appointment for a sick child. They say miracles happen every day. What they don't say is that most of them are kids magically healing themselves in the car on the way to see the pediatrician.

As our appointment neared, the labored breathing softened and disappeared. The croupy cough lingered, but it was nothing I would've considered taking him in for.

If I canceled now, though, Murphy's Law would make dang sure we ended up in the emergency room later that night. I was helpless to do anything but play along. There's magic in the appointment.

I know because I've seen it in action before.

When his brother was about 18 months old, he fell down about 5 or 6 steps. After the requisite amount of rocking and shushing, I dusted him off and set him back on his feet  and he fell over.

"Whoops!" I said, standing him up again, only to see him wobble and fall a second time.

Figuring he was still shaken up by the tumble he'd taken, I carried him inside, got him a snack, and repeated the experiment. Every time I stood him up, his left leg buckled and he fell down.

Had he broken a bone or something? I sat him on the couch and prodded at his leg, looking for any signs of discomfort or pain. Nothing. He just sat there eating his raisins and looking at me quizzically.

Maybe this was a neurological problem. Did he have a concussion? His pupils looked okay to me, and as far as I could tell he seemed with it. As 'with it' as an 18-month-old ever is, I guess.

I tried to stand him up again, and he lowered himself down to the ground and started crawling around. Never mind that he hadn't crawled once in 6 months, he crawled around the apartment for the rest of the morning, refusing to walk.

I put him down after lunch, trusting in the restorative power of naps to "reset" him for the second half of the day like they tend to do. But when I lifted him out of his crib a few hours later, he immediately tipped over and went right back to crawling.

Starting to freak out, I marched into the kitchen and made an appointment with the pediatrician.

And you guessed it, as we sat next to the oversized fish tank in the waiting room, he started hobbling around cautiously on both legs.

Our name was called and we were led to an exam room, where any trace of his bizarre paralysis melted away before my eyes.

By the time the pediatrician came in, my son was running from one side of the room to the other and dive-bombing into my lap.

So what happened when I brought in my baby and his croup? Not much.

The moral of the story is: when all else fails, take your kid to the pediatrician.

Not because the doctor will necessarily do anything, but because your kid's symptoms will immediately vanish the minute you show up.

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Diana Dye said...

Or tell your visiting teachers not to come over because of a child's fever. He'll magically get better. Then they will think you lied to get out of their visit when they see you at the fabric store later that morning.

J, C, and E said...

Totally agree! My son had a massive raised rash that he was constantly scratching, until we sat down in the dr's office, then it was magically cured. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

The Lady Okie said...

I don't like to go to the dr either, and Jordan is all about it. He's like, oh she has a tiny bump CALL THE DR. no. But I do get freaked out about stuff like that. I'm glad everything was okay!

Katy said...

You can't win. It is Murphy's law no matter what you do.

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