There’s nothing like comforting a wailing child with one arm, and playing the BC Health Link’s “Symptom Checker” with the other.
In seven years, the sick child dance my husband and I perform hasn’t changed. Every symptom is analyzed, scrutinized and agonized over as we try to avoid the emergency room. She’s cold because she doesn’t have many layers on. Is that cough rattling in her broncoli or just a phlegm trapped in her upper airway? Of course her throat hurts, she’s been crying for an hour…
Two steps forward, one back. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Neither of us wants to break the seal, open the door, and go gently into the good night with our sick child.
And who wouldn’t. Though fascinating, the ER is not a place you want to be. Your butt gets sore from sitting in the plastic chairs; your arms get sore from cradling a sick child; germs lurk everywhere; and your eyes go square from watching Treehouse for six hours. But if your child is really sick, as in very sick, it is the only place you want to be.
Two years ago this month, Miss C was four-months-old, and, after eight-hours in Emergency, and numerous tests, she was admitted to the hospital for six days. She had RSV, a respiratory illness. If she’d been older, it might have resolved itself at home. Instead, she and I hung out at the hospital watching the Leprechauns march by. It was a bonding experience I could have lived without.
In seven years of parenthood, that, knock on wood loud and hard, has been the sickest any of our children have gotten. Go figure our youngest would be the one to give us that stat.
Last night after some Tylenol and snuggles, Miss C took herself back to bed, thus ending the tango. We’ll see what she’s like in the morning.
This morning, as I drove home from the clinic, diagnosis: ear infection, I took stock of the littles’ health:
Miss C has definitely captured our attention medically; clocked the most hours at the hospital and paediatrician’s office.
Miss S comes in second for taking every cold a younger Miss Q came home from school with, and upping it a degree.
And Miss Q? I actually don’t remember ever taking her to the hospital or doctor for more than a quick well baby/child check-up. She’s definitely been the healthiest. But maybe that’s because she was born into our family when we were at our most sterile.
Having only one child at home definitely allows you to keep tighter tabs on the juicy sneezes. When you have three sneezing in random choreograph, suddenly there’s a backlog at the sink for hand washing and Kleenex flying everywhere. Thankfully, for those days, there’s Lysol wipes.
So as I wipe down my house, for what feels like the millionth time in two weeks, I give supreme thanks that Miss C’s illness can be resolved with time and Tylenol. I am also grateful for the hint of spring felt in the air today.