It’s official; we have reached the portion of 2012 where things have been so incredibly suckalicious that my hands hover over the keyboard while I wrestle with the very real fear that you will just stop believing what I’m saying. Because it’s outlandish. How can one family have such incredibly bad luck? Surely I am just making some of this up, or embellishing, or I’ve just completely lost my marbles or I’m just screwing with you now.
(It would be nice if that was true, kind of. Except for the part where I’m either crazy or sadistic.)
Anyway. EVERYONE IS FINE. Let’s start with that. At last count everyone is still alive and has all their limbs, so not to worry! It didn’t kill us, it
just made us wish it had made us stronger!
So. When last we spoke, my parents had arrived, and Monkey was on his second day of high but mysterious fever. I even noted that “he seems fine.” Cue the ominous music!
Those of you who’ve been around here for a while may remember that Monkey is a champ when it comes to sickness. Thanks to his particular set of sensory weirdnesses, he is rarely aware that he is unwell. There are benefits to this, of course—who wants a kid suffering if you could just have that same kid be all “Oh, I’m fine!”?—but drawbacks, too. It can be hard to get him to rest when he needs it, for example. Also, I don’t really enjoy the disapproving looks from his doctors when, say, I notice he looks a little off and it turns out he has a double ear infection.
So on day one of Mystery Fever, Monkey said he felt “a little cold.” On day two of Mystery Fever, Monkey said he felt “much better,” but then I found him “resting” in the middle of the kitchen floor at one point, plus he busted out with this weird rash, so I just kept giving Advil and put some cream on the rash and assumed he had something viral.
Now, on day two he also started having some stomach symptoms (YOU ARE WELCOME for sparing you the details), but I figured this was a side effect of having a high fever and generally feeling crappy. After all, he wasn’t complaining (yes, I’ve been this child’s mother for twelve years and I still sometimes think “oh, he’s not complaining…” means he’s okay, because I AM STUPID), so he was probably fine.
The plan was that we would all go take Chickadee out for a leave on Saturday, but with Monkey still obviously sick on Friday, Otto and I discussed it and decided that he (Otto) would stay home with the boy on Saturday and my folks and I would go take Chickie out. It was a bummer, but it was the logical thing to do.
Well, that was the plan until Saturday morning, when Monkey got up before 6:00 and I found him SCREAMING in the bathroom. Here’s the thing: when your kid never complains when sick, when he DOES complain, you pay attention RIGHT QUICK. I paged our pediatrician, got a random on-call nurse call back, and she gave me a few suggestions and gave us a 10:00 appointment at the covering doctor’s office, but added that I should feel free to take him to the ER if things got worse before then.
Things got worse, so we went to the hospital.
I’m a big fan of prime time medical dramas, and in years and years of watching Chicago Hope, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, etc., I have never seen what ACTUALLY happens when they suspect you have appendicitis. On TV, they suspect appendicitis, they poke and prod, and someone screams “Book an OR!” and off they go. In real life, they take you in pretty quickly, but then you wait. And wait. And wait. And wait some more. And after you’ve waited forever and your kid has writhed around for a while and a doctor has poked him and your normally cheerful and agreeable Aspie has snarled “THAT HURTS, STOP IT! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME??” they order a giant canister of contrast and tell your child he has to drink it all and then they’ll do a CT scan two hours later.
Guess what a kid with a horrible stomachache doesn’t want to do! Drink contrast! Because they don’t want to drink anything, really, and contrast is disgusting. Poor Monkey was DEEPLY OFFENDED at the cheerful label proclaiming it to be “berry flavored.”
“They typoed this label,” he kept saying. “It is NOT berry flavored. It’s BARF flavored. And I think they just came up with this to TORTURE people who already feel awful. Maybe we should make the DOCTOR drink it, see how HE likes it!” Oh my, was he cranky. And I felt bad for him, I really did, but all he needed was a pint-sized cane to wave at all of those kids on his lawn. It was kind of pathetic yet adorable, is my point.
Eventually I managed to locate some cartoons on the television and squeezed onto the gurney with him to administer soothing Mama things, like stroking his forehead and making fun of SpongeBob.
[Sidebar: Somewhere in here I called Chickadee's hospital and explained that I needed to speak with her briefly because we had a change of schedule---normally phone calls are only allowed during a specific time period in the evening---and when she got on the phone, I told her we had a slight change of plan, and she immediately said, "No leave today?" in such a sad voice that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "No, NO!" I assured her. "Leave today! But it's just going to be Otto and Grandma and Grandpa. I'm so sorry I can't come, but I'm in the Emergency Room with Monkey." She did a brief verbal celebration before thinking to ask if he was okay, then recovered and made a comment about how this is REALLY not our year. Um, YEAH.]
So Monkey and I passed the bulk of the day in the ER, watching cartoons, waiting and waiting and waiting, and my folks and Otto headed off to see Chickie and deliver the second wave of hygiene supplies.
Finally, they came and got Monkey for his scan. The actual event took about a minute, then they told us it would be read and we’d have the results in “maybe 30 minutes.”
Commence an hour of Monkey complaining that the doctors are clearly stupid and don’t care, because WHERE ARE THEY? Fortunately, I was saved by Pokemon coming on the television, because there’s really no cartoon I enjoying poking fun at more than Pokemon. (Where on earth does it make sense to have super-fighting magical creatures who possess all manner of special powers who can… only say their own names? POKEMON!)
Eventually the doctor came back to tell us Monkey did not have appendicitis. PHEW. They had, however, determined that he had some sort of intestinal infection, though they would need to do some cultures to determine what sort, and here’s an antibiotic in the meantime but we may call and give you a different one once we get the lab results. Alrighty.
As we drove home, my sensitive little guy apologized several times that I was missing seeing his sister, and then I melted into a puddle of goo. I assured him it was fine and I would go see her the next day. At home he said he felt “a little better” and promptly fell asleep on the couch.
A good time was had by the visitation team (heh) and my girl, and the next day my parents and I drove in to hang out with her for a couple of hours and play Scattergories. While we were gone, the hospital called to tell us that Monkey had tested positive for salmonella (the hell??), and they put him on a different antibiotic.
No one knows where he got it, but we strongly suspect he has secretly been licking chickens. (Not really. It’s fun to accuse him of that and watch him get all indignant, though.)
And on the one hand, all’s well that ends well, and while our run of bad luck seems to know no bounds this year, it could’ve been SO much worse. I’m not complaining. On the other hand: I would really like a nap. Like, maybe for the rest of 2012.