Chickadee has been malingering. Except malingering is really the wrong word, because I do think she’s sick… or sickISH… certainly she’s just plain not feeling great; but given her bent towards the DRAH-MAH and the fact that MALINGERING just tastes exactly like what she’s been doing—dragging herself around, looking all peaked and weary—I stand by my original verb choice. Last night in addition to the “my throat is sore” complaint that’s been around for a couple of weeks, she started adding in “my ear hurts,” and I could avoid it no longer: Today I took her to the doctor.
We waited for approximately three years (no, no I don’t have ANY IDEA where she gets that penchant for melodrama, why do you ask?) and then we were placed in a room and she was poked by a medical assistant. We waited a couple of more years and then the doctor came in and did the doctorly sorts of things one does.
He then declared that her throat wasn’t particularly red, her ear looked perfectly fine, she had no fever, and could I think of any reason why she maybe would want to stay home from school?
Chickadee got pretty upset, at that point. The truth is that she’s has PLENTY of reasons to want to avoid school in the last couple of months, but now everything is fine, and in the meantime, she feels crummy and was afraid I would accuse her of faking. I’m still a little perplexed (who says their ear hurts when the ear looks fine…?), but I also know my kid, and I believe she’s truly unwell. It seems like she’s been fighting off the same cold for close to a month, now. Enough’s enough.
So I (gently) offered that she’s been running a fever on and off (she has), and her appetite is off and she seems tired all the time, and was it possible she had some low-level virus or something?
At that point, the doctor looked over her chart, looked at Chickadee again, and announced he was going to test her for mono “just to be safe.”
“Young lady,” he said, looking her in the eye, voice stern, “have you been kissing any boys?”
Now, part of me was indignant. My child is ELEVEN. Furthermore, despite the “kissing disease” nickname of it, there are plenty of ways to get mono besides smooching, and a DOCTOR of all people should know that.
The other part of me nearly ruptured several critical organs while trying not to laugh at Chickie’s reaction. She flushed about four different shades of color while sputtering out a horrified, “NO!” I probably shouldn’t be taking such delight in my kid’s embarrassment, but… what can I say, it was pretty funny. In Chickadee-world, right now the proper way to express even a faint interest in a boy is to STAUNCHLY PRETEND HE DOES NOT EXIST, which seems to rule out any possibility of her having locked lips with, well, anyone.
The doctor typed some stuff, thought some more, and decided to test her for strep and get a blood count, too, just to cover all the bases, and while I appreciate his thoroughness, Chickadee was less than impressed with being gagged with a Q-tip and then stuck with a needle.
We came home and I put her to bed with Licorice, and I haven’t seen either of them for hours. If she’s faking, she’s also faking taking a three-hour nap. And that’s dedication. Or a mighty attempt at covering up what (or whom) she’s been licking, lately.