So today has been completely awesome so far. I knew that first thing this morning Chickadee had a pediatrician appointment, and I’d carefully arranged my day so that it wouldn’t be a problem. In fact, right around dinner last night I was feeling pretty proud of myself for having worked ahead and such so as to have a couple of hours to spare this morning without any difficulty. Yay, me!
Of course—as is typical the moment I’m feeling on top of things—hubris decided to smack me back down, hard. It started at bedtime last night. “Mom. Mooooooom!” Monkey dragged his way down the stairs, eyes dark hollows, nose running faster than he could chase it with a fistful of Kleenex. “I need some snuffly medicine. Please.” I gave him a decongestant and remarked on how allergy season has been really rough this Spring, but after three more trips downstairs and the grand finale of “Myyyy eeeeeeeeear!” and associated sobbing at 10:00 or so, I had to admit he was likely more sick than allergic.
Well, we were going to the ped, anyway. No problem!
Except… problem. First of all, the early morning appointment meant I had to wake up a sick and miserable child who’d not gotten enough sleep, so that was exactly as joyous as you might suppose. Second, we recently switched to a new doctor (on account of our old one was a tool), and Monkey hadn’t actually been seen at this office yet. Meaning he was a new patient. Meaning that when we arrived and I tried to explain that Chickadee had an appointment but Monkey was clearly nursing an ear infection and could the doc just take a quick look, please, the desk admin told me he couldn’t be seen because he needed a new patient appointment and they didn’t have any of those. Fortunately, we looked just pitiful enough that she added, “Well, let me go check with the doctor,” and then came back and gave me some forms to fill out.
Have I mentioned that I love the new doctor? Because I kind of love the new doctor. (Seriously, what kind of doctor would turn away a clearly sick child—with insurance!—first thing in the morning in an empty office? Probably our old doctor, come to think of it.)
So, everyone got measured and weighed and had their blood pressure taken, and then the doc came in and looked at Monkey. She took one look at his red-rimmed nose and suggested I “put some Vaseline on that” and I tried not to feel like a bad mother as I pointed out that I’ve been chasing him around with Aquaphor for a month, but he keeps wiping it off. She then checked him out and declared that he not only had an ear infection, but that his ear membrane was “so heavily lesioned” she wanted him on an antibiotic even though she normally lets kids his age kind of tough it out. “I’m worried about a perforation,” she explained, and then Monkey wanted to know why his eardrum would have a line of little holes allowing it to easily separate from the rest of him. (Literal Boy to the rescue with the comic relief!)
We then talked about seasonal allergies and his current meds (Zyrtec, which is currently doing absolutely nothing so far as I can tell), and also about his ridiculously high tolerance for pain (I believe what I said was, “Once he starts crying about his ear I pretty much figure his brain might be melting, given how little he complains”). The doc prescribed more meds and then moved on to Chickadee while Monkey slumped in a chair with a book and a box of Kleenex.
So, remember how y’all said “Oh, don’t worry about Chickadee failing her scoliosis screening, she’s fine!”? Remember that? LIARS, ALL OF YOU. She totally has scoliosis! Of course! Because the glasses, the braces, and the persistent mysterious skin condition were NOT ENOUGH for a 12-year-old to have to deal with. I mean, I know she’s the queen of drama and tragedy and all, but at this point I’m actually feeling pretty sorry for her. Poor kid. So the doc ordered x-rays and said they’ll measure the curvature and decide how to proceed. Best case scenario is that they decide to monitor her and we’ll go back for more x-rays in a few months. Worst case is… well, we’re not thinking about that.
I paid the bill and we left, and I told Chickadee that we’d go do the x-rays another day, because she’d already missed a couple of classes, and also dragging Monkey all over town with an ear infection was probably not a great idea. And then she whined about how she was just going to have to miss MORE school on ANOTHER day if we didn’t just GET IT OVERWITH, and Monkey said he didn’t mind, so fine, we drove back across town to the hospital to have her x-rayed.
[Aside: I used the bathroom in the waiting room, washed and dried my hands, and then when they came out to collect Chickadee I started to walk back with her and realized that the ring I’d been wearing—which is just a little too big and I already knew really needs to be sized down a bit—was missing. Yes, I did allow my child to go into the x-ray room alone while I went and DUG THROUGH THE BATHROOM TRASH for my damn ring. I found it, thank God. Chickie was fairly understanding but I felt crappy about it.]
So they shot a series of x-rays and put them up on the computer screen and the two techs and I all went “Whoa, hey, that doesn’t look right.” Then one of the techs rushed to assure me “I’ve seen worse,” which frankly, I didn’t find all that reassuring. Chickadee’s spine is very, very pretty. Yes. Like a lovely winding road! Ahem.
We then left the hospital, drove to the pharmacy, dropped off Monkey’s prescriptions, drove to the middle school, dropped off Chickadee, and then went back to the pharmacy. “Can I take a nap now?” Monkey asked, as we pulled back into the pharmacy parking lot.
We got his meds and headed home. He is now dosed up and sleeping, and Chickadee is likely at school showing off the hospital bracelet she refused to take off when we left there. Heh.
The whole adventure took upwards of four hours, and although it cost close to $150 in copays, I didn’t have to pay for any of it in cash. And that was a good thing, because it meant that when I discovered I only had $3 in my purse, I was able to drive through the donut place and spend $2.12 on two donuts with sprinkles with a clear conscience and serenity. The serenity proved to be especially useful, because Monkey promptly dropped his and got sprinkles all over the back seat of my car.
Hey, sprinkles may not fix scoliosis or a near-perforated eardrum, but they made the kids a whole lot more cheerful than everything ELSE I dragged them through this morning.
Moral of the story: Always make sure you have at least a few bucks on you in case of DONUT EMERGENCY.