Thursday, August 12, 2010

No So Bad

I had promised myself that I wouldn't blog about Michael getting sick anymore, but considering how much it's become a part of our lives, that was probably a little unrealistic.

During bedtime stories on Tuesday evening,, Michael commented that his left ear hurt. Based on the usual progression from cold to ear infection, I wasn't surprised. I asked him if he wanted medicine, he refused, bedtime moved on.

Later, right when I was drifting off to sleep, he started whimpering in his bed. I listened for a minute or two and then decided that I needed to see what was going on. I went in to check and he started wailing and grabbing his left ear. It's such a heartbreaking thing seeing your child in pain and knowing there isn't much you can do to help at the moment. I offered him medicine, he refused, I tucked him back in and hoped for a little sleep.

Five minutes later, I was pouring out a dose of Motrin and setting up the blankets on the floor so I could keep him company through the night. He curled up next to me and rubbed his sore ear before finally drifting off to sleep.

By morning he was feeling a bit better. I decided to send him to my mom's with a strict warning to call me if he started to have trouble with his ear. I planned on taking him in after I got off work since my sick time is limited and his ear wasn't bothering him too much. We've been through this enough that I know the pain hits mostly at night when he's laying down.

He made it through the day just fine. My mom took him out and he was in a good mood when I got home. I quizzed him on how he felt. "Good."

"Does your right ear hurt?" I asked touching his right check.


"How about the left ear?"

"It's feeling a little better."

I took his temperature. 99.1. Then called the doctor's office.

I like my doctor's office, and they do a decent job of trying to fit everyone in for late day sick visits. I'm always grateful that the doctor's are willing to stay late to see my child. But, that said, it's not always a wait free endeavor. (Unless you can get your kid to puke on you. That worked fabulously.)

The first strange thing that happened was that Michael didn't fight me about going to the doctor. I simply gave him my iPhone and let him watch Youtube and he went along happily. On the way there, I explained that he would have to put the phone away when the nurse and doctor needed to exam him. He seemed OK with that.

I was a little confused.

We didn't have to wait long before they ushered us into an exam room. Once again, Michael didn't resist. In fact, he got up and headed to the exam room with me following behind. Then, he handed me my phone.

Wait, who are you and what have you done with my son?

The nurse took a quick history, checked his weight and temperature, and left us to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

For 45 minutes. She left me and a sick four-year-old in a small exam room with nothing to do for 45 minutes. And folks, this is where it gets really strange.

Michael and I had the best time. We talked and giggled and hugged and snuggled. Every time he though the doctor was coming he'd jump on my lap and hide his face in my neck. When she didn't come in, he'd hop up onto the exam table and make silly faces for a no laughing contest. His faces weren't that funny, but I kept laughing because he was having so much fun.

It was one of the best evenings we have had in a while, and that's saying something because our evenings have been pretty good.

I also noticed something interesting. He's never seen the doctor that we saw last night, but every time he thought the doctor was coming in he would say, "It's her!" How cool is it that my kid automatically assumes that a doctor is a woman? What a huge difference from when I was a kid. It's nice to see progress being made.

When the doctor finally did come in, Michael was a little shy. He wrapped his arms around my neck for comfort while the doctor started her exam. I love the cuddliness of four-year-olds.

The doctor looked in Michael's good right ear first. She took a peak and said she couldn't imagine what the left ear looked like if the right ear didn't hurt. It was swollen and had pus building up. Can you believe it wasn't bothering him at all? The left ear was actually better than the right ear, but was causing all the pain.

It's interesting to see what the different doctor's prescribe. One doesn't prescribe cephalosporins for children who are allergic to penicillin. Others prescribe a two dose a day cephalosporin. This doctor prescribed Omnicef. As she was writing the prescription out, she explained to me that it may turn his poop red.

"Cool! Did you hear that Michael, it might turn your poop red." As she was explaining that it's just the suspension the medicine is in and not blood, I was thinking about what a great motivation that would be in getting Michael to actually take the medication.

Then she said he only needs it once a day. That cuts our medicine misery in half. I was so happy I could have kissed her.

We did talk a little about Michael getting tubes in his ears. He didn't quite make the number of ear infections for six months, but the next one will put him into the one year limit so they'll keep a close eye on things. I'm going to talk to my neighbor who is a Nurse Practitioner and find out which ENT they used since I fully expect another ear infection in the next month or so.

Overall, despite the bad news that Michael had a double ear infection, the appointment went really well. Most of that had to do with how pleasant Michael was through the entire ordeal. I haven't wanted to jinx it, so I haven't said this...but so far, there's a whole lot that I like about Michael at four.

When we got home, I went over everything with Andy. We are both torn about the possibility of Michael getting tubes. On the one hand, we don't want him to have to go through even a minor surgical procedure. On the other hand, we'd really like them RIGHT NOW.

The funniest thing to me was Andy's response when I told him the medicine might turn Michael's poop red. "Hey, that could be great motivation to get him to take it."

I think the fact that red poop could be a potential motivator says a whole lot about just how difficult Michael can be when taking medicine.


LauraC said...

Super duper long comment.

Pros of having kids sick when they are young:
* babies don't sleep anyway
* they get used to being sick and taking medicine at a young age
* things like ear tube surgery or infected ear tube removal (which in Nate's case meant sticking a super long thin hook down his ear canal and pulling out a tube) are not understood, thus making the kids go with the flow

Pros of having kids sick at an older age:
* you don't want to kill yourself waiting 45 minutes trapped in a germy waiting room with a newborn or toddler and KNOW they will get even more illnesses

I'm starting to see some benefits on delaying the illnesses!

Mel said...

Funny about the motivation for getting him to take the medicine. HA HA HA! I hope it works (the red poop that is). If it doesn't, he may be disappointed!

Maria said...

Is it odd that the first thing I thought was also that the hope of red poop might actually get him to take his medicine?

Karla said...

LOL, hope the possible red poop helps you out!!!

Ear tubes were a God-send for us! Devin had two sets!

Julie said...

Red poop--fun stuff! I love that you had a fun time waiting--that's pretty amazing, I mean, who likes to wait in a doc's office? Also, I think its awesome that Michael assumed the doc was a woman. Progress indeed :)