Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Having Kids Can Really Cut Into Bon-Bon Time

Occasionally my husband will call me from work with some minor request to pick something up or drop something off for him. I’ll respond with a laugh “But that’ll cut into my bon-bon time.”

Well all I’ve got to say is that having kids really cuts into your bon-bon time.

Last week I had to take Max to the pediatrician for a truly horrendous ear infection. Normally I catch the signs fairly early on, but Max never let on how bad it was until just before I saw fluid leaking out of his right ear. Argh, the poor guy, I felt like a complete idiot allowing him to suffer so long. His siblings will either tell me directly or wake up in the middle of the night, blazing hot with fever and screaming blue murder. All Max did was pathetically whine early Monday morning about an hour before his normal wake up time. I put it down to the stupid cold we had been passing around. We just had strep fest four weeks ago. Of course his ear problems did not come to light until it was late afternoon, just before I had to meet his brothers at the bus stop. I would not have time until Wednesday morning to take him to the pediatrician. When I took him in it was very quick and we were able to get back in time for story time at the library.

All was well until Friday night when it became apparent that there was more going on with his ear infection. So on Saturday I got to experience the special joy of the pediatricians’ Saturday morning clinic. For once things were speedy and we were out in less than two hours. The Doctor agreed that it was a very nasty infection and we even got to look in the big book. In the end we were sent home with the admonishment to come in ASAP if he worsened or come in Monday if he stayed the same.

Sunday Max seemed to be the same, so it was a relatively uneventful day. That night our regular pediatrician called to check in on Max (I love this practice, all of the doctors really do care about their patients.) We chatted for a bit and then she asked when we would be coming in. I said I was told to come Monday. She replied that she wouldn’t wish that on her worst enemy. It will be a complete zoo. We decided to come on Tuesday when she is on in the afternoon.

Monday school was cancelled. All sorts of muck was coming out of the sky. I was happy to be not going anywhere. Just as I settled down to write a post an awful wail came from upstairs. Max staggered into view crying about his right arm. He and Nate had been arguing about toys when Nate inadvertently hurt Max. After cuddling Max for a bit we had lunch. I watched Max’s arm carefully throughout lunch. He was not using it at all. It just hung there against his side. This was very disturbing since he is very much right handed. Obviously I had to do something. I mentally debated where to go. The ER was out of the question. It takes forever and we will get exposed to some very sick people. The walk-in clinic nearby was considered. Its main advantage was its x-ray machine. In the end I decided to wait until 2:00 pm when our regular pediatrician’s office opens. I could get Meryl to watch Jake and Rebecca while I’ll take Max and Nate. This way I could get Max’s ears and arm checked out and Nate tested for strep. Nate had been crabbing about all morning and then took a nap after lunch, a sure sign of strep throat for Nate. If Nate did have strep our pediatrician would write a prescription for Jake while we were there. If one has strep the other does too and Jake had mentioned a scratchy throat earlier.

A little after 2:00 pm I bundled the two boys up, both protesting the unfairness of not hanging out with Aunt Meryl, and set off to the pediatricians. After a 30 minute drive I found out they were “closed due to the weather.”

What?! It was not that bad out. What a bunch of wimps. So then I herded the boys back to the car and called home to tell Meryl what was going on and that we were now going to the clinic. This was extremely aggravating as it meant another 25 min back towards home to the clinic. At 3:15 pm we arrived at the clinic and signed in. Soon we ere called up to do our paperwork. As I sat there chatting with the receptionist I pawed through my wallet and purse for my insurance card.

I can’t find it.

After the third pass through both, the receptionist asked if I had my card.

I paused in my efforts and asked if a fax of the card would do. She said it would be fine. One quick call to my hubby and all was set. He had the card and would fax it to the clinic. Then I herded my increasingly restive crew back to the waiting area and camped out.

Finally we were called back, with Max howling that he did not want to go there. Nate got his throat swabbed and Max, under duress, got two x-rays of his arm and shoulder. At this point Nate was bouncing off the walls. So we hung out in the hallway admiring the pictures of the bones in Max’s arm.

After a loooong wait the doctor appeared. Nate tested positive for strep. She asked Nate how long his throat had been bothering him. Nate cheerfully replied that his throat wasn’t hurting him at all. The puzzled doctored turned to me and asked how did I know he had strep. I told her about this morning’s behavior and how it almost always meant he had strep. She nodded and turned to Max. Turns out he had nursemaids elbow. With my restraining Max, the doctor gently manipulated his bones back into place. At 5:40 pm we were sent back home with a handful of stickers for Max and amoxicillin for Nate.

I called up Larry and filled him in on our adventure and hung up. After a few moments thought I called him back and requested that he pick up dinner on the way home. I was wiped out.

After dinner Larry and discussed what to do with Jake. It was either take him to the clinic now or wait until tomorrow and I would get the pleasure of taking everybody to the pediatricians. Either way it would be a long wait. I decided one kid now was better than four kids later, so back to the clinic. Larry stayed home and wrangled the remaining three into bed and I got to wait with Jake. This time I got to take a book. We were there for an hour and half, but it was much nicer with a reasonable eight year old than with an amped six year old and a miserable three year old. And yes, Jake has strep throat too.

So when do I get my bon-bon time?

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