Flashback Friday - Kind of

As is the case with three children, I often find myself waiting in the tiny exam room of the pediatrician's office.  We go there for lots of reasons; well-visits (for those highly dreaded vaccinations), random fevers, hives, wheezing, but most popularly - ear infections.

Faulty construction is genetic, I say.  I get to point the finger at Sam for the ear issues.  The poor man is the only person I've ever known to get ear infections in adulthood.  He got a set of tubes in his twenties.  At any rate, it doesn't come as a surprise that our children are afflicted with poorly-draining Eustachian tubes.

Between the two older kids, they are minus two sets of adenoids and a pair of tonsils, and plus a set of tubes.  After all that, there was almost a hiatus from sickness.  Some of that was attributable to them getting older and stronger, some of it was attributable to the "germ sponges" having been surgically removed from their bodies, some of it was due to the immunity support of gummy vitamins (maybe).  Regardless of why, and with the exception of random colds and tummy bugs here and there, we were on a great streak.

It occurred to me around the middle of March, that we had been unbelievably healthy this winter.  And that's when I said it.  Out loud.  (And now I know better.)

Within the week, Ben had a fever, Abby had a fever and another fever, and Sarah had a fever.  We aren't sure what Ben's fever and Abby's first fever were from, some random virus, I suppose.  They got over them in about 24 hours.  Her second fever landed us in the pediatrician's office on Good Friday.  The diagnosis:  double ear infection.

The cool thing about having a three year old is that they can tell you what is wrong with them.   You don't have to guess anymore.  Unless, that is, their ears don't hurt whilst infected.  I quizzed Abby, and she swore her ears never hurt.  Needless to say, I was not expecting the doctor to say those words.  It had been years since her last ear infection.  She got her tubes in and adenoids taken out when she was 11 months old, had about two EI's that were treated with ear drops after that, and no more.  Until now.

(But while we're on the subject, here's a picture of the sweet little patient in that tiny hospital gown)

On Easter Monday, we went back to the doctor because Sarah had started running a fever.  The diagnosis:  double ear infection.  Well shoot.  Another prescription filled at CVS (who, thanks to our patronage, is in no danger of closing any time soon).

The moral of the story is:  Don't get cocky about your childrens' health.  It will bite you in the rear.  Or, more likely, infect their ears.

You thought the story ended there, but you are wrong!  There was an up side to that particular doctor's visit.  Since it was After Hours, we didn't see our "normal" pediatrician.  We saw one of the practice's other doctors.  And despite the fact that we are there a lot, he was one I've never met before.  I felt right as ease when he walked into the exam room, and before he even washed his hands he said, "Wow, it's hot in here.  Hang on a minute while I turn the thermostat down."  (That is my kind of guy!)  He settled in, checked her out, "Double ear infection", and then he rolled the seat back and started up a little conversation.  We chatted about the office, the location, how it's doing.  I commented that we come there a lot, love it, recommend it to everyone.  I mentioned that we were there three days prior for an identical diagnosis and prescription for my older daughter.

Then we chatted about how I had three kids.  Here's the interesting part - he asked me what it was like having three.  He and his wife just found out they were expecting their own #3 and wanted to know if it was going to get crazy or what.  I offered my opinion (that #2 rocked my world a lot more than #3, as Sarah just seemed to fall right in with our groove).  He told me that his second child was colicky and just a tough kid from the get-go, so that it was encouraging to hear that #3 might not be so bad.  I told him I'd been through the colic as well, and at the very least, he could now relate to his patients having experienced it first hand.  His words, "Some nights I wanted to throw him against the wall.  I teach the newborn class at the hospital for parents and I tell them point blank, 'Sometimes you will hate your kids.'"  You might think (especially if you aren't a parent) this is harsh, but I was actually impressed.  While I might not use the word "hate" (I just don't like that word), some nights it isn't all sweet baby kisses and cooing.  Sometimes it feels downright impossible and hopeless and never-ending. 

I left the doctors office that afternoon feeling refreshed and vindicated.  A health care professional asked little old me what it was like to raise three kids, because (and I guess I tend to forget this sometimes) I am raising three kids!  That qualifies me to give my opinion on the matter, and it was nice to be deemed as such.  I also know that before I was a mom, and even after becoming one, no one told me that I wouldn't be head over heels in love with my new blessing 24/7.  I wish someone would have told me.  So even though that pediatrician is taking a big risk saying that to new parents, I'm pleased that he is.  He is preparing them for real life.  I'm glad someone is telling them.

The second moral of the story is:  Your experiences as a parent are invaluable to others.  Share them!  

(And not all doctors think they know everything.)


Emily said...

Great post! I think I saw the dr you may have seen when Brooklyn had strep 2 weeks ago and we went in to the AFter Hours...he was REALLY great...and I was really impressed just because of the way he interacted with Brooklyn -my extremely skittish kid and fell into conversation with me so easily too. Slade, right? Too bad he's not a regular there...but I'm excited to go back for B'lyns 4 yr shots just so I can meet the rest of the practice there - and preferably not until then :) ps...that explains why sweet Sarah was a bit fussy on Sunday morning in nursery! We thought it was odd for her to have a tough day, she's ALWAYS a sweet little easy going baby! Hope she's feeling better!!!

Diane said...

The nurse who taught our newborn class was similarly frank - and it stayed with me. She felt so angry and frustrated towards her child that she was tempted to shake her... and that's when she knew that she had to put her down in the crib, step away, and regain control.

hope that everyone is feeling better this week!

Jennie said...

Emily, this time it was Dr. Cawley, but we do love Dr. Slade too! (They're all great!) Hope Brooklyn stays well for you! That's one of the good things about spring...supposedly! :)

And sorry about Sarah on Sunday! She probably wasn't feeling too well. But I also think she's reaching that age where she doesn't like being left. I do not this phase!

Diane - Agreed! It's the fact that the reality of those feelings is shielded that makes us all feel like horrible moms when we first experience it. If someone had told me it wasn't unheard of to feel that way, it would've taken the edge off a bit! Mommy time outs are *critical*!

Aneesa Cappellano said...

I think we've all had that same fever virus thing. Started with me and trickeled down to all the kiddos. Just a random fever for about 24-36 hrs. That was it. Caleb was the only one that got an ear infection...since we all had horrible colds too :)
Our kids were the same way....number two was a little firecracker and our challenging one, the other two just went with the family flow! Thanks for sharing!

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