***NOTE TO READERS: We’re having problems with the comments so I apologize to the people who have tried to leave them and had trouble. My crack team of experts (aka my awesome brother Nate) is working on it so bear with us.***
Will has been sick for nearly a month now.
It started with vomiting and diarrhea. Then it was a cough and stuffy nose. We called our pediatrician’s office after about 10 days of problems, and they basically told us it was going around and there was nothing we could do except to let it run it’s course. A week later he was still sick, so I demanded an appointment. When the doctor “examined” Will, it consisted of taking a temperature and poking twice at his stomach. That was literally it. Then he told me it was probably two viruses, one after the other, and that I should just wait it out and he’d be fine.
You have to understand, I do not have any medical training. Therefore, I treat doctors like infallible gods. I know that’s probably not the best way to be, but I can’t help it. I take doctors at their words and I trust them without even blinking. But our pediatrician was so dismissive of Will’s problems that it just didn’t sit right when he shooed us out of his office so quickly.
That’s when MJ turned into “Mama Bear.”
Will’s cold persisted and a couple of days later she called the pediatrician and lambasted him far more than I ever could because I’d be totally humiliated berating a doctor like that. Needless to say, we got some goddamn antibiotics after that. And they worked for a few days, until they ran out this past weekend. And wouldn’t you know it, by Sunday night Will was coughing again. Except this time it was accompanied by wheezing. This morning he woke himself up at 6 a.m. with a coughing fit, and when I picked him up he was having trouble breathing.
That was enough for us to take him to the emergency room.
Will was really fantastic in the hospital and well behaved. He was flirting with the nurses, impressing the doctors and inspiring “Awwwww” sounds from all passersby. When we got settled in the doctors listened to his breathing and heard lots of congestion and some “crackles” in his lungs. So they ordered a chest x-ray for Will, and soon we were off to the x-ray room.
You should know, hospitals freak me out. They shouldn’t by now, because with all of MJ’s health problems I’ve been in and out of them for the last five years. But it’s different when it’s your child. I cringed when they said the words “chest x-ray” but when we got into the room and saw the contraption Will was going to be put in, I nearly had an anxiety attack. Here’s a picture of the device they used to hold Will in place:
But in my eyes, it looked much more like this:
I know, I know. A little dramatic, but you get the point. And to his credit, Will did really well. He only cried a tiny little bit toward the end of the second x-ray, but other than that he was absolutely fine. As for dad, well…I think I was scarred far more than he was.
Thankfully the chest x-rays revealed no pneumonia, which was a load off my mind. But it still didn’t solve the mystery of Will’s ailments. So because MJ has asthma and it runs in her family, they decided to give him Albuterol. They hooked the medicine up to a tube and mask and turned it on, at which point mist began to come out of it. Then they had me put it up to Will’s face so he could breathe it in.
Well, at least they called it medicinal mist. Again, to me, I felt like they were forcing me to gas my own son with poisonous mystery smoke. But six of one, a half dozen of the other.
The stuff from the inhaler seemed to have an immediate positive effect. Will stopped coughing and the doctors could no longer hear congestion in his chest and lungs. So they sent us home with more of the Albuterol and some antibiotics. If he starts coughing again, I’ll have to hook up the inhaler to this mask contraption they gave us and force my son to inhale this crap again. I’m not sure how that’ll work out, I’m kind of banking on MJ being home for that because I’m not sure I’m qualified or capable.
And in the meantime, you’d be correct in assuming that we’re shopping around for a new pediatrician.