Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And Then They Said Pneumonia

So Conor has been sick this week. In fact, he's been running a fever over 101 F for the last 6 days. When we picked Conor up from daycare on Friday, they told us he had a fever. Not a biggie, but he wasn't himself.

To be honest, I have been through three years of colds and Conor often gets a fever at the beginning of a cold. So, I wasn't too worried.

Until Sunday, when he woke up and his eyes were so swollen, and despite the fact there were 25 people over here for a beginning of the school year party, the child did not want to interact with anyone. (Conor is a bit like me---you say Party, we say Woohoo!)

So Monday, when he woke up over at 102, I took him to the doctor. And for only the second time in my life, I cancelled a graduate class. Dave's work is going through accreditation and he is in charge of the process, which started Monday. For the first time since we've been together, Dave absolutely had to be at work. So I put my family in front of my work...and had nightmares all night long about my students. (This fact doesn't make me proud)

Might I point out to you that dual working parents have particular challenges. However, single parents awe me, especially in cases like this.

So the doc originally thought that it was strep throat, but the test came back negative. We went home with the instructions that the fever should be gone by Weds.

Tuesday afternoon, Conor's fever is over 102. Weds morning it's over 101.5. He and I go back to the doctor who hears a rattle in Conor's chest, prompting the comment "Well, he looks more lively than most children who have pneumonia; it must be just now be moving down to his chest." I'm not one of those GIVE ME ANTIBIOTIC mothers, but I'm a Very Happy Mommy that Conor is on antibiotics right now. His fever was still over 102 this afternoon, but he felt cool when he went to bed tonight.

If his fever is not gone by Friday, then we go back and I start freaking the eff out.

Dave and I are switching off which days we go to work, which normally wouldn't be a problem except my tenure package is due on Tuesday and I'm a little anxious about getting it done. But when I was explaning this to a student, I realized my statement "Let's just drug him and send him to school so I can get my work done" did not make me eligible for Mother of the Year.

This illness does not freak me out as much as the 105 degree fever Conor woke up with two years ago and which made me fear his brain was frying. Nonetheless, I want him to be fever free for a whole day. I want my energetic little monkey back. I want to see color in his face instead of that pale, glassy look of late.

I think we're getting there. I hope there are no surprises.


Anonymous said...

Ordinarily I wouldn't say much because probably I wouldn't have much experience. But two years ago my university student daughter (it was Canadian Thanksgiving) came down with a terrible chest infection. She was coughing badly all weekend and she had a fever. I knew it was becoming pneumonia but I also know it is unethical for me to write her a prescription for antibiotics. Also I was thinking, if she has to take time off from school, she'll need a doctor's note. Mom's note just won't wash. So I kept my mouth shut and took her to the doctor on Tuesday. 'Nope', the doctor claimed, 'it was just viral' something or other. I knew this wasn't right but I wasn't in a position to do anything. I took her back on Friday. The doctor did an 'ooops, I guess I didn't listen low down enough on the lungs on Tuesday'.........yup, I wanted to do some bodily damage at that point..... So the kid got the antibiotics and a confirmatory chest Xray. And a second week off school which pissed her off majorly since she missed an exam and handing in an essay.

Not impressive to say the least. It's not difficult to diagnose pneumonia. I think our doctor is an incompetent. Given the circumstances with publicly funded healthcare, right now it's almost impossible to get a new family doctor. So we are stuck with someone who is great so long as you don't actually get sick.

Pissed off? Was I? Oh baby! Pissed off is an understatement. Am I waiting for the doctor's diagnosis again? Not bloody likely. Last time there was a nasty bug (whose name I have now forgotten) was coming through town and the other kid got sick, mom had her prescription pad out. Forget it. I"m not sitting by watching my kids getting sicker and sicker because the doctors can't understand what they are supposed to be hearing with their stethoscopes.

I took the M.D. to task not too many years ago because when I was literally deathly ill with a fever of 108F (yes you read right: 108F) and don't ask me how it is that somehow I managed to survive being driven to her office and I didn't go into convulsions or a coma right there and then or survive at all, she didn't even have a (pardon me all you proper southern folks) f*cking thermometer to take my temperature. (*She's got one now. Too late though.) Because if she had done so she would have had to call an amubulance to take me to the hospital. Which maybe would have been a good thing or a bad thing given all the hospital acquired infections people are getting......

So, since that time I have literally had to re-wire my fried's been a long life...sigh....but finally I'm almost where I want to be except I've got middle age noun/proper name memory issues...(in case you read this maybe you can suggest some exercises?) Your the psychology specialist so you'd understand what all is involved in recovery: nost of all no. 1 is motivation and no. 2 is learning something totally unrelated to the other aspects of my life. Then add the physical stuff and keep going until I could do a 5 day overnighting backpacking hike with everything I needed strapped to my back (including a mickey of Jack Daniels of course. :O))

The M.D. has since actually invested in a thermometer.......oh wow....

.....unlike the ophthalmologist down the hall from my office who sent his secretary to find out if I had a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope.........oh freaking 'doh'....... sigh. (The medical profession in this province considers themselves so poorly remunerated that they feel they can't afford simple diagnostic equipment. Third worldish? Nah. Third world is actually better. Been there. Worked there. Done that.)

I'm ranting. So big deal. Bite me. I'm joining the Prednisone Club except I'm only on red wine. Too bad eh? Jealousy will get you nowhere: You can't have any....nya nyah....

I'm glad your son got diagnosed finally. It's terrible to watch our children be really really sick.


Anita said...


Wow. Your story is stunning. I cannot imagine the hell of seeing your child go through that... and then your FEVER! God GOD that's scary. I'm glad you've healed from it, but that is still scary!!! (And no, I'm not that kind of psychologist, but I would recommend doing crossword puzzles. They keep the mind nimble)

I do so wish I could join you with the red wine!!!


Anonymous said...

You are lucky you avoided the Pigg-O-Stat which is used to x-ray little kids...

Here's the link


apriljoy said...

You should never feel guilty or even remotely unsettled by having to take care of other life responsibilities, yes, even if it means cancelling a grad course. (omg, yes, even if it means that - teasing you teehee) Unplanned events and personal emergencies happen to everyone; we all have to cope with those things at some point. Anyone that expects otherwise is leaving themselves open to a rude awakening - life doesn't always go according to plan. That is the beauty and mystique of life.

I hope Conor is feeling much better. He's one lucky kid to have a mother like you.

Rachel said...

How is Conor doing? There haven't been any recent updates so I don't know if he is still ill or if you are just busy.