Sunday, July 10, 2005

What Not to Do with Your Friday Night

We're in toddler illness world, again. The land of roller coaster temperatures, boundless energy followed by comatose crash followed by boundless energy. The land where all sticky sweet cherry red or glow-in-the-dark orange medicines end up on clothes, bedding, legs, hair, stuffed animals, anywhere but in the belly. The land where all inquiries about "what hurts?" are answered "Nuffin" but even the favorites of olives, pickles and ice cream are met with a turned up nose. Although Fritos in the ER waiting room are quite delectable.

And how do I know about the Fritos in the ER waiting room? Because that is where my family spent its Friday night. After a day of escalating temperatures unaffected by Motrin or Tylenol, when the temperature reached 106.5, the doctor said "Take him to the ER, I'll call the pediatric resident and put him on alert."

We got there. We were triaged. We ate Fritos and drank vending machine lemonade while waiting to be shown inside. We were ushered into the inner sanctum right after the man who'd been conked in the head with a racquetball.

Once inside, we rated a bed in the hallway, directly across from the woman with the kidney infection who has been married 17 years but still has to answer questions about sexual partners, in the hallway, less than two feet away from us. We were blessed with a relatively attentive nurse, while we put in our two-hour wait for the ER doc. Then there was the chest x-ray that no amount of coaxing could convince JR was just a "fun picture," especially with both of us clad in leather aprons. And finally, a 6-hour wait for the pediatric resident who, yes indeed, had known from the beginning that we were there.

All of this to learn that whatever he has, it's (Thank God!) viral. Nothing to be done but ride out the storm. Motrin, Tylenol, warm baths when temp gets too high. Let him eat whatever he wants. Ride it out.

Feverish day 3 is over, on to day 4.

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