The four-year-old woke up, sobbing and clutching his ear, at 4:30 this morning, and is currently at the doctor in his fuzzy pink pajamas. Possibly still sobbing. And all because Rachel said, not two days ago, “And Rowan has grown out of his ear infections!”
Okay, after three hours of my life lost to the emergency ward, three hours that I will never get back, I am suitably chastened: it was not an ear infection. It is, of course, most likely influenza. And it is not Rachel’s fault. It is my fault, for saying only yesterday to a friend, “Nope, we haven’t ever had to rush either of our kids to the hospital.” Maybe it was her fault for asking in the first place.
“Just to be prudent,” after seeing Rowan this morning and ruling out an ear infection, our doctor sent us to the ER to see a full-fledged pediatrician and to rule out meningitis. And, of course, when your doctor says “meningitis,” you jump.
And, of course, as our GP predicted he would, Rowan perked up the moment we walked through the ER doors. Still in pink fuzzy pajamas, trailing his blanket. He ate his way through all the snacks we brought and bought, watched Wallace and Gromit movies, and fell in love with Jennifer, the clinician who finally assessed him. “Is she coming back?” he kept asking. “When is she coming back?”
And, aside from the waiting — and you have to wait, because, to do otherwise would be imprudent, and imprudence can lead to guilt and second-guessing, neither of which is useful — it wasn’t all so bad. We played “Who’s the mom?” with about a dozen people; only the intake nurse seemed slightly miffed by our standard, “We both are.” But she had seemed miffed from the get-go, so I didn’t get too huffy about that. When we did see the pediatrician, he was thorough and cordial, as was his student. And Rowan was a model of cooperation — charmed the pants off them both.
So, the flu. As the doctor said, it will probably get worse before it gets better. Welcome to the weekend.