When is sick enough for emergency?

Filed under: Just For Moms, Toddlers Preschoolers

My Mom's pneumonia is clinging on like a bad smell, dirt adhering stubbornly to the bottom of the family shoe. Atypical, the doctors say, this antibiotic isn't working. We'll find new medication for you next time. It's not contagious. It might be contagious. Sleep and drink lots of fluid.

I've been keeping a close eye on my son, who seems strangely pre-disposed to fevers at night and first thing in the morning, pushing cars and zooming toy motorbikes between bouts of red-rimmed eyes and shallow breathing. I am hoping he hasn't caught whatever weird pneumonia my Mom has acquired. Last night he tossed, feverish, toddler perspiration sticking to his hair and forming tangled blond curls. Randomly, he would burst forth with words: bike, toe, kitty, mommy, no, mommy no. I slept with him beside me, watching him through silent eyes, wishing I could simply take it out of him and bear the weight of it myself. In the morning, he was alarmingly hot. I called my Mom, who said, "You don't mess with pneumonia. Take him to emerg."

And so we sat for hours between a wailing woman with a migraine and a man who had been in a jarring accident that must have involved payment, and I pointed to healthy nature, outside. I sang songs about Fergie and her ridiculous lady humps because I can never remember nursery rhymes when I need them.

After eternity had passed, a grim Doctor felt Nolan's head, inquired after his fever, and quickly told me to give him some Tylenol and some rest.

"He doesn't have pneumonia," he said
"But how do you know?" I wanted to ask,"Why does he keep getting this fever, night after night? He is not acting like himself."

It felt like the Doctor was giving me a pat on the head, aww, paranoid mother, you are silly, I must tend to Motorcycle Man. And then I felt silly, but a fever can be serious, and his Nana had some serious pneumonia.

I left the hospital, Nolan listless with his head on my shoulder, kitty dragging along the grass. I'll give him Tylenol and watch him sleep at 3:00 AM and if I am worried, I will go again. Paranoid is better than sorry.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.