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Just Say No…

July 27th, 2009

… to WebMD.

Seriously.   Kenny woke up this morning with a stiff neck.   It was the first thing he said when he got out of bed.   An hour later he had a respectable fever, and two hours after that was sound asleep in his bed, covers under his chin.   The kid hasn’t napped since I was pregnant with Cooper.

He woke up two hours later crying hysterically about his neck hurting.   I started thinking about meningitis (I am so hooked on TV hospital dramas), and Googled his symptoms.   Hm.   He had all of them but photo-sensitivity.   I made him come outside and stand in the sun with me.   He started wailing that the light hurt his eyes.   Panic set in.

I called his doctor’s office and they told me to give him some motrin and bring him in for the last appointment of the day.   He was so pathetic, lying there on the couch.   “Carry me, Mama…” he whimpered.   When it was time to go, I took Cooper to the car and came back for Kenny, then started calling friends on the 20 minute ride to the pediatricians’ office to find someone who could watch Cooper, just in case I suddenly found myself going to the hospital.   One of Kenny’s old babysitters was home, and I dropped off The Coop, who looked at me like I was insane as I plopped him into a veritable stranger’s arms.   Kenny spent most of the car ride barfing into an Orioles hat (it was a freebie) and it was so full and soaked through that I tossed it into a dumpster in the parking lot.

By the time we got into the exam room, though, he was on all four cylinders: Motrin-jazzed to the hilt.   The doctor walked in and said, “He doesn’t have meningitis.   He doesn’t even look sick!”   She examined him and said, “Garden variety virus.   He’ll get a little worse when the sun goes down.   Keep up the Motrin.”

Whew.   I hate you, WebMD!

I picked up Cooper, and our babysitter, along with her three siblings, both parents and a  cousin met us at the door.   (It was dinner time, did I mention that?)   They are one of the most loving families I know and apparently all wanted to play with “the baby” but Cooper wouldn’t let anyone but our babysitter hold him.   I guess he figured that since I handed him to her, she must be safe, right?

We got home and Kenny, who hadn’t eaten all day, downed three plates of spaghetti, then stayed up through the fifth inning of the O’s game on TV before deciding that it was time for a little shut-eye.     I had to phone into a meeting I was supposed to attend, and laid in the bed with Kenny and my cell phone on mute, stroking his hair while he asked me 101 questions about baseball, barfing and boogymen.

Now I stare, spent, at a really messy house.   I pretty much let Cooper get into anything he wanted all day while I doted on Kenny, and now I face the consequences.     At least all’s well that ends well…


  1. Crisanne says

    Don’t feel badly, neck pain paired with fever is a scarey thing. Even Jeff reacts to that one, and he doesn’t react to much illness. I hope he feels better in the morning and that the rest of you stay well. I’m also glad you got a reason for Cooper’s unhappiness. Not every kid shows those tell tale signs. We had the same thing happen with Claire. I learned to take extreme fussiness as a reason for alarm with her.

    July 27th, 2009 | #

  2. kaydee says

    You are not alone with this experience! My son Daniel is grumpy and doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense the day before he starts to show symptoms. Don’t worry about the house. I’ve gotten to the point where I really have to accept that a clean house isn’t the most important thing in my life. You’ve kept your priorities in the right place with the children first!

    July 28th, 2009 | #

  3. KS says

    Hooray for a happy ending! The possibility of menengitis, especially with a child is scary. Kudos for taking him to the hospital to atleast get checked out.

    It’s good that they were able to discover it wasn’t menengitis before doing testing. Sometimes doctors can be quick to jump the gun on certain tests it seems, before examining all other possible alternatives.

    I remember going to the hospital for similar symptoms (minus a couple) last year, and signed the waiver to get the spinal tap which is the only way menengitis can be tested for. It was the worst experience and painful. and I can’t imagine a child getting it done. To boot, I had the spinal tap headache as a result of the fluid leaking (can be common, even after epidurals as well) for a week and had to go get a blood patch (take blood with huge needles, from my arms and inject it into the spinal site to clot the hole).

    Ugh, I’d rather have went through child birth again.

    July 29th, 2009 | #

  4. Lisa says

    Yay, happy ending! I try to avoid going to internet sites these days when my son is sick. I feel like the only things that are posted or written about are the most horrible situations. I suppose writing about a garden variety flu isn’t very exciting reading.

    Now I just ask my mother, call the doctor and hold on tight to my panic.

    Lisa 🙂

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  5. Lyndsey says

    I’ve passed on a blog award to you! Come by my blog to pick it up! I think you have a HILARIOUS blog!

    July 30th, 2009 | #

  6. Billie says

    Don’t Believe Everything You Hear!
    I have listened to doctors, teachers, counselors as well as social workers dish out advice about our children and some of it is well taken, but all must be critically perused and evaluated by us, were the mommies! Who could possible know our children better than we do?
    Some children have adverse reactions to sugar and some do not, however experts would like to paint all children with the same broad brush. Teenagers having problems in school is a good example. The first direction the experts seem to like to pursue is Attention Deficit. However a wise individual would first pursue the basics such as: Are their marital problems in the home or some type of alcohol or drug abuse? Is the child fighting thru Identity issues such as sexuality? These are just a few of the possibilities that could be causing children problems and us Mommies and Daddy’s need to make sure everything is being addressed before we push it off on a medical condition. I’m not saying we don’t look at everything; however it seems we live in a society that loves to turn directly to medication to solve a problem! Just watch the evening news and I’m sure you will see what I mean. The drug companies are now pursuing us directly to get us to ask our doctors for their drugs! The government likes to preach “Just Say No to Drugs”, and then they pitch them at every opportunity!
    My 16 year old was being tortured by mean girls via email and was heartbroken. She was having some acne issues as we all did but they were extremely mean to her in nature. It was not easy but I found a site that carries Cyber Bully Alerts warning the children to STOP sending these emails as they are being watched and logged and will be prosecuted. We all know what this kind of meanness can lead to with teen suicides and all. I found the cards at hate cards dot net and they did the trick! The torture stopped for Sarah and that was good enough for me. We need to find ways to overcome and adapt to protect our kids.
    We can care for runny noses and chapped bottoms, but we must look out for our babies through high school and educate them to think for themselves until they learn too!
    At Home Mom in MN

    August 8th, 2009 | #

  7. Gwen says

    I’m so glad everything turned out okay. You feel so helpless when your child is sick. There are so many different possibilities when it comes to kid’s illnesses. My mother tells me that when I was a toddler, my fever got so high they had to pack me in ice. The doctor ordered a blood test, but whoever did it somehow messed something up and they never did find out what caused it. The next day, I was fine, like nothing had ever happened.

    August 9th, 2009 | #

  8. Henlee says

    I agree with you Gwen. We really feel helpless if our kids are sick..But it was nice everything is fine now..

    August 27th, 2009 | #

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