When sickness plagues the doorstep of a child, the internal gnashing of Mommy teeth begins, and the most treacherous, dreaded question of all Mommyhood must be addressed.
To take the child to the doctor or not.
The arguments begin like this…
1. If I take my kid to the doctor, am I going to be labeled as the HypochondriParent?
2. Or if I resist the urge of the doctor visit, will I eventually find out that my child now has a busted eardrum or pneumonia or the Bubonic Plague and then I will have to live with guilt for the rest of my life, as I nurse them perpetually due to their lifelong side effects?
3. Or am I going to take my child in, find out it’s viral and therefore nothing can be done, but while we’re there, allow said child to pick up a germ o’Stomach Virus?
4. Or is my child just going to get sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker for the rest of their life, all because I’m too much of a wuss to risk being the HypochondriParent!?!
5. Or am I going to go in, sit for hours in the waiting room and/or patient room, and literally watch my child heal automatically as they bounce off the walls and act as if nothing had ever been the matter with them?
Oh, the angst.
And then, when you try to explain the minimum of twenty Thought Process U-Turns to your husband regarding this Monumental Decision, you can literally watch him dying a little bit on the inside as he glazes over and replaces your audio frequency with a football game that occurred seven years ago.
Fortunately for me, my Pediatrician is super awesome and hip and understands the needs of the Modern Paranoid Mother (the MPM), and actually lets me email her for advice about when and when not to bring the kid in.
Which just means I then have to worry about whether or not I’m the HypochondriEmailingParent.
So sometimes, I grit my teeth, tell myself that I can make it without emailing or going in or taking my kid to the ER because I convince myself in the middle of the night that they have a nasty mixture of Rubella, Pertussis, and Croup, and just wait for them to miraculously recover from their minor cough and sniffles.
I CAN DO THIS.
It’s hard. It takes persistence and commitment and a complete resistance to all WebMD searches. But if it succeeds, there is nothing in the world that is more rewarding than when they actually start to get better.
On their own.
Without any medical intervention.
Without a co-pay.
Without confirming that it’s just viral.
Without exposure to more germs.
A couple of weeks ago, I experienced such ecstasy. And I am STILL patting myself on the back about it.
Noah woke up laughing, and replaced his cough with giggles.
It was as if angels were shining down upon me. I could nearly hear the heavenly choruses praising me for my excellent discernment in parenting.
And then, even Noah found it in his heart to reward my hard work. He took a ….. four hour nap.
Although I felt unworthy of the ecstasy of that moment (and those four hours), I reminded myself: I EARNED IT.