“Tricia, before you go, choose a different urgent care. Just leave the other one behind you.”
Why did it take me three years to give this some consideration? To realize there are perhaps other facilities more urgent than the pediatrician but less emergent than the hospital emergency room? That in the case of a near-emergency I could take my family somewhere other than the place where Robb and I spent his last day?
No kidding. Well, how ’bout that. Sign me up.
Tuck has this pretty extreme pain in his left eye, partnerned with a variety of sad symptoms like fever and nausea and a disheartened spirit. But the eye pain was a pretty consistent situation, eventually working its way up the ladder right past the vomit I was cleaning up.
(It’s hard for invisible pain to pass up the projectile kind.)
It turns out he has a pretty serious eye infection. Not pink eye, and not really anything to do with his eyeball itself. So he’s not a walking contagion, which is good for all of us. (Can I get an Amen?) But a pretty serious infection in his eyelid and eye socket. The tissue around his eye.
So the urgent care doctor sat me down and very seriously said, “I need for you to pay close attention to this. If he’s not well by dinner time, I need you to go to the ER. This is a staph infection in his eye socket, which is close to his eyeball which is close to his brain. There is a risk of meningitis, and infection can spread quickly.”
Yes, ma’am. I am no stranger to all of the above. And it is thanks to three years of therapy and a cocktail of anti-anxiety medications and some serious mental training, I am still vertical and engaged and listening to you right now, very kind doctor with kind eyes.
Tucker is on his first dose of a kick-A antibiotic right now. And we have until dinnertime to see some seriously rapid improvement.
I’m trying to remember and focus on what I know to be true: How many people do I know who have died in twelve hours because of an infection? Just one. How many people do I know who haven’t? Endless numbers followed by infinite zeroes. But my heart goes right to the one who did.
Come on, spleen and antibiotics. Do your thing.
I should wear a sign on my neck that says, “With regard to any medical advice, I’m going to believe exactly what you tell me. So please be literal, not figurative. Please speak in measurable terms, and please do not exaggerate. Do not worry that I will not take you seriously. Because I promise to take you seriously.”
I followed the directions of the Urgent Care physician and took Tucker to the ER tonight when nothing had changed or improved. At which point the general consensus among the ER staff is that antibiotics are not miracle drugs and cannot work in less than two days, and I should give him ice as needed even though the Urgent Care said to apply heat.
For crying out loud. I argued and persisted in my kindest ways. In every way I know how – and in some ways I don’t – I asked, “Are you sure? Really sure? Because you realize I’ve been told this before and it didn’t go as they said it would go?”
Finally the pediatrician said, “Ma’am, I’m telling you what I would do for my own child. I promise you.”
And so we are home, settled in with easter candy and regular doses of Motrin and Tylenol and Augmentin and out-takes from iCarly. And I am asking every five seconds, “How’s the pain now, Tuck? And how about now?”
Right now, on a scale of 1-10, he says his pain is 0. Motrin is our friend.
He is expected to make a full recovery.