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The illness and the wellness

Written by: Josh November 07 2011 It’s been a long week. A rollercoaster ride of doctor visits, nervous anticipation, hushed grumblings and desperation tactics. The other day, Bub crawled into his room and poked his head around a few seconds later with his fikey in his mouth, and I didn’t even protest. It’s been hard...

Written by: Josh

It’s been a long week. A rollercoaster ride of doctor visits, nervous anticipation, hushed grumblings and desperation tactics.

The other day, Bub crawled into his room and poked his head around a few seconds later with his fikey in his mouth, and I didn’t even protest. It’s been hard on all of us.

It all started I guess about just over a weeks ago, when we took him in for his one year checkup. He had been coughing since the day before, which of course we told the doctor about. He took a listen to his chest.

“Yep, he’s got a little cough.” Next topic.

Thanks, Doc, but that’s what I said. How about you give me thirty bucks, and we’ll be on our way? Okay, then, let’s talk about his teeth, or distinct lack therof. We think he’s teething.

“Yep, he’s got no teeth. They’ll come in.” Wow, this guy was like an anti-psychic.

Perhaps this was some sort of physician's sarcasm (my least favorite kind) or maybe reverse psychology, we couldn’t be sure. Either way, it was clear that our worries, while not assuaged, were at least quashed. Ol’ doc takes longer to warm up than my old K Car.

Bub eventually won him over with his infectious smile, his adorable jibber-jabber. As for us … we were there to be judged. I think it’s every parent’s secret fear that you will one day take your child to the doctor, only to have him/her confiscated by Social Services based on the damning evidence in that little black book. Okay, maybe that’s just my secret fear. I’m here to share.

Seriously, though, you do feel like you’re being openly assessed on how interactive your baby is, how skinny he is, what kind of shoes he wears, cleanliness of attire. Doctors must see babies in a very mechanical way. Yep, she’s got a rattle (no pun intended). Leaking a little fluid. Needs new brake pads. Cash or charge?

I’m not saying they’re jaded, they just need to be efficiently objective. I actually appreciate our warmed-up doc’s approach. He doesn’t sugarcoat, doesn’t mince words, rarely speculates. Sergeant Joe Friday in a white coat. He said his growth curve was normal, the blue ribbon of parenting. All was right and good in Senor Bub’s mundo. This was a wellness visit, and he was well.

And then we were back the next week. Bub had had a fever off and on for a few days. We called, they said ibuprofen and hugs. We did that, still he didn’t seem right. Maybe it was a reaction to the four shots he got last week. Maybe he was teething. Maybe he was expressing his inner angst. We hemmed, we hawed, we bided time, we analyzed.
My wife is more impulsive than I—she was ready for the E.R., I was ready for a nap. We offset each other nicely. In the end, we caved and took him in. Different doctor, so I was denied my expected ‘Yep, he’s sick’ diagnosis.

Long story short, he was fine. Doc said he might have roseola (which until that moment I thought was an Italian bistro), he might have the onset of a cold, he might be teething. Basically, her guess was as good as mine. But he checked out.

So, I don’t know, there are different morals you can draw from this little narrative. The first is: Trust your instincts! You know your baby better than anyone. You know when something is amiss; you just have to decide how far amiss it actually is. The second is that confirmation of what you already suspect (baby’s fine) and peace of mind is totally worth thirty bucks.