When Nicholas was little, mosquitoes would traverse the continent to find him and imbibe his blood as if it were Château-Lafite Rothschild, vintage 1982. He developed a terrible allergy, which caused each bite to become a huge blister. The first time this happened, I was so alarmed I rushed to the Family Medicine Clinic, arriving just as they were closing for the day. I pleaded with the receptionist to get a doctor or nurse to have a look at my poor, suffering baby. A very grumpy doctor came out, took one look at the blister, and shooed me away as if I were an annoying mosquito.
I learned my lesson. When a mosquito bit him on the ear and it began to swell so badly he looked like a lopsided, exaggerated version of Alfred E. Neuman, I knew better than to take him into the hospital. We happened to be going to a birthday party that day for a child whose parent was a doctor. Almost all of the parents at the party were, in fact, doctors. As soon as we walked through the door, their mouths fell open and they swarmed around Nicholas, clucking and murmuring to each other in hushed tones as they examined him. One of them immediately called in a prescription. Once again I felt like a chump, but this time like a negligent chump.
More recently, Nicholas stubbed his toe. He hollered like a crazed banshee for a solid hour. When blood started dripping from my eardrums, I decided I had to take him into the ER. After hours and hours of waiting around in triage, we finally saw a doctor. I’m not going to lie. There was some ill-concealed eye-rolling. I suppose I should be grateful that they managed not to snicker in our faces. We were summarily: DISMISSED!
So this time, when Nicholas came home with his arm dangling uselessly by his side, I thought I’d wait it out to see if he’d snap out of it. Two days later when he was still not using his arm and howled every time someone brushed up against him, it was clear that it was time to visit our friends in the ER again. It turns out that he probably has a fracture. When the nurse asked me when the injury occurred and I confessed that it had happened a couple days before, she pressed her lips together and didn’t say anything. I’m pretty sure she was debating whether or not to call Social Services right then and there. It’s a miracle I wasn’t handcuffed and made to do the perp walk of shame right out of there.
How is it that no matter what decision I make regarding my child’s medical care, it’s ALWAYS the wrong one?!
Nicholas will be seeing an orthopedist today and I’ll give the full report tomorrow. For now, I’m just going to go hang my head in shame.