Since I’ve been sick, my mind has been focused on health, wellness, and disease. Well, also heating bills, the messy house, and whether the Maiden will ever learn to put away her toys without being asked (probably not), but primarily sickness, doctors, and medicine.
When I was in high school, biology was my most loathed subject. In fact, I specifically went to law school so that I could avoid studying medicine.
Then, in a totally-not-funny-but-actually-hilarious turn of fate, I gave birth to an asthmatic, allergic kid. The waiting room became my classroom. Which is not always a bad thing; during our time spent in and out of doctors’ offices and the ER, I’ve learned some universal medical truths that no med school anywhere will teach you:
- Your wait time will always be double the number of minutes that the back-breaking sack of books, games, and snacks you brought along can last you. Also, that super-cool new app you downloaded because all your friends’ kids played it for hours? Five. Freaking. Minutes.
- No matter how sick your child is, there will always be one who’s sicker. And the the more contagious the other kid, the more interested your kid will be in becoming her new BFF. Complete with the ritual sharing of lollipops, of course.
- Before you leave home, your child could be delirious with fever, lying listless on the couch and refusing even candy and Cinderella marathons. But the second you set foot in the ER, she is on the ground, bouncing off walls like a mad fool. The nurses see the blur as she zips by, say “Hypochondriac mama,” and put you at the bottom of the list.
- Then, of course, by the time you do get seen by the doctor, she’s either recovered on her own (only to relapse the second you get home), or gotten so bad that she needs to be hospitalized for the entire weekend.
- You will need a change of clothes for the whole family. Climbing the ER walls exacerbates coughing, which results in children puking cinnamon cookie-scented barf all over themselves, you, and the overpriced do-not-wash-this doll, which it was not your idea to bring along.
- Hospital floors are dirty. But after two hours of sitting in the outpatient room, you will probably allow your child to step on it, crawl on it, drool on it, and drop their doll on it. You won’t go so far as to give her back the muffin she threw down, but if she doesn’t stop screaming in five seconds you might be very, very tempted to do so.
- Your kid loves medicine and doctors and wants to be a surgeon, but she will complain, squirm, and possibly scream bloody murder when it’s her turn to go under the knife. I mean needle. You may be required to submit to a blood draw to show the kid that the doctor isn’t a disguised vampire. He does look a little pale . . .
- Finally, despite all the whining when she has to go see the doc, when you’re the one who needs to be seen she turns into a screaming hellion because she wants the doctor to check her, she is very very sick **fake cough fake cough* when is it my turn pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaase. On the other hand, the doctor sees you, pities you, and prescribes you a stronger dose, so that’s all good.
What would be even better, though? A clean bill of health. Oh, and I’ll take an “A” in Med School 101, too.