I like to think I’m pretty unflappable when it comes to basic parenting things. Screaming babies? No issue. Does that cut need stitches? I can tell in a glance. Vomiting? I’m fourteen miles away before the kid finishes. Yes, vomiting is my Achilles Heel.
Maura getting sick, however, brings out the best and most anxious in me. My husband (who has had to clean up all the vomit in the past 17 years) stood amazed one time when I sat, with Maura on my lap, as she threw up in a towel that I held. He was all “Wow, I can’t believe you’re managing that.” and I was all “Yeah, I know, I can’t believe it either.”
But it’s Maura. That child who makes me go the distance – or hold a vomit towel.
She also makes me go into Level Orange Anxiety Mode – I blame that one Easter, where she developed a raging ear infection, which caused a high fever and seizures. Not seizures caused by fever – the seizing happened before she had the fever. No, that was the year we discovered that infections can cause breakthrough seizures. It was also one of those holidays we spent quality time at the local ER so she could get IV antibiotics (as she kept throwing up all her meds.) Maura maybe has 1-2 tonic-clonic seizures a year (aka grand mal) – that time, she was having them daily. Hence why I now can’t see her get sick without going on high alert.
Luckily, she doesn’t get sick much. Really, Maura’s quite healthy except for that pesky seizure issue.
So Sunday morning, Maura gets up and stumbles into the kitchen, glassy eyed and flushed. I immediately do the Mom Thermometer (you know, feel her forehead and back of neck for temperature gauging) and realize she’s feverish. I get the ear thermometer, that tells me that once again, my Mom Hands are right. Maura’s looking hot and parched, so we shove the seizure meds and some Motrin in her mouth, then hand her a water bottle full of ice water. She guzzles that down and then a moment later…it all starts coming back up.
You know how cats hack up a hairball, with that fifteen second warning of noise? Maura’s actually quite like that. I was across the room however, and didn’t quite catch what was happening until Miriam said “Maura, you okay?”
And then it started.
Now, Maura doesn’t get the concept of vomiting, and praise God and all the saints in heaven, she rarely does vomit. So when she started vomiting, she wasn’t sure why her body was rejecting the meds and water she guzzled down. She did get that she should aim for the trash can as Josh directed. So while Miriam and I stood there going “EW!”, Maura threw up in the garbage can.
When her body was done betraying her, Maura threw both arms up in the air and yelled “I’M ALIVE!!!! I’M ALLLLIVE!!!!”
Yes, Maura can even turn vomiting in a garbage can into a most hilarious moment.
So we rearranged the living room so she could lay down on one loveseat and still see the computer with all the Netflix, and started a Phineas and Ferb marathon while I hovered around her, placing a bowl here, towels on the floor there, watching for any twitching that might be a seizure starting (since she threw up her seizure meds, and a raging ear infection once caused seizures to break through). Meanwhile, Maura went from fine to sick to sad and pathetic to being able to take Motrin to feeling better to fading and back to glassy eyed. I looked up different childhood illnesses (hand, foot, mouth, Fifth’s Disease) to make sure her very flushed cheeks weren’t a sign of it. And we watched all of Season 3 of Phineas and Ferb.
That’s when I learned we hadn’t seen a lot of episodes of Phineas and Ferb while we were in Ireland. I think I’m caught up now.
The next morning, she was still feeling horrible, and wouldn’t eat jello. Jello. She loves jello. But she kept pointing to her throat. So I called the pediatrician and we took her in yesterday afternoon.
Maura was still pathetic, and falling asleep sitting up, and getting weepy over the doctor listening to her heart. Her ears were clear, her lungs were good, but her throat was a little red.
The doctor wanted to do a strep test.
I had visions of us having to pin the girl down as she kicked and flailed.
I have got to stop underestimating my daughter.
While she wasn’t thrilled at the idea of a strep test, when push came to shove, she was her usual rock star self. Honestly, she did better than I’ve ever done. She didn’t even blink while being swabbed and then was all “Woohoo! I’m awesome!”
No, really, she said that.
She’s right you know. That girl is awesome.
Five minutes later, we find out the little carrier monkey does indeed have strep throat. Which made me feel better – strep throat comes with antibiotics, and is normal and as I told Miriam “No one dies of strep throat.” . It also means that the medicine would start taking effect quickly, and she’ll be feeling better soon and seizure risks will go back down to normal levels. Which means I don’t have to hover over her all night and I can sleep as well.
We like sleep.
I had also sent Maura’s seizure meds in for refill at Walgreen’s, and went to pick up both meds yesterday evening. The guy behind the counter got my prescriptions, rang them up, and went to read the total – $457 plus change. He looked at the number and said “HOLY COW!”
The amoxicillin was $5. The rest was the Trileptal.
I had to laugh at his reaction. Which was pretty much my first reaction as well. I said “Yep, $224 a bottle and a bottle lasts 20 days.”
He was still in “HOLY COW!” mode. “And that’s a refill???” he asked.
“Yep. I like to think this will just get us to that deductible faster.”
He shook his head. “At this rate, you should be there by now.”
“Almost.” I said. I didn’t mention that it’ll be just in time for the new year, and we’ll be back at $0 come January.
Instead, I just enjoyed the moment of watching the pharmacist be as shocked as I was over the cost of Maura’s meds.
We have warned the school about Maura’s carrier monkey status, and she’s sleeping in right now. As she should. I can now catch up on life again maybe, and stop doing things that make me think “My chiropractor would yell at me for doing this…” – like sleeping on a loveseat, or hefting a child who’s almost as tall as me up.
Maybe I’ll even get Christmas cards out…