Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

 

“I hope we don’t see you for awhile,” the nurse said as she waved goodbye to me on my way out. This was the fourth trip I had made in one week to our pediatrician.

I laughed and replied, “I hope so, too, or I’m going to need my own parking spot soon!”

All three of my boys have started new schools this fall, and the for the two year old it’s his first time really out and about since the beginning of the pandemic. We’re building up immunity to these new germs, but it’s been a rough process. 

Colds, stomach bugs, and an ear infection have landed me in the doctor’s office more times this fall than I’d care to admit. COVID and strep tests have been on regular rotation. Oh, and we discovered the youngest is allergic to amoxicillin which was a fun weekend as you can imagine. 

So why do I tell you this? Because it reminds me of all the times I freaked out when they were babies. We had croup with a crazy high fever, food poisoning with poltergeist-level puke, and a hand foot and mouth rash that my jet-lagged brain was sure might be a reaction to a jelly fish sting when we first moved to Japan. But, we all survived! Even me. 

Kids get sick. Kids also get well pretty darn quickly most of the time. Being a parent is exhausting and not being able to help your sick child is one of the most helpless feelings. 

You might say I overreact and run to the doctor at the sign of every illness. I’m also the same woman, though, who had her four year old hold down one nostril and shoot a lodged Lego out of the other side rather than end up at the on-base ER one morning. Btw, that worked in case you find yourself in a similar predicament.

My advice which I have gathered over ten years of trips to urgent care for stitches in a chin, recurring ear infections, and yes, a day’s worth of nurse triage calls is that when in doubt call the doctor. Maybe they’ll tell you to stay home and keep your child comfortable while you monitor them like my amoxicillin scare. Maybe you’ll end up in a waiting room 10 minutes later. Even if you leave a visit with the reassurance that it’s “just a virus”, you’ll get some piece of mind. And, if your kids are like mine, they’ll leave the office with a lollipop. Everyone wins.

So wash your hands. Cough in your elbow. And keep that doctor’s office on your Favorites list in your cell phone. Here’s to a happy and healthy rest of cold and flu season!

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