Wes has been coughing like a seal since we got back from our Tour of the Midwest and has had a few fevers added in for fun here and there since Monday, but yesterday was the day we were at school supply dropoff when I looked at him in the stroller after I noticed he wasn't up and running around the classroom like I would have expected and saw his sad eyes and just KNEW something was really wrong. Sure enough after we walked home (so glad I forced him to ride in the stroller and not ride his bike because of his cough) he had a temperature of 102.4. And last night was the night he woke up four or five times, confused and miserable to the point of tears. Waking your parents up multiple times a night is how a middle child gets himself taken to the doctor.
They got me in at nine and we all loaded up and drove down there by eight fifty. Wes experienced a miraculous healing in the minivan during our drive. He popped out of the car and bounced across the parking lot and sprinted up the ramp to the door. His voice was still very hoarse, but he was not acting sick. I do love the healing power of scheduling a pediatrician visit.
I was paying our copay when both boys ran out of the sick waiting room whining at full volume about how the TV wasn't on. When I suggested they look out the window instead Charlie died a dramatic death on the disgusting floor and wailed "But that's so boooooorrrrriiiinnnnggg." I suggested that he get up and behave appropriately or we would not be stopping for donuts on the way home. That did the trick for the next forty five seconds or so before the complaining resumed.
Wes was still not acting sick and was jumping around the waiting room like it was a bounce house. Charlie was lying across a row of chairs by this point in great turmoil over the loss of his ten-minute segment of Finding Nemo. James was thrashing around trying to free himself from the stroller. It was a special time.
I was happy, if only for the change in scenery, when they called us back to the Second Level of Hell, i.e. the eight by eight examination room. Thus began a twenty minute period of getting James on the exam table, getting James off the exam table, getting James on the exam table, making Wes sit down on the chair the right way, reading a story, getting James off the table, telling James to close that cabinet right now, telling Charlie to stop touching the tongue depressors, and asking Wes if he really was sick, as if there was a way at this point to walk out of here like nothing had happened. No dice.
The doctor asked about his week and listened to him breathe and cough and diagnosed him with croup. Since Wes was branded with a scarlet B, for bronchiolitis, when he was ten months old, this means he gets the pulse ox and a bonus dose of steroids and some antibiotics because of a weird strain of pneumonia that's been going around. Oh. OK. So he really is sick. Good to know. The doctor said to call if anyone else in the family gets sick and I wanted to tell her that yes, if Charlie coughs even ONCE in the next seventy-two hours I will be bringing him up here for the full oxygen tent, steroid injection, acupuncture workup. This child cannot be sick on Monday.
And if he wasn't acting sick before, he sure is grouchy following the steroid dose. Halfway home he started loudly accusing Charlie of taking all the rainbow sprinkles off his donut. He was insistent. I'm inclined to believe Charlie who A)Had his own donut to eat and B)Is terrified of bad germs and would not touch a piece of food that had been near Wes's mouth if it was the last morsel of nutrition on earth. At any rate, we're home, he's back to not acting sick but can't go anywhere or do anything, and I am incredibly glad it's almost the weekend.