Another Day at the Doctor’s Office

On New Year’s Day G woke up not feeling well. He ran a high fever all day and night the first day and most of the day on Sunday. His fever broke on Monday but I decided I wanted the pediatrician to see him before his surgery to make sure his lungs are okay. People who have Cerebral Palsy are at a high risk for developing pneumonia because they usually don’t have strong breath support and can’t effectively cough to keep their lungs clear. Thank God we have avoided pneumonia and antibiotics with G so far but it is always lurking in the back of my mind when he gets sick.

T and I loaded G up and took him to see his doctor after lunch today. The office was packed because they had just opened up after lunch. After waiting in a long line I was greeted by a sign that said:

If your child has had or is having the following symptoms please let us know so we can provide you with a mask. Fever, Sore Throat, stomach ache, diarhea, ear ache, stuffy nose, achy joints.

I tell the nurse he has been exposed to flu, has all the symptoms of flu, and that I am pretty sure he has had the flu. She gave me a mask and said let him wear this to keep him from catching anything else but if you can’t get him to wear it don’t worry about it. I try to get G to wear the mask, T tries to get him to wear it but G is dead set against it.

I begin to talk the mask up after getting to the waiting room. “Oh, G look this mask has cute little cartoon band aids on it. It looks just like a doctor wears when they do surgery.”

“I won’t wear it.”

“But G you can wear it and pretend like you are a doctor, don’t you want to be a doctor?”

“No, I don’t want to be a doctor. I want to be a psychologist.”

At this point I along with two other mothers in the waiting area begin to giggle. T doesn’t seem to think it is very funny and even proceeds to tell me, “Mom, stop laughing, it’s really not that funny.” I still say it was hilarious and very unusual for a 7 year old to say he wants to be a psychologist.

Immediately after this statement by G we get called back and are put into a room. The nurse returns and asks her routine questions then says, “G you know what I need to do now. I have to take your temperature. I know you don’t like it but if you will sit still it will just take a minute.” He really does not like having his temperature taken, his ears examined, his nose or throat looked at, or his eyes examined. He doesn’t pitch a fit when it is required he just covers his ears and wiggles when they attempt to do any of those things. The nurse managed to get the temperature pretty easy without much fuss. The next thing she needed was a nasal swab for the flu test which took a little more effort on both our parts.

The pediatrician and her student assistant come in and confirm he does have the flu. His doctor goes into her usual spill about G’s vulnerability and her desire to err on the side of caution when it comes to him. Then she said it. The thing I knew she was going to say but dreaded hearing. “I think we should not do surgery on Thursday. It is just too soon.” Without missing a beat G says in a really sarcastic voice, “Thanks Fever, now I can’t have my surgery!” Needless to say the two doctors and I had a good laugh at this amazingly funny little boy who reacted like he was missing out on Disneyland instead of major surgery.


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