Monday, April 22, 2024

That escalated quickly

 I was having a FINE TIME on Friday. A little frantic, sure, as the end of the week often is, especially the end of the week near the end of the semester. BUT FINE. Ben was out of town for a work thing, but everyone got to school on time. The house looked mostly OK (even though I didn't change anyone's sheets all week-- don't worry, I changed five freaking kid beds on Saturday); laundry was basically caught up. I did a TON of work on future classes last week, so I really needed to spend my preschool hours in the grade cave. And I did! Harry came home to get changed for a tennis invitational meet and eat a late breakfast. I took a walk, worked on my adjunct classes, graded my freaking face off, updated by 2024 tracking docs, defrosted some chocolate chip brioche to make baked french toast for kid dinner and thought about seeing if Ben wanted to go out when he got back to town. THINGS WERE FINE.

Then I picked Minnie up from preschool, and the moment she saw me on the playground, she started screaming and crying that both of her ears hurt.


I should note that she was sick AGAIN last weekend (super high fever on Saturday-- that did not break for 24 hours despite meds-- and a headache). She was OK on Monday (had been fever-free for 24 hours by then), but she got a yucky cough and a runny nose), so Ben took her to see her pediatrician on Wednesday to ask why she is sick all the time. The doc said she thinks it's just preschool germs, but she'll do some bloodwork if things don't work themselves out this spring/summer. She also referred us to the ENT (who called me as I was checking Jack in at the pediatric endocrinologist, and typing this, I realize I need to get on the ball and schedule her appointment ASAP since ASAP probably means in like 5 months even if I call first thing Monday **melting emoji**) to see about tubes or maybe tonsils out. She also told Ben that Minnie's ears were red but not infected and advised us to be on the alert for an ear infection. HER SECOND ONE IN 30 DAYS.


Just to make everything more awesome, Harry was at tennis until 5, so he could not help me transport anyone, and Ben was not due back in Madison until around 7. Jack had a 2pm dentist appointment for a checkup and cleaning, and I absolutely could not reschedule because it takes MONTHS to get in right now AND ALSO I forgot to tell Dorothy I wouldn't be home when she got home. This would be ok if it was just the dentist because I'd be home right after her and could leave a note. BUT! The only time a doc in our HMO could see Minnie Friday afternoon was at 3:20 pm at a clinic all the way by my office. (after the pneumonia incident, I have notes in her chart that she should be seen by peds providers first, family practice second, and MD/DO/PNP only if possible).

Soooooooo. I gave Minnie some Tylenol and a heating pad for her ear and made her a snack lunch for her on the couch, where I set her up with a show and a blankie. I texted Harry and told him if he for some reason got done early, I would need him and he should call me. I jumped on our district's online attendance app and called out Jack for his appointment and Dorothy because I realized the only workable solution for her was to get her early and bring her along. I ate lunch, put away the day's laundry, packed a bunch of paper and washi tape and markers and stickers in my purse along with a couple of tiny baby dolls and a bunch of snacks, made sure I had water bottles for both girls, threw ibruprofen in my bag for Minnie, figuring if I alternated ibuprofen and tylenol every 3-ish hours, I could keep her feeling ok ear-pain-wise.

We got Dorothy (who was happy to have some extra time to listen to Taylor Swift), got Jack, drove to the dentist, got Jack checked in, enjoyed Minnie napping in the car, went inside when she woke up to get a report from the hygienist, etc. I dropped Jack back off at school for his English class because he didn't want to do an essay at home that he could work on in class and booked it across town for Minnie's appointment, telling Jack I would be a little late because Coop gets out of school at 4:10, and I assumed I would leave urgent care (supposed to be a 15-minute appointment) and go straight there.

OF COURSE THIS WAS A DUMB ASSUMPTION. We waited forever at the clinic. SO HAPPY I COULD DOSE MINNIE WITH MEDS IN THE CAR because her ears were killing her again.  The intake nurse could not get an accurate reading on Minnie's pulse ox (machine prob; not a Minnie prob) or her blood pressure (same). She was sort of flustered by this and forgot to ask us if we'd be ok with a nurse practitioner student coming in before the doctor (usually yes; that day I would have said no because I was in a hurry). The student came in and was so nice and lovely and great that I couldn't tell her to GTFO and get the doc. But! We essentially had double exams. And the student freaked me out about Minnie's lungs (which were clear on Wed at the pediatrician's office), but then the doc said they were fine, and the congestion is in her throat, which makes sense to me and Ben who woke up with the most awful cough-- thank you , Minnie. She has a double ear infection, of course. Her second this month. The doc went back and forth about what to prescribe and ultimately went with the same abx she just had but a longer course. Fine!

NOT FINE THOUGH. Apparently, that abx is only ok for 10 days when mixed, and he wanted her to take it for 14 days. The pharmacist was SO RUDE TO ME (I will be making a complaint with member services on Monday) which was completely off base because I DID NOT WRITE THE SCRIPT, and we waited 30 minutes for the meds AND have to follow up on day 8 to make sure they're working (sooner if she's still miserable). The pharmacist was like did the doctor say how long she needs to take this? And I was like he said 14 days, and she goes, oh really? are you sure? Do I need to call the doctor? Um WHAT??? It was like she was a disappointed mom trying to threaten me into telling the truth??? It was the icing on a terrible stress cake.

I was 90 minutes late for pick up-- thank god for Cooper's homeroom teacher who stayed with him even though it was a Friday, and Jack dirty old manned it in a Tropical Smoothie Cafe for almost 2 hours.

We got home with everyone starving, and I asked what they wanted to eat, fully prepared to order takeout. The response? Pizza, pancakes, smoothies, and fresh cookies. Ha! SO EASY TO DELIVER THAT WEIRD ASSORTMENT OF FOOD TO THE TABLE with the groceries I had in my fridge and freezer. I even threw is some carrot and pepper sticks and strawberries.

FIVE KIDS IS A TON OF KIDS, it turns out.

Also! My seven-year colonoscopy is offish!
I got the official pathology report before this letter and googled it-- Dr. Google was like GET EXCITED FOR WEEKLY COLON CHECKS, BETCH, so I messaged the doc before he sent the letter asking him how long until my next scope. But then he replied after he sent the letter and seems to think I can't read, which, fair enough. THE LETTER IS CRYSTAL CLEAR. LIKE MY COLON. Gimmee all the red meat and twinkies.

(Also, tennis is cute)


  1. SARAH. I just want to wrap you in a soft blanket and stow you in a spa retreat for a few weeks. Friday sounds so insanely stressful, omg. And poor Minnie and her poor little ears!

  2. Oh good lord, Sarah. I read this with my mouth dropped open. Minnie is sick AGAIN poor muffin. This is just crazy! And your afternoon sounded so exhausting and stressful. Gah. I'm so sorry. Sending healthy ear vibes your way. What a day, omg.

  3. What a horrible, awful cluster. Sarah! This is just...too much. Poor Minnie! Poor you! GAHHHHH!

  4. My heart just kept dropping with every line of this post (except Dorothy getting more Taylor Swift time). I'm so sorry about all the illness Minnie is going through and all the stress and anxiety of your Friday. I hope you were able to rest and reset over the weekend! <3

  5. Oh man. Everything was plugging along just fine. You were being so productive. Hate when things go off the rails. Poor poor Minnie and poor you. Double ear infections twice in one month, when the second bout hits before the 20th. What even? None of my kids needed tubes, but it seems like she might. I died at Jack dirty old manning it in a smoothie cafe. Bah ha ha. Good news about the colon though. Love that.

  6. Ugh. I am so sorry to hear that Minnie is sick again. It is really hard to establish immune systems and it seems like establishing one is especially hard these days. I hope that you can get into an ENT asap. We were able to get in fairly quickly with both boys because we said we would see anyone in any location. We went to childrens in Minneapolis/St. Paul and their approach is to have you see an NP so if that is the case don't be put off by that. It's all they do day in and day out so they are excellent NPs and then that allows doctors to focus on surgeries/really complicated cases. They can really escalate the process of getting approved for tubes and that surgery is SO EASY. I would hope and push for tubes because this is ridiculous! Tubes have been a Godsend for us. Good luck - you have a lot on your plate, and what horrible timing w/ Ben being out of town!

  7. I had the exact same colonoscopy result!

  8. Medical stuff 100% escalates, doesn't it? Oh, I have a cough. NOW I'M IN THE ER. *sigh* Way to handle it with aplomb, even if it felt frantic at the time.

  9. SARAH OMG. Your life. Why does all the sh*t hit the fan when you're solo-parenting??? AHHH.

  10. WHY, Sarah, WHY????? Why does the universe do this to you, and on a solo parenting day, too? Sigh. I hope you are slowly clawing your way out of the abyss. (I do love, btw, how in the midst of chaos you managed to remember where FIVE kids were, who needed to be where, when, and with whom, and then you FED THEM. Good god, superwoman.)