Friday, November 17, 2006

Got fire in your veins*

As I so delicately explained yesterday, Dash has been sick for one day shy of a month. It's kind of been a dance of infirmity. One day he seems better, a delightful child for all to adore. The next he is a tired, cranky, sweaty & vomity baby. You don't know what to expect from hour to hour. Except snot. There will always be snot.

The debates in our house are endless: Is he really sick or is he just teething? Is this a new illness or the same one as before? Cold? Flu? Stomach flu? Does he feel hot? Do ear thermometers do anything else? Because they certainly don't take temperatures and they really should do something.

My mother, who hovers like a hummingbird at the edge of hysteria always, crossed completely over the day we announced that Dash had his first cold. She proposed taking him out of daycare and getting a nanny because clearly his school was unable to protect him from disease. You think I'm joking. Surely I must be exaggerating. I am not.

Yesterday she was vibrating from the anxiety so hard that she was blurry. The child had been sick too long and she was either going to die from sheer agony or we were going to do something about it. So I took him to Urgent Care.

Now, I don't know if you've ever been to Urgent Care anywhere in the city of Los Angeles. If you haven't, let me explain what it's like. You walk into a cramped, filthy room--usually in a strip mall-- and sign in. You will then proceed to wait for four to six hours among a rotating cast of about 100 of the city's great unwashed. You will, if you persevere, see a doctor eventually who will likely prescribe you a medication and tell you to visit your g.p. during business hours. It will be six hours of waiting for 60 seconds of care.

And this is how it went yesterday, in the Los Angeles suburb of Valencia. We walked in to a clean and well-lighted lobby where maybe 6 people were waiting. I signed in and found they already had Dash's information on file because they're affiliated with his pediatrician. We were called after about three minutes and Dash's vitals were taken by a sweet nurse who cooed at the baby and flattered his mother. She did not look at me like I was insane for bringing a baby with a cold to what amounts to an e.r. We were delighted to hear that Dash's regular pediatrician was staffing Urgent Care that night, and when he saw us he remembered that Dash seemed to be getting over a cold when he last saw him three weeks ago. He played with the baby a little, gave him a thorough once-over, discovered an ear infection, calmed us down and sent us on our way with a couple prescriptions. The entire process, including drive time, was 45 minutes.

That right there makes three hours a day in the car worthwhile.

Dash has had two doses of the antibiotic and already seems to be feeling better.

*a 50 cent piece goes to the person who can tell me why that's the title of this post

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