Last week, Sam was very sick. He was out of preschool for four days. Since then, I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions about my judgement calls made during that time. So I’ve decided to do my own Reddit AMA to answer all of my internal strife.
I Am a Mother Who Didn’t Take her Son to the Doctor Even Though it Turned Out He Had Strep: Ask Me Anything
Q: When did Sam get sick?
He told me he wasn’t feeling great on Tuesday but I said if he still felt bad to tell a teacher and we would get him. It turns out he did have a fever (my first misstep out of many!). Nat had the car so he left work to get him. I received a text around 3 p.m. from Nat saying, “He sooooooo isn’t sick although he still has a fever.” I was relieved!
Q: What happened on Wednesday?
On Wednesday, I worked from home. Sam was much worse. He was so sick I had to have a neighbor come over to watch him while I drove the baby to daycare as I didn’t think I could get him in the car. I alternated between Motrin and Tylenol all day but the fever didn’t go down. Getting work done was hard.
Q: Why didn’t you take him to the doctor then?
Because I thought it was a virus and once his fever would break, he would feel better?
Q: You should have taken him to the doctor.
WELL, I KNOW THIS NOW. [Sorry for the yelling.] Do you have a kid? Do you know how many fevers they get and how many times you take them to the doctor and the doctor is like, “It’s a virus. Take some Motrin.”
Q: What happened on Thursday?
Well, on Thursday, we thought he was getting better but he still had a fever. Nat went in late, I came home early and we had back-up care come from work to watch him on the hours we weren’t there.
Q: What is back-up care?
It’s a service through work where they send a home health care aid to your house to watch either older adults or children if their usual care falls through.
Q: That’s nice.
It is. It really, really is.
Q: But still, it’s a stranger.
Well….yes. But they are vetted through the service.
Q: You still had a stranger come and watch your very sick kid.
I THOUGHT HE WAS GETTING BETTER. Plus, it was an important day at work and I had to be there. I STILL LEFT WORK AT 2:30 TO COME HOME.
Q: Still not enough.
Q: Stop crying.
Q: You really should have taken him to the doctor.
You know who else could have taken him to the doctor on Thursday? HIS FATHER.
Q: Good point.
Q: Nobody cares about that, though.
Q: You keep mentioning work. Why care so much about work when you have a sick kid?
Because in addition to having children, I also have a job I care about. Crazy, I know.
Q: Hmmmmm…..How was Friday?
He was still sick on Friday. Luckily, I work from home on Friday with the baby and a sitter so we could stay home with him. I saw a rash on his body when I helped him change so Nat took a half day and took him to the doctor.
Q: What did the doctor say?
Um, that he had Strep.
Q: STREP?! He could have been on antibiotics days earlier.
I KNOW. [Sobbing.]
Q: How is he now?
Fine. Right as rain. Although we just realized we forgot to give him his antibiotics tonight and he’s sound asleep.
Q: That’s bad.
I know…..I mean, he could skip a night, right? It’s day six of 10-day dose.
Q: So, what have you learned from this experience?
That parenting is super hard even when you have have a ton of resources and help at your disposal. And that we’re all doing the best we can to juggle everything. But sometimes we just make the wrong call.
Q: [BUZZER SOUND] WRONG ANSWER. IT’S THAT YOU’RE A TERRIBLE MOTHER.
You’re right. [Sobbing.] Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wake up my sleeping child to force antibiotics down his throat.
This is the end of: I Am a Mother Who Didn’t Take her Son to the Doctor Even Though it Turned Out He Had Strep: AMA. Tune in next week for I Am A Mother Who Continues To Forget To Give Her Son His Antibiotics: AMA