We walked hand in hand into the room.
I signed the paper. He moved to the seat on the other side of the room. I quickly joined him. He looked to me for approval before rapidly becoming entranced in his version of handheld electronics. I became quickly immersed in mine shortly thereafter.
Sniffles and coughs filled the small room. “Sick Room”… On what planet does it make sense to confine germs of all types in a 10×12 room? Still it was 2 older children and one small one seemingly permanently attached to his mother’s legs. Until they entered.
One had a travel DVD player. He blindly moved to the chair across from us. His grandmother joined him. Like a piece of metal, the other child that entered with them was drawn to the apparent magnet that is my son’s DS. He leaned over and watched. All the while my brain screaming please, oh please don’t add germs to what we already have! Thankfully his grandmother called him back and gave me an understanding smile. She gets it. I’m glad.
Names are called. Not ours yet. Soon I hope.
Finally his name. We are escorted through the magic door and across the hall into room 14. The list of questions comes. How long has he been like this? What exactly are the symptoms? All read more like statements. At 10am he is probably the 100th sick child seen today. Be prepared to have his shirt off when the doctor comes in. She’ll want to listen. She’ll be in soon.
Soon… I abhor the vagueness that comes with that word. Minutes, hours, days… Just how long are we to wait. 30 more minutes as it turns out. Why bother with appointments when the doctor will see me more than an hour after the scheduled time of arrival?
But, soon she arrives and apologizes for the wait. Her questions are true questions. She reviews the file. I see you’re no stranger to respiratory therapy. Oh, no. We’ve been down that road many a time, I think.
She goes into more detail on the symptoms. Checks eyes, ears, nose, throat. Open up and say ahhhh, except that it hurts and he doesn’t really want to. She apologizes for cold hands and proceeds with the checking of the lungs. She pauses with her eyes closed, listening intently to the lower right lung. Eventually she moves through all of the quadrants of the lungs, front and back. He holds his breath and she listens to his heart. She tells him to cough. He does so into his elbow as he has been taught. She then returns to the lower right lung, eyes closed, asking him to take deep breaths.
Then the words that make a mommy’s stomach drop a little. Pneumonia. Just developing. Caught early. Thankfully avoiding hospitalization. She’s concerned for strep throat too but refrains from performing the awful gag test since he’ll be on antibiotics anyway. Prescription written out. No school until Monday.
Then the lecture. Take all of your medicine. No matter how icky. No matter how good you feel. Take it all or you’ll be in the hospital. You hear me? Take it all.
He nods and says ok. Throughout the lecture he has moved down the table toward me. Hoping to avoid a shot, hoping to avoid anything painful. Things that hurt are stupid he says. Now he knows it’s just icky medicine. It’s safe.
We leave. Return check-up scheduled and prescription in hand. Return to School note added to the stack. Off to the pharmacy to fill the antibiotics. Then home to start the regiment.