Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sick Days

I’ve had so many conversations with the pediatrician’s secretary that I’m beginning to feel like we’re close personal friends. Ok, so most of our conversations go something like this:

Me: Can I leave a message for le docteur ?

Her: Yes, what’s it about? (this time, I’m sure she wants to add)

Me: Well, can you ask him if I’m supposed to give her the cortisone or not. He said if she had a really big coughing fit but in fact she’s ok, although now the fever’s been going on a while…

Her: Well, if she hasn’t had a coughing fit, then, I’d say, no (trumping me with her logic yet again)

Me: Yes, well, I didn’t tell him that I wasn’t giving it to her this morning when I came (for the second time this week)…

Her: Oui, (tiniest of pauses that means: am I really paid enough to answer the phone here?) we’ll ask him anyway…

Thanks to these enlightening interchanges I’ve learned that coughing fit is feminine in French “grosse quinte de toux”. That if I call at 8 in the morning I can try to get an appointment for that day. And other fun facts!

Yes, we’re dealing with a little sickie around here. Bronchitis it seems, though today the doctor asked if she’d been in contact with anyone with the flu. Negative. And how about an X-ray if she keeps up with this, he suggested? Now that’s more like the medical protocol I’d have expected, people. Only all the X-ray offices (because they’re not part of the pediatrician’s office which is just the renovated first floor of a bourgeois house) will be closed real soon what with Christmas coming. One’s closed Christmas Eve and it seemed like pulling teeth to get the other office to give us an appointment on Christmas Eve morning.

I kept her home Monday after a Sunday evening visit to the on-call pediatrician. I imagined all kinds of warm cozy mother-daughter moments for her sick day. There was still snow on the ground and even some flurries from time to time so aside from a quick trip to the pharmacy, we stayed in. In the morning she played rather normally, coughing off and on. But the appetite was non-existent. And she would pick this week to decide she didn’t like us feeding her with a spoon nor using it properly herself. And after docilely taking her medicine most of the times before, she instated a new and very strict head-turning and mouth-closing policy. I tried shooting it in her mouth with a plastic syringe but that sometimes turned back on us with nasty results. After all those incidents and a cat who, as usual, thinks every time I move to the kitchen he might get food, I was ready to call my first “sick day” as a mom an exhausting total disaster.

But there were some sweet moments after all. Like when I had her in her lap and asked her what a sheep said, etc. and realized she really has learned what we’ve been teaching her. And when she cozied up to Cat-ki as in this video. Poor thing was more tired Tuesday and kept wanting in our arms as her fever came back in the evening. I thought at first it was just her demanding streak to be picked up but felt guilty when I realized she was burning up. So it was more baby Tylenol and off to bed after a cuddle where she actually stayed still. And today has been more or less successful though the appetite is still very puny and she’s definitely not back up to speed. Playing nursemaid isn’t as easy as I thought, especially when the patient is your baby. Get well soon, little one.


Lindle said...

That you can reflect so sweetly and with such wisdom during this trying time is a revelation of your amazing writing skills. When you all were ill, I was a nervous wreck (and I am getting that way now long-distance fretting over Juliette). I don't think I was even coherenet when you babies were sick--it is so distressing.
Yes--Little Juliette, please get well very soon, and take your medicine! We want everyone to have a Happy and Healthy Christmas.
Much love,

Jenenz said...

It's amazing seeing her interact with chat-chat and having a conversation with the cat too. She's grown so much. Dancing and chatting away.

Sending Juliette healing powers. Tylenol and medicine work their magic soon!

Merry Christmas eve,