Thursday, March 01, 2007

Super kid

Last night Carmella woke up crying 2 hours after she went to bed. She said her ear hurt really really bad. I felt her head--no fever. I was puzzled but gave her a decongestant and some Motrin just in case.

She had been a little sick over the weekend--a little cold but that didn't stop her from going to Monkey Joe's on Sunday and playing outside for a few hours and then school all week and a 2 mile run on Tuesday and dance class on Wednesday. Only indication I had that she has felt a little off was on Saturday morning when Lala and Pop took her on a hike and she asked to go home before they finished the 3 mile loop. But after some lunch she rallied.

So anyway, I knew it was possible for her to have an ear infection since she has had a cold but I doubted it--especially since all things seemed normal and she didn't have any fever and has only had an ear infection one other time and that was when she got 6 teeth at once and also had a cold.

This morning when she woke up she said her ear didn't hurt anymore but she could hear a voice in her head.

Whose voice? I asked, thinking great, now an ear ache has led to schizophrenia-- or maybe it is a tumor and she is hallucinating.

My voice, she answers.

Hmm, well that isn't schizophrenia, I decide. So I ask her what her voice is saying.

Whatever I say, she explains.

Oh, I see. So it is an echo?

Yes. An echo.

But it doesn't hurt?

No, not anymore.

I worry, briefly, maybe her eardrum burst. Admittedly, I have very little experience with ear infections since Carmella has only had the one and Beau's had 2 and all that was almost 3 years ago. Not to mention I don't ever recall having one myself. So I really don't know what any of it means. I don't really know what to look for. But, you know, of course my thoughts leap to the extremes of burst ear drum, tumor, mental disorders-- or that she is faking, making it all up for attention.

Do you need to go to the doctor? I ask her, still trying to determine if she is faking because she just doesn't seem sick or in pain.

Yes. But not the hospital.

So I call the doctor and get an 8:45 am appointment. I figure if she is fine I can still take her to school after. So we go to the doctor and the doctor looks in her ear and says she has an infection. In both ears. One really bad--bulging, red and pus filled-- the doctor says. Again, we ask Carmella if it hurts. No, there is just an echo, she says.

Then doctor listens to her chest and decides she probably has pneumonia too.


Go get a chest xray, she tells us.

So we go and I think it wasn't even 2 weeks ago I was here with Beau. What the hell? My kids who haven't been sick all year both get pneumonia within 2 weeks of each other?

So Carmella's xrays end up looking fine but the doctor hears "crackling" and "wheezing." So we get an antibiotic. Carmella is spared the torture of having blood drawn and is totally bored by the whole experience. She just keeps asking me what she can have for a snack, for lunch and when can we go home so she can color and look at her books.

How in the hell am I suppose to tell if she is ever sick if it doesn't even phase her to have 2 ear infections and pneumonia? There is no telling all those other times she was sick and I didn't know it.

I thought I had keen Mommy radar but maybe not after all.

She keeps asking me what we are going to do today-- are going here, or there? And I keep saying nothing, nowhere, no, we are staying home. To which she answers, Oh yeah, because I am sick.

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