Monday, August 27, 2007

The $18.00 Bug Bite

After three children, I pride myself on being a pretty reasonable, cautious and self-diagnosing mother. As you can imagine, the viruses in my home are about as rampant as flies on manure.(Nice analogy, as if you all shovel manure.) Anyway, contrary to statistics, my children have all been breastfed, read to, bathed regularly, taught to wash their hands and take their shoes off in the house, and have not stepped a foot in daycare, still they seem to contract any virus that comes within ten feet of our home. Needless to say, this is where my self-diagnosing comes in.
Though I love our pediatrician, I try and keep our visits to a minimum of a couple times a month, as we do need money for groceries. One month we hit the Dr. so often, that I suggested setting up a direct deposit from my husband's payroll, straight into the pediatrician's bank account.

So, I awoke this morning to the usual breakfast requests(Some days I'd swear I'm in
the movie Groundhog's Day), and while buttering my son's cinnamon toast(without raisins), I noticed that his ear looked incredibly swollen, not unlike Martin Short's ears in the movie Pure Luck. Before getting too alarmed, I racked my brain of any other strange symptoms that would help me in diagnosing this new found case. I thought back to last Monday when his ear had looked exactly the same after he had been stung by a bee. After attempting a quick self-diagnoses I couldn't for the life of me, figure out why his ear would swell up again, after last week. But before I would call the professionals, I decided to Google Cellulitis just once, as I was convinced the redness was not in fact from him laying on the couch pillow, but was a bacterial infection brewing under his skin. Good thing I went to med school...

I convinced myself of the diagnosis and decided that he was in fact in need of immediate medical attention. After convincing the receptionist on the phone that her "completely booked" schedule was unacceptable to me and my very ill son, I called the satellite office and was kindly stuck in among the other appointments.

I checked my son's ear about every ten minutes, just to make sure the swelling was worthy of an unruly trip to the office with all three children.
"Oh, yes," I thought to myself, "the swelling seems to be traveling down his ear, it must be spreading."

Long story...uh,...short...I loaded my tired, unnapped children into the van and drove to the pediatrician. Eighteen dollars and two timeouts later, and we have ourselves a bug bite folks. Yep, that's right, an eighteen dollar bugbite.

Save a Life