Friday, April 15, 2011

Mommy, My Ear is Bored

After a fun Monday afternoon-through Tuesday afternoon visit at my sister's house (sans sister,) I opted for a naptime departure, rather than the get-off-the-ferry-in-time-to-get-husband-from-work departure time. And while packing and driving towards the ferry, I stupidly wondered to myself what we'd do to amuse ourselves for a few hours while waiting for Daddy to get off work. Fool!

Earlier in the day, as we were getting ready to go outside for lunch, Z had said to me that her ear was bored. Huh? She was poking around in there, so I thought maybe she had got something stuck. I took a look, but just saw some extra wax. She said that her ear didn't hurt or itch or feel full, so I moved on. Again outside, she told me that her ear was still bored. I made jokes about reading her ear some stories, to entertain it. I wasn't sure what she thought "bored" meant. She certainly uses "boring" properly. When we were doing letter flashcards one time, I'd ask her to identify the letter, the sound it makes, and words starting with the sounds. At "V," she said "V. Vuh. Very, very boring." Ah. I see she inherited my someone's smartass gene.
But again, it didn't hurt or itch or anything.
Fast forward to the drive home. Picture this: Naptime. Sunny day making the car hot. Exhausting day with cousins.
"Waaaaah! I want to go hooooome!" "Yes. We're headed home (after we wait for your dad to finish work and go to dinner at the Melting Pot.) Why don't you play with your Gitchigumi? (And go to sleep.)" "Waaaah! My ear is still bored! Waaaaaah! My eeeeeeeear!"
At this point I decide that a trip to an urgent care clinic would not be out of line. She has never had an ear infection before, but she has also never complained about any issue with her ear. And since this had been a complaint all day, maybe it was time to investigate further, even though she still claimed that it didn't hurt (or itch, or feel like something was pushing in, or something trying to push out.) She did say that it felt "like pulling," whatever that meant. A quick(ish) call to my husband to have him look up urgent care clinics near his office (or at least near his end of the ferry terminal) for when we get across. Apparently Seattle has about 50 thousand hospital ERs, but, like, zero urgent care clinics. At this point, the sobbing and crying has gone on for at least a thousand years 10 minutes, so I pull off the highway that takes us to the ferry and park at the McDonald's nearby (I happen to know where it is. What? Me? Too much Micky Ds? Nah.) I whip out my iPhone and pray that the map feature will actually work this time, instead of crashing the whole phone and making me reboot it. And then my apps won't work for days, and often my ability to call out is sporadic, and often requires another reboot. Yay. I discovered this fun "feature" while trying to go to a friend's house to drop something off, since I was already halfway there after gym class, and she lives almost 30 minutes away from my house. But no. I had to drive all the way home first, then look up the directions on my computer and write them down. On actual paper. With a pen. Please. I'm a mommy of a young child. Like I have any pens that aren't a) missing or b) dried out [or c) in the cat's litter box.]
"Mommeeeeeeee! Why are we at MickDahnuhs? I want to go hooooooome!" "I'm looking to find a doctor near us who can look at your ear." "Okay Mommy." Wait, what? She must really be sick if she's agreeing to see a doctor. Normally any mention of the words "doctor," "dentist," or "glasses" (I took her to my eye exam recently) has her immediately saying "I don't want to go to the dock-kter." As it turns out, while there might not be an urgent care in the city of Seattle, there is in fact one within a mile of the Poulsbo McDonald's! Closer to 10 blocks away, as the crow flies. ThankyoubabyJesus. While my glacially slow phone woke up all the little cavepeople microchips to search the interwebs for directions, I decided to get myself a large Sweet Tea via the drive-through. I mean, I was already there, right?
Oh. My. Gawd. The line took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. There were only 3 cars ahead of me, and sometime between ordering and receiving my drink, I sat there zoning out, waiting to drive forward and/or get search results on my phone, I absentmindedly reached for my drink, since I like to take sips whenever my hand isn't urgently required for turning a wheel, or toggling a turn signal or windshield wiper, or shifting or whatever. My drink wasn't there. I hadn't even gotten it yet! Yarrggh! Meanwhile, I'd had the joy of enduring another thousand years five minutes of waily-wailing. I don't even want my stinking drink anymore! Get me outta here! But I was trapped in a one-lane drive-thru (blocked off on the other side.) So I get my drink and have my directions. We are good to go.
We find the urgent care fairly easily, and she even cooperates (while bawling) in getting out of the car. We stagger inside (well, I stagger. She clings and cries.) I toss insurance cards and driver's licenses at them and start filling out forms. They amazingly get us into a room before I notice the other two pages can even finish the forms. Sorry other-people-who-were-here-first. Screaming child apparently trumps non-screaming-everyone-elses. At this point, either Z is tired of crying, doesn't like people looking at her so is trying to minimize the attention by quieting down, or understands that Mommy Is Taking Care of the Problem, and is down to hiccoughing gasps. She isn't a fan of the nurse taking her pulse or temperature, but bravely soldiers on and cooperates through the quiet tears.
By the time the doctor arrives, the after-crying-gasps have stopped. The doctor was really good with Z. She didn't grab or touch without explanations and warnings first, and talked about all the equipment before using it. She demonstrated the light that would look into the ears and showed ow it shone red through her finger, then offered to let Z put her finger on it and see the light shine through her finger too. Many doctors would have pushed at this point, trying too hard to engage her by making her try the fun thing they were offering, which makes Z shut down and fuss, but this doctor was patient and quiet.
After listening to Z's tummy, chest, sides and back with the stethescope, the doctor looked in the problem ear. All she could see was wax. So she got a plastic stick-thingy and gently scraped/picked the wax out, and wiped it on a gauze that she had Z hold. Z was entranced. Then the doctor was able to see. Sure 'nuff. Ear infection. Z got to keep the extra gauzes, and was delighted to use them as blankets and scarves for her little bunny toy, until she discovered that she could easily pull the threads apart. Whee!
I'm guessing that the wax had been pushed in and/or melted enough to touch the infection and had started becoming unbearable, which is why she had suddenly gone from okay to wretched. Especially since when the doctor cleared the wax out, Z immediately cheered up and started smiling and playing again.

Next step - Pharmacy! There was a Rite-Aid a few lights down the highway heading toward the ferry, and since we use a Rite-Aid at home, I opted to go there, since she (and her insurance) would be on file already. Plus it was on the way! Go in, collect all the Gitchigumis along the way (stupid summer toy aisle) and drop off prescriptions at the pharmacy. Then beg, cajole and bribe to get Gitchigumis out of child's hand to go to the Dollar Tree right next to the pharmacy! Score! $1 for a treat is much cheaper than pretty much anything at Rite Aid (that isn't candy.) After gathering an army of stuffed bunnies, she finally settled on... a bath poof. Yup. A bath poof with a stick. For scrubbing your back. Or to be a tree for the bunnies. Depending on your perspective. She also asked for a scrubber with a bear head and legs, so I got it too. I'd been promising her a bath poof, so let her choose the bear poof as her treat too. She even chose them over the candy necklace kit (which I bought anyway, to use as a treat later.)
She slorped down her medicine dose once we got it back to the car ("Mommy, what's a 'dose?'") I also got pain relief ear drops, which I didn't end up using, since she hadn't been fussing or complaining since we left the doctor's. I did give her a dose of children's ibuprofen, which the doctor had recommended for the pain and swelling/inflammation.
Then - off to the ferry. Which we just missed. So instead of arriving just as hubby got off work, we arrived just as we were supposed to be at The Melting Pot for our dinner reservation. (I asked Z if she wanted to go to the "dipping cheese" restaurant, or if she wanted to go home instead, and she wanted to do the restaurant. I wasn't going to make her go if she was feeling too cruddy.) Luckily, the restaurant let us move our reservation an hour later, so we were still able to go.

And to think I'd been worried about how we'd kill time before picking up Daddy. Oh, the irony!

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