Sunday, May 04, 2008

When the day is long

Exactly 4 months old today and we've had our first emergency room visit.

Calm yourselves, it was nothing major. In fact, turns out it was nothing. I had noticed a red patch on Jacob's cheek before church but assumed he had slept on it too long, leaving a mark. In case you haven't noticed from the pictures, my child is very, very fair. Everything leaves a mark. But then after church, hours later, I saw that the mark was still there. And when I kissed his cheeks, I realized that the marked cheek was demonstrably warm, hot even, particularly in comparison with the rest of his face.

So, I called his doctor to check in. I was referred to the after hours nurse, who listened to my description and told me to go the ER. WHAT? Well, it could be an infection, an allergic reaction to an insect bite, any number of worrisome conditions you wouldn't want a child to have so better to be safe than sorry, she says. And since never has a nurse told me to go to an ER when I've called about any of my own symptoms in the past, I was duly impressed with the potential seriousness of the matter and off we went.

(Our trip was complicated by the fact that the husband had just before been called into the pharmacy after a slew of technician maladies had resulted in an almost total lack of technicians. So he drove in with us since he was going to the same place. One stop shopping at the children's hospital!)

When we arrived, the waiting room was empty. However, by the time we were done being triaged (no reaction from Jacob to either the blood pressure cuff or the rectal thermometer--that's my boy!), a 13 month old with a temperature of 105, a 14 year old with swollen lymph nodes in his groin, and another baby with a visible skull fracture arrived. Boy, was I glad an actual nurse had told me to come in, or else I would have felt even more silly than I already did about my child's paltry little red cheek!

We saw the nurse after a fairly short wait and found out that Jacob has very sensitive skin (duh!), and we should avoid using Johnson's baby wash, especially the lavender variety (oh, you mean the kind in our bathroom?) and scented or colored lotion, especially Johnson's (oh, you mean the kind in my diaper bag right now?) and watch out for signs of excema. Most likely he drooled on his sheet and slept in it (check--he's just learned how to sleep on his side, this side, and was in that position when I got him this morning) and irritated his skin. Otherwise, the baby is the picture of health and happiness--he had a giggling fit with the nurse that tickled her to death, again in stark contrast to the muffled screaming all around us. And I wish I had had my camera in the diaper bag to catch a shot of him in his cute little yellow hospital gown!

La la la, nothing to see here, please move along!

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