“Do you feel ok? You look like you hve a rash.” Of course, I immediately use my built in thermometer, AKA: hand, to check my son for a for a temp. (Why do moms do this? If they feel warm we got get the “real”” thermometer anway…mabe it’s prescreening?)
“Do you have a sore throat?”
“No. I’m fine.” He responds with that middle school edge of attitude.
I grab the hydrocortisone. (It’s my version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Windex. Haven’t seen it? NNetflix. hilarious. Justsayin.) “Put this on it and if it doesnt get better by tomorrow I’m taking you to urgent care.
He slathers the goo in hopes of avoiding a trip to urgent care.
The next morning? Still there.
I go into Dr Mom mode. I google skin rashes. (Don’t. Not pretty.) I freak myself out and am convinced that hes again got a missed case of strep that has turned into scarlet fever. It ad happened before and was awful and frighhtening.. mostly for freakish me.
There’s an old doctor’s adage that says: “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” Which (basically) means to look for the simple answer before you freak out.
When I hear hoofbeats? I tend to think of the obscure freak thing, like zombie zebras.Especially when it comes to my kids. Possibly, because we’ve faced some zombie zebras along the way: The lovely combination of asthma and croup,( that’s a bad night in the hospital) and that naasty strep that turned out to be scarlet fever. (What? For real.) Major dental trauma. The list goes on. Yup. Zombie zebras.
Convinced we were facing a zombie zebra.. maybe even flesh eating bacteria that were about to eat his face off…I rushed him to urgent care.
Apparently- triage was thinking more horses than zombie zebras.. Cause we waited forever.
Finally my boy climbed up onto the exam table. The doctor came in and listened to mmy mom-diagnosis freakout. “He’s a strep magnet. He’s already had scarlet fever!” He gave my darling boy a quick once over then took me out into the hallway.
This did not help my freak out.This made me think: hospital admission.
“Mrs. Solomon, Your son doesn’t have a rash. Hes got a bit of an acne breakout. What you’re seeig is the onset of puberty, not Flesh eating disease oor scarlet fever.”
Yes. Diagnosis: Puberty.
Relief flooded over me. Then? A feeling of unbelievable: stupid.
Duh. Puberty. This is not even my first child to go through puberty. I’m pretty sure it was puberty denial. It happens to the best of us. We love our kids… we want them to stay kids forever. (kind of.) Sometimes, that makes us miss the changes that are happening in our kids as they grow and mature…
I’ll just say this- an urgent care visit for puberty- made me pay more attention- and broke through my denial.
This rwas years ago.. I now have another boy in the throes of puberty… this time- no urgent care. Just dedorant, and some acne cream. well.. and maybe a little hydrocortisone for good measure.
Have you had a clueless denil moment in mothering? Post in the comments! I can’t be the only Zombie zebra hunter out there….;)
Dear lord- help me to see my kids as they are. Help me to help them and parent them well, as they change and grow. Lord… help me not be a freak. amen.