On Wednesday night when I got home from the hospital, the Boy had a low-grade fever. Hubby had a much higher fever, along with aches and violent shivers, so it was him I was worried about. The Boy's fever was his only symptom and we were all feeling fragile, so I determined to keep an eye on it and we all went to bed early. The next morning, the Boy was fine, and off to school he went. When he got home though, he curled up on the couch under a blanket---until it was time for Beavers. Then he hopped in his uniform lickitty-split and was ready to go. Another check with the thermometer showed the fever was back...sort of. 100.1F...and he REALLY didn't want to miss Beavers (he had missed the previous week due to a bad head cold). I decided to let him go but told his leaders what was going on. He was fine and had a great time. The next morning? Healthy as a horse and happy to head off to school. Again he came home wiped out, low fever, and crashed on the couch.
And then it was Saturday morning, and he came to my room early and crawled into bed with me for some cuddles.
And the first thing I saw were the two ping-pong balls that had apparently been attached to the sides of his neck.
Oh great. Mumps.
I'd never seen mumps before, but one look and this Mom had her diagnosis.
Here's his sad little face...
But you can see the lumps better from behind.
I kept him home, pushed the liquids, did a quick web search to make sure there wasn't anything I could do for him (viral--treat the symptoms) and see what the contagious period is, and settled in to care for my guy.
By Sunday night though, I had gotten to thinking. Maybe he should go to the doctor's and have my mom-diagnosis confirmed. Don't they keep stats on this sort of thing?
(You can take the student out of university, but you can't make her ignore the need for good data for stats keeping. Bummer.)
Early Monday morning I had to report to the little local hospital for some blood work of my own, so I asked the nurse if I should bring him in or if it was better to keep him home where he wouldn't spread his germs to anyone else. She thought it would be a good idea to bring him in. There isn't a Doctor on duty until 9 am (and only on weekdays--the village, it is tiny) so she suggested I call closer to that time and check to see what he said.
This is when I started feeling like a ping-pong ball. I called the hospital and they didn't want me to come in. They agreed that he should be seen by a doctor, but thought I should try to get in with my family doctor first. Makes sense, so I called the family doctor. The family doctor did NOT want us in her waiting room with the mumps. She (or rather, her receptionist) told me that the only way to confirm a case of the mumps is with a blood test anyway, and they don't do blood tests at their office. She said I should take him in to the hospital and get the blood test done and then stay home under quarantine. Sounded reasonable. But I was tired of calling places and being told to go somewhere else. So I loaded up the Boy and drove to the little local hospital and told them why were were there. The nurse saw him and put us in a room to wait for the doctor. And we waited, and waited, and waited. See, the doctor has office hours and actual patients, so anyone coming in to the hospital has to wait for him to be on a break to be seen. The nurse told me that he did order blood work though, so we went into another room to do that.
Did I mention that I hate needles?
I put on my brave mommy face and focused on comforting my Boy as they poked him and he screamed and cried...and the needle slipped right through the vein and out the other side. Poor little boy. They had to switch arms. By the time we were done he was sporting band-aids on both arms and we both had tear-stained faces.
I hate needles.
We were sent home and told to come back after lunch, before the other doctor started seeing his patients. We did and the doctor took one look and said...so, mumps, huh?
Why did I come in here again?
He then explained that the only way to confirm a mumps diagnosis (because there are other things that can cause that swelling...they're rare, but they exist) is with a blood test, which he would order up. I pointed out that that was the only reason I was there, because the family doctor had said to get the blood test, and that they had drawn the blood that morning and it was on the way to the lab in the city.
"Oh, no" says he "they just ordered a routine CBC, not a mumps screening."
See Mom lose cool over wrong bloody blood tests.
See Mom (nicely!) tell Doctor to add the mumps screening to the order to the lab.
See Mom tell Doctor that no one else would be sticking needles in her boy that day.
Down Mom, down.
The Doctor wisely suggested a follow-up on Wednesday (today).
Except the story does not end. Yesterday a nurse at the hospital called to say that the blood tests were "inconclusive". She suggested we take the Boy in to the family doctor (Really? Why am I not surprised?). Except, ha ha, the family doctor is off for the rest of the week. She suggests we come see the doctor this afternoon. Which is cool, because THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID ON MONDAY.
So this afternoon we are off to the little hospital, AGAIN, to see what we see.
I'm praying for a nice, uncomplicated case of the mumps. And, if we can get away with it, no more needles.
I don't mind taking my lumps, but our life seems to be balanced on that line between farce and tragedy these days, and could use a turn for the better.
I'll add a PS to this post after this afternoon's visit. Hopefully a PS will be enough and I won't need a whole new post.
PS Back from the doctor who says that he definitely has the mumps. The worry is that his swollen glands don't seem to be painful enough, so they're wondering if there is something else going on WITH the mumps. (Can't it just be that we all have a REALLY high pain threshold? Because we do. Both sides of the family.) Right now they're thinking mono. Wouldn't that be fun? (But it would explain both Hubby and Sweetpea's symptoms). They're doing more blood work tomorrow morning and another follow-up Friday afternoon when they have the results.