My Littlest Love is under the weather, so it is girls day at home. Yesterday I was getting her out of her carseat after an outing to Ikea and she was burning up. Surely, I thought, it's because it was too hot in the back seat. I mean, it's August in Houston. The heat index today is supposed to be 109.
We put Annabeth down for a nap and I took Jackson swimming. A thunderstorm cut that short and we returned home with ice cream treats from Sonic. I had just gotten out of the shower when Annabeth woke up. She was still burning up. Two thermometers told me she had a 103 degree fever. Bless her heart. There's a new pediatric urgent care clinic nearby, so I threw my wet hair in a bun and we made our way there.
Being a parent is so tough. Half of my brain was telling me to get her to the doctor as fast as possible and the other half was saying, "It's just a fever. You're overreacting." I let my cautious side triumph. I wanted to take care of it when the clinic was open rather than end up in the ER if she got even worse in the night.
An hour later, I had one of the worst experiences I've ever had as a parent. The doctor couldn't find anything wrong with her ears or throat, so he needed a urine sample to rule out a urinary tract infection. "You need to put a bag on her?" We'd done this once before. I felt so bad when they'd had to remove it from such sensitive skin. The doctor gave me two options - a catheter or the bag, which he emphasized was not as accurate. But it was my choice, he said. He downplayed the catheter, even though I was about to throw up at the thought of it. I did not know what to do. Honestly, I didn't think it would be a UTI and I wanted to just leave! But I said yes to the catheter because it was more accurate.
It was horrible. As long as I live, I will never forget letting my baby be put through that. I looked down and saw the iodine, which I thought was blood, and thought I was going to be sick. "Are you okay, Mom?"
The doctor came back in with a Cinderella sticker for my little princess. I didn't think she would give two hoots about it, but she seemed to like it.
In the end there was no UTI. I left without knowing the cause of the fever, but with a raging case of mommy guilt. The only thing that eased the guilt was thinking of the parents all over the world who are being forced to make much tougher decisions. Their doctors are explaining the choices of cancer treatment or types of brain surgery - none of which are perfect, all of which are painful - and saying "It's up to you."
God help us.
The only plus side about yesterday was all the snuggle time I got with my girl. At 18 months old she is already too busy to sit in my lap or to let me rock her!