This was the weekend that I was waiting for: no commitments, no projects, no practices, no parties, no nothing. Not one schedule to follow but our own. Just some quality family time mixed in with downtime. I almost felt like I was going on vacation.
Friday at 2:30 p.m., the school nurse leaves a message that Aidan was in the office with a bad stomach ache. Of course I miss this message because I was outside gabbing with my neighbor. I call back and the nurse says that it might be a gas bubble. He had a drink of water, felt a little better and went back to the classroom.
Okay, I’ll just pick him up at 3 p.m. like normal. Being extra thoughtful (pat pat), I grab a goody bag of Tums for him and head out the door. I arrive a couple of minutes late and half the kids are already outside doing the Friday Happy Dance. One of Aidan’s buddies rushes up and says that the teacher wants me to go the class to get Aidan because he is sick.
Oh man. I squeeze the antacids in my pocket and head towards his class. At the same time, his teacher approaches with her arm around my crumpled, teary-eyed son. She explains that he spent the last five minutes of class rolling on the floor in pain because his side hurt. He can barely look at me and just begs for us to go home.
He limped the whole two-block walk home. Unlike his sister, he’s not the dramatic, attention-seeking sick person. Something is wrong. I don’t even need to break out the B.S. detector. I ask a million questions including, “Does it hurt when you pee?”
“No, mom” he answers. “What do you think? That I have kidney stones?”
After moaning on the couch for a half hour, I call the doctor and they get us right in.
After the last pediatrician appointment fiasco, I was secretly hoping that we wouldn’t get the same doctor. But my wish backfired when the doctor who I least trust walks in. He’s fine enough, but never finds anything wrong when I bring in my kids. Then we end up returning a day or two later and they are diagnosed with an ear infection, strep or rare dirt-residing parasite that causes evil to fly out of both ends. Simultaneously.
When the doctor presses down on his belly, Aidan yelps and raises his hand, ready to bitch slap his torturer. I am rubbing his leg (Aidan’s not the physician’s, although it would be nice to get out of a co-pay), telling him that everything is okay as the doc spends a really long time listening to his belly.
He asks Aidan to get down from the table and hop on one foot and then the other. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Aidan does his circus clown performance then sits down by me, holding his side.
“Okay, his stomach is making a lot of loud gurgling sounds which could mean that he might have the stomach flu that is going around the community right now,” the doc explains. “He most likely will have a lot of diarrhea tomorrow. However I am concerned that his side is so tender to the touch. But I am not overly worried because he was able to hop. (?!) The pain is not on the side of the appendix, but sometimes it can be located on the other side. If the pain gets worse, please call the office. I will be on call all weekend. (?!) We might end up doing a CT scan and rectal exam.”
My butt puckers.
If you know me personally or have been following this blog, you can place bets that the carefree weekend was going to be spent in the midst of a tag-team family shit storm or at the ER. At least Tom would have a valid reason to eat hospital food. (Says a lot about my cooking that my husband likes dining at the hospital spitting distance from our house.)
My mind starts racing: how much toilet paper do I have in the house? Do I have enough Febreze? I should stock up on groceries. Bananas. Pepto-bismol. Tucks. God only knows when I will leave the house again. Kiss the next few days, maybe even weeks, goodbye.
We go home and Aidan asks for an ice pack to place on his belly. He is able to eat and lay on the couch. We had plans to go to a local hockey game, but he decides against it at the last-minute. Instead, he wants to watch movies in bed with Tom. He can barely hoist himself up onto our bed, so I give him a boost and hand him his pjs.
He drops his jeans and says, “I feel so much better! I think those pants were on too tight, mom.”
Yeah buddy, if there were a medical condition from skin-tight pants, I’d be a permanent resident in the intensive-care ward.
Sure enough, the next day he was good as new and sticking to his story that he was sick from his pants. I’m sure it was some kind of gas bubble.
Ah, what the hell. I celebrate by popping open my jeans to free my muffin top and start hopping on one foot.