Hangin’ at Urgent Care on a Friday Night

Like a lot of families, our family has been dealing with a sickness bug for the last couple months. Poor Harrison has gotten it twice since Christmas. It started with a low-grade fever on Monday. On Tuesday, I took him to the doctor and everything looked fine (no fever, ears looked clear, lungs sounded clear, throat wasn’t red). But, of course, by 5:00pm he had a fever and a cough. I kept him home from school on Wednesday and by Thursday afternoon he seemed much better.

Then at dinner, he complained of his ear hurting. I asked which ear and he tugged at his right ear. He lamented that Wyatt put something in his ear. I looked suspiciously at Wyatt and had trouble reading his demeanor (is he guilty or daydreaming about Star Wars?)  I checked out Harrison’s ear (as best I could) and didn’t see anything in there that shouldn’t be in there. But he did look to be in some pain. So I very calmly asked Wyatt if he put something in his brother’s ear. Wyatt sheepishly responded, “I don’t know.”

Super. I spent the next twenty-five minutes trying to Sherlock Holmes my six-year-old. After asking him the same question ten different ways and having him draw a picture of what exactly he put in his brother’s ear (he kept saying “goop” and I’m like, “You did not put Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website in your brother’s ear!”), Harrison confessed that Hamish put something in his ear.

Hamish is our dog.

I’ll never get those twenty-five minutes back and I am at peace with that. Harrison was fine. No more complaints. No fever. No trouble at bedtime. So the next morning (Friday) I took him to school. At pick up his teachers mentioned he was a little off, which I attributed to him coming off a cold. We went home and rested for the remainder of the day.

Then at dinner (much like the night before) Harrison started complaining of ear pain again. I asked him which ear and he tugged at his right ear again (uh oh…). This time he didn’t try to blame his brother or our innocent dog (uh, oh…). He just winced and whined (kinda like the night before). But unlike the night before, Steve, the level-headed realist of our family, was home. He suggested one of us take him to Urgent Care to get him checked out.

My intense mom guilt required that I take him to Urgent Care. So off we went (Steve and Wyatt went to Bingo Night). By the time we pulled into Urgent Care, Harrison had stopped complaining about his ear and was instead complaining that his hair hurt. Being four is hard.

Thankfully, Urgent Care wasn’t that busy at seven o’clock on a Friday night. Harrison got right in. The nurses and paramedics showered him with attention which was awesome. The doctor was kind and patient with Harrison, who had a surprising amount of questions for him ranging from, “What’s that?” (a stethoscope) to “Do you have any (pet) dinosaurs?” (No).

It turned out my sweet boy wasn’t just yanking my chain on that ear pain, he had an ear infection.

Oops…. Being a mom is hard, friends. And that mom guilt can be a doozy. This wasn’t the first time I missed an ear infection and it probably won’t be the last. All I can say is thank goodness for Urgent Care, pink medicine and the grace-filled heart of a four year old.


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