Patient 0

This post may not read very smoothly because I’m a bit of a zombie today. After class yesterday, I studied from noon until 1:30am (13+ hours!) with basically no break, other than to stand up and stretch or go to the bathroom every hour or so. When I finished my quiz at 2am I felt like I was drunk and the room was spinning. It was not healthy.

This week was so crazy because Ben was sick which threw all our best laid plans to the wind since he stayed home from daycare for the better part of the week. He started with a cold a few weeks ago that progressed into a pretty deep cough and double ear infection by last weekend. Then he spiked a fever for three days. Textbook kid bug stuff I guess.  The poor little guy’s immune system just couldn’t catch him a break. And the antibiotic he started on Monday did not seem to do its job either.

Playing was a lot of work this week, so he took periodic breaks to lay down with his blankie.


Ben covered his blankie in so many germs because it was a constant fixture on his person all week.. We watched so many Baby Einstein DVDs… Trusty old Toby played his usual Comfort Norwich role… And Ben revisited his baby bouncer in his attempts to find a place of comfort…

In a way, Benjamin was my first patient (Patient 0?) as a doctor-in-training.  One thing I can say is that I am really good at prescribing cuddles.

Hmmm…. that is probably not going to work out with patients.   Hugs maybe?

Some random moments & reflections on wearing the hat of a Dr. Mom this week:

1. Being asked by the urgent care doctor to decide what antiobiotic to give. He knew I was an M1, so I don’t know how he expected me to know anything.

2. Over-analyzing & over-reserching the decision on whether to bring Ben back to urgent care after 3-4 days of no response to first-line antibiotic.  (We did not). I got some good practice using the common drug database and online medical references, searching for information on acute otitis media. They really are a lot better than Dr. Google, I have to say.

3. Routine communciable illnesses can be stressful.  Most of the time we are just barely keeping the plates spinning as two full-time professionals/parents.  I hope I am responsive to this when I care for families in the future.

4. On that note…simple words that convey understanding, empathy, and support (even in the case of illnesses are mild or commonplace) can go a long way. I have to HIGHLY recommend the new Domino Farm’s IHA Urgent Care in Ann Arbor. The front desk folks there are wonderful. (The nurse & doc were great too, but I feel like those other people we interact with in our medical visits can have such a big impact too and I really thought these ladies deserved a shout out).

5. Decisions to send a kid to daycare/school or not and if or when to take a little one to the doctor for an illness are not always obvious. From my experience with Ben’s little bugs so far, there are often up & down periods throughout the day, even throughout a single hour. It may seem they’ve perked up and feel better, but a few hours later it is as if things have only gotten worse.

6. Wondering if there is any amount of TV that could be considered ‘too much’ when it is helping a struggling, sick little one stay distracted. My instinct: No.  However, we are now dealing with the aftermath in which toddler terrorist demands to turn on Baby Einstein are the new norm. We’re going cold turkey on him. All remotes and DVDs are under lock and key now that he is almost back to healthy.

7. Random recall of being at my Grandma’s house when I was pretty little (maybe 6?) and had to stay home sick from school. I got to eat Fruity Pebbles in bright orange bowls while watching Nickelodeon all day long. I vaguely remember that I threw up the Fruity Pebbles shortly after consuming their crumbly goodness, and was either slightly disappointed that the puke was not rainbow-confetti colored, or slightly amazed that it was.   …maybe I’ll have to keep a box of Pebbles stashed in the pantry for a little experiment next time Ben gets sick.

Ok that got way too long…sleep-deprived ramblings.


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