The morning after my last post we had an allergist appointment for Abigail to figure out why she had come out in a full body rash a few weeks ago (requiring a late night ER visit). It went well and they discovered she has a fairly mild and typical reaction to some seasonal plants but that the rash was probably not due to any of these things. The final answer on the reaction "it was possibly viral even though she wasn't sick, there's nothing more to do about it. If it happens again take more antihistamines".
While we were there the doctor noticed a spot on one of Isabel’s legs, she commented that we might like to stop by the pediatrician’s office on the way out because it looked odd.
I dutifully did this and the triage nurse went back and forth on whether I should see a doctor until finally settling on yes. The appointment was made for later in the afternoon since I was at that point going to pick James up so we could arrange a rental car large enough to accommodate everyone while my car was being worked on.
We went home and I honestly can’t remember what I did, I think I cleaned something but you can’t tell. I probably fed a few kids. I can’t really be sure, life is a bit of a blur right now. Thanks to an amazing neighbor who offered to oversee the older three children as they ran through the neighborhood I was able to go back to the doctor with just Isabel. It is a rare treat to do a doctors visit without hecklers.
We saw a very experienced doctor who took one look at the rash and donned gloves. He inspected it, turning her leg this way and that. Finally he said he thought it looked most like shingles but that shingles are not possible in a two year old. He invited four additional doctors to come and look at it. They all squeezed into this tiny room and vied for a spot close to the leg in question. Isabel acted like this was the most normal thing ever. They all agreed that it did look remarkably like shingles. Their professional diagnostic words were “well, its weird”. Their only other suggestion was that it could be a spider bite but if it spread, as it appeared to be doing, then that couldn’t be it in which case they were back to shingles.
Their treatment plan was this. “In either case there is nothing we can do”. Ok, then. That was what I was planning before the visit so that’s wonderful. Thank you for your time. Before we could go we had to have her leg pose for a quick photo so they could add it to their book of weird things. Their camera had run out of batteries so one of the nurses took the picture with her phone.
Later that afternoon I was conferring with another neighbor about this rash. She did some research and came to show me a bunch of photos that we agreed looked remarkably like Isabel’s rash. It was in fact a case of poison ivy. I’m not sure how five doctors could have missed that but there you have it. I don’t know where she came into contact with the plant of doom but its not uncommon around here. Yet another reason why camping in America is fraught with danger. Between poisonous plants, poisonous creatures, poisonous insects and savage beasts I’m feeling more and more at ease with the inside of my house right now.
We had another reason to visit the emergency room a few weeks ago too. We had come home late in the afternoon after going for a drive. The kids spilled out of the car and went straight for the front lawn. James and I sat on the porch and watched as they engaged in an impromptu soccer game. It was pretty funny to watch. None of them were really dressed for sport and the puppy was joining it as well. They set up goals and raced up and down. Kaitlyn (the only actual soccer player among them) tried to tell them when they needed to do different kinds of throw ins or kicks. Abigail and Isabel were wearing bike helmets and Isabel had even found a stick with a yellow flag attached which she would wave at anyone who got close to her.
As we watched them playing it reinforced in our minds that Emily should stick to figure skating as her sport of choice. She had difficulty connecting foot to ball and was seriously inhibited by her need to jump, spin and do cartwheels. During one such play there was a mid air collision between Emily and Kaitlyn which looked vaguely reminiscent of a kung fu movie. Unfortunately Kaitlyn came out of it screaming.
The game was over and we went inside. We applied ice to Kaitlyn’s shin and could see a bump and bruise developing. I didn’t think it was too serious but she assured us she couldn’t stand on the leg. We had recently discovered that there is an emergency room just 10 minutes from our house. I packed her back into the car and we headed off to the ER. She insisted on a wheelchair and I agreed because the alternative was to carry her and I figured if I did I’d be booking myself in for a back injury.
The doctors and nurses were lovely. They ordered an x-ray and then we waited for the results. They came in and it was decided that since there was no break what we were dealing with was a garden variety contusion. They gave me a handout and we prepared to leave. Now remember, this kid had been wheeled in, unable to bear weight on her severely injured leg less than an hour earlier. She had refused an ice pack because the weight of it hurt too much.
So of course she skipped out of there happily waving goodbye to all the staff.
I am now receiving love letters from this new to us hospital. They apparently appreciate our business and look forward to seeing us again soon.