crow sandwich

I had a bit of a temper tantrum at school last week when Connor was sent home for the second time in three days due to fever. The first call came Tuesday afternoon. I was sitting with a patient considering hospice services when the phone rang and my stomach went into my throat. I really should edit the name of school to "PANIC" or "Deep beaths" because either of those would be more appropriate considering the undeniable reactions that take place in my brain when school's name flashes on my screen.

The report from school was a 102 temp. I wrote in on my notebook. Circled it. Try to be calm and supportive while that number screams at you off your notepad, mocking you. We were almost done with our visit, just setting up things like equipment and admission time. When I got to school, he was asleep on his mat. He had fallen asleep on his teacher's shoulder during outside recess, unprecedented. Children had walked over him while he lay sleeping, seriously? He looked like a sad puppy.

Connor spent the next day with Kiki, where he talked non-stop, turned a drinking straw into a hockey stick and in general was the complete opposite of feverish sick toddler. So off to school he went on Thursday, and back I went early in the afternoon to collect him again, fever of 102.6.

He greeted me with, "mommy, I laying down." We scooped up the big sister and had a nice little quiet afternoon together. Seeing as how he had a temp again, he spent Friday with Kiki as well. Again, a perfectly healthy boy.

I went off a bit. I found an article about temperatures and shared it with the Director. I took issue with school using an under arm axillary temp and adding a degree, particularly when I took the temps at home the moment we walked in the door and found them to be 99 using a temporal (fever threshold for this type of thermometer is 100.4). Nowhere near close to the 102.6 reported and mysteriously lowered without intervention of any kind. I especially took issue when they took the temp immediately following nap time, hello sweaty warm from sleep and blanket heat arm pit temp. I voiced my displeasure, acknowledging their policies, but disagreeing. Conspriacy theories are a must in McCasa when these things happen. Playing the day care sick day game can be dangerous and you must be sure of your move or you will lose not just a day and half, but much much more. School after just a one day sick window is always marking them for thermometer selection.

While training for the arena, the Gamemakers watch the children, surverying them for any small sign of weakness. In these moments, I wish I could drop a silver parachute out of their sight with an amazing something to rescue him from persecution.

(I just finished the Hunger Games trilogy and briefly considered a whole big Hunger Games metaphor, but thought it would take away from the very real frustration I am feeling.)

Frustration over how just one groggy moment, any sign of lethargy, an indication of not being completely well and poof, they are on the phone. This also infuriates me because yes, he was "sick" yesterday, he cannot possibly just one day later be completely 110% better. It is just unrealistic and while I would love to keep him home with me until he is, let's be serious and honest, it isn't at all realistic.  Thank goodness we have a Kiki around the corner.

I stewed, I considered (and am still considering) getting a temporal to "donate" because, enough. It just feels a bit too convenient to me and it's clear from a historical perspective that these fevers (while present) are grossly embellished. How does a child with a 102.6 temp, 101.6 minus that ridiculous degree somehow miraculously barely meet the fever threshold when we get home? It just doesnt sit well.

Then Saturday happened. We split up in the morning. Steve took Connor to get his haircut. Caroline and I hit the market and clinched an amazing tag sale find of at least one hundred tiny little people pieces from MY era of little people. You know the ones I am referring to don't you? As I was checking out at Stop and Shop, I got a frenzied call from Steve, Connor was shaking. He was warm. Medicine had been given, but he was getting warmer. Racing in the door and upstairs I found him snuggled with Steve in a blanket, with goop coming out of his left ear in copious, frightening amounts. A ruptured eardrum? Worse? We got the last appointment at the pedi for the afternoon and his color was gone, sickly eyes turned down. clinging to me, quiet, not running away. This was bad.

Diagnosis, double ear infection, and a pretty bad one she thinks. Goop likely leaking from his one working tube. Phew. Antibiotics. Bummer. Home. Rest. He slept until about 4 and then asked to go back to bed after eating practically nothing for dinner at 5:30. Limp in my arms, snuggling, quiet. His fever raged despite meds, reaching 103 and then some sending me into a near panic, but he was resting, not crying. I readied my evacuation plan to the closest hospital or urgent care, monitored, wringing my hands, googling. I let him be and the fever broke and he has been fine ever since.

Not a single ear pull. Not a wince, not an ow, not a "my ear hurts." Not a single hint this was happening. Poor Con. I'm feeling slightly guilty about my little temperature tirade with school, but I'm eating this crow sandwich in silence. Yes, he was actually sick after all, but their policy is still for the birds.


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