Well, I had an interesting afternoon.
This morning at the donut shop, I happened to look at Elizabeth and notice a strange rash on her forehead. It wasn't really red, it wasn't raised, it was just a bunch of little purpley pinhead dots that went down her neck and onto her shoulders. My donut dudes suspected dermatitis and I figured, well, she did sleep on clean sheets last night, maybe I accidentally washed them in the fragranced detergent and went on to Little Gym as usual. After loads of fun at the LG, the kids and I took a stroll through the mall and while waiting on Santa again (I couldn't deny my middle child another crack at Ho Ho), I noticed the rash again. It seemed a little more purpley and there seemed to be more behind her ears. Hmmm, time to head home to Dr. Google. Dr. Google's diagnosis: It is urgent that your child be seen by a doctor since the purpley rash didn't blanch white when pressed so your child most certainly has meningitis and likely infected everyone she came in contact with, even poor, poor Santa. I almost passed out then and there.
So, I try to remain calm and dial the pediatrician's office and let them know I have just a teeny concern and they were all like, come in right now, can you be here in ten minutes? That made me vomit in my mouth just a little. I honestly do not remember driving to that office. I couldn't tell you which road I choose to get there. I just remember getting there and seeing our pediatrician, not a nurse, waiting for us outside the door. Surely she was just being friendly I kept telling myself. New policy or something. She didn't seem concerned or anything. I think she was smiling. Yeah, she's just happy to see us. Yeah, that's it. So she takes us to a room, takes Elizabeth and looks her over, pokes at her, asks a bunch of questions and tells me, yep, those are petechiae and she'll be drawing blood to check her platelet count and can two med students come look at her because we don't see those very often.
Damn, that can't be good.
It took all of seven minutes for her to prick my baby's finger and come back with the results and temporary diagnosis. Her platelet count is fine, good in fact, and she guesses the petechiae are from an extended crying fit she had as a result of having to spend one hour with my husband. In those seven minutes I imagined my baby being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and all that might come with that. Those seven minutes almost killed me. I couldn't even imagine what happens all the time to "somebody else". I thought of my sister and I probably felt only a fraction in seven minutes of what she felt for nine years, probably still feels. I cried with relief when that good doctor told me she thought my baby was fine. I cried in the car on the way home. I cried when I picked up my son. I cried when I looked in the rearview mirror at my three healthy children because I am so, so grateful that they are healthy and ornery and full of life and that, for now, I don't have to live those seven minutes, that I am not "somebody else" today.
If you happen to be "somebody else", just now that you are being prayed for today.
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