The wonderful world of Justice and Mommy aka Mary!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sushi and Sour Worms


When I was a child, whenever I was sick my mother would offer to go to the store and buy me whatever I wanted to eat. In retrospect I think she may have been trying to get any nutrients into me that I would agree to. I typically asked for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or jelly doughnuts from the local bakery. What can I say…they may have not been full of vitamins and minerals; but, I’ve always had great taste.

Like my own mother, I asked Justice what he might want me to get for him, because he was sick. His appetite was in the drain and I was desperate to get anything into him. He asked for sushi and sour worms. This was such a stretch from my typical “sick food”; but, I wanted him to have whatever he wanted and if that meant sugary confections and raw fish wrapped in rice and seaweed I was happy to oblige.

Justice ate his sushi and clung to his sour worms like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately he became very ill, very fast and the sour worms were never to be consumed. His fever spiked to almost 104 degrees and I panicked. At first I thought he was just exhibiting the normal signs of a sick child; but, it soon became obvious that there was much more going on in his little body.

After he came home from school he seemed to be just a little under the weather. About two hours later he was laying down in the bed fast asleep. I took his temperature and realized it was 102 degrees. I gave him some Tylenol and figured he was going to get under the covers and be out for the count the rest of the night. It was as this point things began to take a turn for the worst.

About fifteen minutes later Justice sprung up from a deep sleep faster than a mouse trap. “MOMMY!” Justice cried angrily at me “I AM HUNGRY. GET ME SOMETHING TO EAT!” It was crazy. Just a minute before he was sound asleep. Now I don’t normally allow him to speak to me in such a manner; but, something told me this was not a normal situation. I quickly fixed him some chicken and watched as he ate one small piece. I turned my back for a second while I wiped the kitchen counters down then looked back to find Justice’s seat empty.

Where had the hungry child gone? Right back to bed. He was sound asleep in just a matter of minutes. It was strange; but, I figured he was a bit out of sorts and decided maybe his stomach was a bit upset. Then just ten minutes later he popped up again screaming at me. “MOMMY! I AM HUNGRY! GET ME SOMETHING TO EAT!” I was shocked. This was crazy. His chicken was still sitting on the table for him.

I offered him his chicken again and he demanded a popsicle. I was anxious to get anything into him and knew he was running a fever again, so I decided a popsicle might not be so bad. Quickly, I went to the freezer and got him a frozen treat and a plate to catch the drippings. Almost as soon as I gave it to him he was back in the bed. I watched in disbelief. How could this child who was demanding food from a tear stained face possibly be back in bed? What would poses him to demand food from me in such an inappropriate way then abandon the very thing he anguished for?

I started to realize something was terribly wrong. He was behaving like an Alzheimer’s patient. Confused and angry. I grabbed the thermometer and took his temperature. I looked at the numbers in shock. It was almost 104 degrees! How could a little boy who was well enough to make it through a day of school be so sick just a few hours later?

Immediately I went into mommy mode. I realized that his temperature was out of control and we needed to go to the hospital. Justice wasn’t happy about it; but, he didn’t have a choice. I began grab for random items in a blur of fear. I grabbed my laptop, a few movies, a bottle of water, the thermometer…..my cell phone…..my cell phone….where the heck was my phone at? “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me.” I thought. “This would have to be the one day I left my phone at work.”

I wanted to call Justice’s father and let him know what was going on; but, without my phone my hands were tied for the moment. I knew the most important thing right then was to get Justice to a hospital. I could sort out the phone call when I got to St. Mary’s and knew Justice was in a safer place.

Of course the emergency room was packed and we had no choice but to fill out the necessary paperwork and wait. And wait we did. Justice was pretty lethargic, so he didn’t mind for the most part. I had brought a Readers Digest with me and there was a large televison with cartoons to keep me occupied. I happened to notice another mother out of the corner of my eye using a phone on the wall. I realized it was a public phone and was able to call Justice’s father and alert him to the situation.


I grabbed the germ covered phone and made my call, then sat back down to wait. Eventually the triage nurse saw us and gave Justice a dose of Motrin to help reduce his fever. It had only dropped to 103.4 at that point. He was a good patient and answered most of the questions she asked himself. He had a very good vocabulary for a 5 year old and I think it amuses most adults to hear him speak.

Soon we were finished with triage and…..you guessed it, we went back to the waiting room. There seems to be a-lot of waiting in hospitals. Maybe that’s why I don’t like them very much. Finally after some time we heard our name called. We were ushered to a bed with a curtain wall. This was a much more comfortable place to wait.

I set up the laptop with Labyrinth to give Justice something to do until the doctor came to see us. He seemed to thing this was a pretty good idea and so did the doctor when he arrived. He asked us a few questions and took a throat culture which Justice did not care for so much. For a split second he looked as if he thought the nice doctor was trying to gag him to death; but, quickly got over it. The doctor left and we resumed out movie.

When he came back he announced that Justice had strep throat, tonsillitis, an ear infection and a viral infection. “What?!” I said incredulously, “How can this be?” The doctor didn’t seem to think it was too out of the ordinary, but he did prescribe a pain killer for his ear and a 10 day course of amoxicillin.

Soon Justice’s temperature came down to 101 and we were allowed to leave. It was a long night and we were both happy to see our beds when we got home. Naturally being as sick as he was I stayed home with him the following day and his father stayed home with him two days after that. He finished his antibiotics; but, the story doesn’t end there.

I would tell you more, but it’s still unfolding. I guess we’ll just have to wait to see how this one ends
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posted by Mary Gerber at 3/19/2008

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