Yesterday Tiny-Small woke up fussy and cranky and before long it was clear she wasn’t feeling well. She kept holding her belly and her crotch and saying that they hurt her. She was in the bathtub splashing around when it seemed to get worse. She started crying. A lot. So, I got her out of the tub and dressed her and we left for urgent care. I had a feeling she had a urinary tract infection. Her pediatrician is always packed and urgent care is part of the same medical group so it seemed like a good choice. I called Jim and since he was out running errands he met us at the doctor’s office.
We waited just about ten minutes to be seen. Tiny-Small told me she was scared so I told her to try to be brave. She asked me, “Like the lion on Lion King?” So I said yes and she was brave, very brave. She let the medical assistant weigh her, check her temperature, and put an alligator clip on her finger (well, that’s what it looked like to me) and ask her questions.
Then the medical assistant gave us a cup. She wanted Tiny-Small to pee in the cup. Jim and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows as we were ushered into the bathroom. Tiny-Small did not have to pee. She tried. She tried about eight times. So, we went back to the exam room and had her drink water. Then we went back to the bathroom where Tiny-Small tried to pee again. She was so bored that she started unrolling toilet paper, trying to open cabinet doors and finally, she pulled the “Call For Help” string dangling next to the toilet. How could she resist it? If you’ve never pulled one of those strings, let me tell you what happened next. The medical assistant and the lady at the front desk both came running to the bathroom. There was an alarm blaring. The lights were literally rolling and flashing. It was a lot of excitement. I am confident Tiny-Small will never pull that string again.
Still, no pee. So, Jim told her if she peed he would get her some candy and then he started singing “Peeing for candy, peeing for candy…” and Tiny-Small sang along too. Then she peed into the cup and we cheered. Of course we had no candy so we told her we would get it on the way home. We went back to the exam room and waited twenty minutes. Then the medical assistant gave Tiny-Small four stickers and we waited for the doctor.
When the doctor came in she asked all of the usual questions, but then it started to get weird. She wanted to know what I meant exactly by “She’s been holding her crotch.” The doctor said I needed to show her. With a long, uncomfortable pause, Jim and I looked at each other with expressions that said “What the heck?” So, I stood up in the exam room and grabbed my crotch…just like Michael Jackson. It was the best impression of Michael Jackson I have ever done. Incredibly weird. The doctor seemed satisfied with my performance. I on the other hand just felt awkward. Once she had the results of the urine test she told us there was nothing wrong with Tiny-Small, but then looked in her ears, in her throat, and listened to her heart. When Jim mentioned that Tiny-Small likes to play doctor and pretends to listen to our dogs heart with an old zip drive, the doctor wanted to know if our dog was outside. Again, Jim and I were silent as we tried to figure out what she meant. Outside in the yard of our house? Then the doctor seemed to get annoyed and she said, “You didn’t leave your dog outside in the car did you?” Another long, awkward pause occurred before we answered, “No. We didn’t bring our dog.” Why would we bring our dog to the doctor and leave it in the car in 100 degree heat? It was becoming clear that she thought we were complete morons. Then the doctor proceeded to ask us if abuse was a possibility. We answered no. We looked at each other again with expressions that said “What the heck?”
“Does she have any other caregivers?” the doctor asked. Apparently, if your daughter is in pain and she doesn’t have a urinary infection the only other option is she is being abused. I was kind of stunned. I mean, I know doctors have to ask these questions, but I didn’t expect it to be the second diagnosis option. Then the doctor said she would have to take a look at Tiny-Small’s private area. So we undressed her on the table and pulled her legs apart. It was incredibly awful and uncomfortable. The doctor said, “She looks normal.” That was it. We had been there for two hours. We knew nothing new about what was causing Tiny-Small pain. The only thing we learned was that the doctor didn’t think we were very bright people and that she might, possibly, be a Michael Jackson fan. Either that or she is just strange. Who doesn’t know what “holding her crotch” means? I felt like a horrible parent all the way around.
Then the doctor said Tiny-Small was fine, but if the symptoms persisted until Monday (6 days from then) that we should take her in to see her pediatrician. So, we went home. I felt uneasy, but how could I argue with medical science? Tiny-Small sang “Peeing For Candy” all the way home.
Last night Tiny-Small had a fever that got up to 103. I was worried, so I did what I do best: I called my mom. She told me to give her ibuprofen for the fever. Tiny-Small’s fever went down and she fell asleep. My friends on Facebook suggested she might have a yeast infection. I am still wondering why the doctor didn’t check for that. Or why I had to show her what holding your crotch looks like. Or why abuse is the next and only logical step after ruling out a urinary infection. Or why she seemed more concerned with imaginary dogs than she did with figuring out what was wrong with Tiny-Small. None of this makes any sense to me. I am actually starting to wonder if she was doing an impression of a doctor. Maybe she wasn’t really a doctor at all, just like I am not really Michael Jackson, obviously.
So, here I am, up early, waiting for the pediatrician’s office to open. I am going to call and insist they squeeze Tiny-Small in today. She’s obviously got an infection of some kind. I am her mother. I know something is wrong. I won’t be distracted by the silly questions this time and I will not be doing any impressions either.