Fear-bola has turned me into a Friggin' Lunatic

Monday, October 20, 2014



Ebola is freaking me the frigg out.

So is Enterovirus, or EV-D68, or Enterovirus D68, or whatever the virus is called.

For the first time EVER, I bought hand sanitizer to keep in my purse, several hand soap refills at Target and disinfecting wipes for each of the 3 bathrooms in my house.

This is way over the top for me given the fact that I've been known to let my kids eat, yes eat, without washing their hands first, pretty much all of the time. (A habit, or non-habit that totally grosses my husband out).

I've never carried hand sanitizer in my purse.

My stock pile of fine hand soaps under my kitchen sink looks like I'm preparing for biological warfare.

But it's not so much the germ-fighting supplies I bought that's alarming - it's my down-right, bat-shit crazy behavior that's a cause for concern.  And probably needs a diagnosis of it's own.  Dare I self-label myself, a germaphobe?

My 3-year old has been sick for going on 3 weeks here - with various symptoms.

Week 1: Toddler has uncontrollable diarrhea.

I literally can't stop the poop.  She must've let it rip 8 times a day, for 8 days straight.  I was doing everything - Pedialyte Pops, Pedialyte drinks, probiotics, Emergen-C, cheerios, bananas, apples.  I brought her to the doctor on the 7th day of said poop-athon.  The doctor recommended I bring in a stool sample to be tested. Fine done.  A week later, I get a call from one of the nurses that my daughter's submitted stool sample somehow got contaminated and was not able to be tested.

I freaked out on this woman.

I'm like, "When did you know this?"  "Why didn't someone call me, to notify me, I would've brought you a new stool sample, right away?" "Who's accountable?" "How did it get contaminated?" "WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?" "What if this is something SERIOUS?"

Nurse: " Ma'am, it's probably just a stomach virus, let us know if it doesn't clear up in a couple of days or she gets a fever."

Me: "Well, it would help to know which virus it is, now wouldn't it, especially because there's a bunch of freaky ones floating around! Thanks for nothing!" (Hangs up phone).

Ugh.  I'm embarrassed by the Entero-Ebola hysterics of the whole situation.

Three days later, I rush the same kid, my 3-year old to the hospital at 1AM.  She's got a cough, and she seemingly can't breathe well.  She is diagnosed with Croup.  At which point the doctor says she'll need some steroids to get the swelling of her vocal chords to go down.

I'm asking the highly trained doctor, " Are you sure this is Croup?  She had diarrhea just days before - are you sure the two aren't related and this is a different illness?

Doctor: "She has Croup, I'm confident it's nothing else."

Me: "Okay, this may sound crazy, but it's not looking like Enterovirus at all, right?"

Doctor: "No, not at all."

I feel crazy even writing this.  It doesn't even sound like me.  I mean clearly, my daughter had that signature barking seal, Croupy-cough.  Anyone could hear that.  It's not like I'm some stranger to Croup.  But, for whatever fear-based reason, I couldn't stop myself from thinking, that there's a chance this is something else.  What if I don't catch it in time?  What if I don't prevent something horrible from happening?

Three days after hospital freak out.  I bring my daughter to the pediatrician for a post hospital check up.

As my luck would have it - my daughter's normal pediatrician is out for the day.  Instead, we see a doctor - who acts like a one man circus show.  He says it's to help ease the anxiety for the child.

I'm like, duuuuudddeee you are freaking me the f*%# out.

So he flies through the exam - and says maybe she's got Strep now.  Okay fine, Strep, Croup, Diarrhea.  I'm thinking, Whaaatttttt else?!!!!  How could it be all of these at once?

Again, I hit this clowny doctor with my questions like bullets, "Are you sure it's Croup?  And it's not Entero- whatever the heck?  And certainly not Ebola?"

Doctor: "Well, has anyone traveled outside the country in your house?"

Me: "No."

Doctor: "Well, then no."

We leave, I get all the way down to my car, and realize that circus clown doctor forgot to check my daughter's breathing with a stethoscope.  Apparently I was so entranced (disgusted) by his tornado of tricks, that I didn't realize he skipped the stethoscope routine.

So I marched back up to the doctor's office even though they were now closed.  I caught the receptionist locking up the door and I demanded that the doctor re-check my child.

Every single person in that office, looked at me, like I was the freak-show.

But, I'm like, "I can't go through the weekend like this, not knowing for sure."

The doctor listened to my daughter's breathing, and said, he couldn't hear any respiratory distress or wheezing.  We're good to go.  And he added, "I diagnosed a 4-month old with Enterovirus last week, and she did just fine with it."

Wait, what, people survive Enterovirus?

Apparently, people can survive Ebola too.

So no, I won't be buying medical masks or haz-mat suits anytime soon.  I have to remind myself, that it's Fall in pre-school.  Those classrooms are germ cesspools - with their coughing kids, snot-nosed students and sneezies.

I need to get back to a real threat, a real fear- like the friggin flu - now that thing you gotta watch out for.




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