Well

We have been very busy these past few weeks — at least, that’s my excuse for not writing more. Grace is averaging two doctor appointments per week, one at infectious disease and one at some other doctor (ortho, GI, etc.). She was supposed to have an infectious disease appointment today but I had to cancel it. Gracie’s class had a field trip today — they saw “Charlotte’s Web” at a local theater. Although we had plenty of notice of the field trip on the 14th, and we all knew Gracie had her infectious disease appointment on Wednesday, none of us put it together that it was the same day. Miss K, Gracie’s amazing para, called me first thing this morning to tell me about the scheduling problem. She offered for me to drop Gracie off at the theater after the appointment, but I wasn’t even sure the appointment would be done by the time the play started, and let’s face it — what’s more important, a doctors appointment or a play? There will be other appointments.

She has another appointment scheduled tomorrow, in fact. It’s her regular yearly checkup, ironically called a “well child” check. The name isn’t ironic for other kids but Grace is hardly ever “well.” In fact, she’s been saying she’s sick for days, and right now she has a low-grade fever.

I don’t know what to make of it when she says she’s sick. I believe her that something is wrong, but since she can’t articulate what hurts (or even what doesn’t feel right), it’s hard to know what to do. I’ve been asking her if her tummy hurts but she can’t tell me. Her finger doesn’t look too bad so it’s probably not that. She could be reacting to the antibiotics — in fact, that seems to me the most likely cause of the fever — but until other causes of infection are ruled out that is only a guess. We will probably have to test for sources of infection tomorrow at her “well” child check. She also needs some vaccinations; we put them off last year because she was so unwell at her “well” child check, and now they are due (her doctor said she could get them at age 4 or 5 so it wasn’t a big deal to wait last year but we can’t wait again now).

Although it’s very worrisome that Grace has a fever while she’s on strong antibiotics, I feel almost numb to the shock. I sit here nonchalantly typing, mulling over whether Grace needs to go to the ER or whether we can accomplish everything at her “well” child visit tomorrow. I may even send her to school if the fever is gone in the morning. It speaks volumes about what we’ve been through that I’m not freaking out right now. Grace has been in this situation before. She has broken a fever through antibiotics, through these particular antibiotics in fact. There are less terrible possibilities for the fever — she could have a virus, she could have an infection that these antibiotics will not cover, like a bladder infection — but if this situation is like the last time this happened, Gracie’s fever is actually a very rare reaction to the antibiotics. Since the words “very rare” attach to the reaction, that must be what it is. Those are Gracie’s words.

Well. Well well well. We shall see what tomorrow will bring. Will we have a visit to the ER? Will we keep our “well” child visit as scheduled? Will Gracie be well tomorrow? Well, we’ll just have to wait to find out.

Update: Gracie definitely will not be going to school. She was up for most of the night with a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. When the infectious disease doctor’s office opens I will call to see if they want to see her, otherwise we will convert her “well” child visit to a sick child visit and forgo the vaccinations until she’s healthier.

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