Saturday, May 22, 2010

But we're not even Jewish......

      In our family, we have a rule. You don't go to the doctor unless you are bleeding, running an unusually high fever, or near the point of death.  General malaise, aches and pains, lumps and bumps, bruises or contusions,  and any other ailments have to be endured for the duration. Not only do I believe this is character building, it is the result of learned behavior.
     This aversion to doctors and hospitals is a result of spending  the majority of my pregnancy on bedrest at St. Mary's, spending nine weeks in the NICU with two pound preemies, spending another six weeks at Children's Hospital after Sissey had surgery, then spending countless days running back and forth to the hospital for therapy. So don't come complaining of some mamby-pamby ailment and expect me to haul you to the doctor. It better be real and it better be bad, or else you're going to just have to ride it out. 
      But after Monday's little episode, I added fainting in public to the list of reasons that qualify for a trip to the doctor.
     Actually, it wasn't just the fainting that qualified Sissey for a trip to Dr. Sam's office. It was the swollen glands in her neck that had been painful for over a week, the sore throat and headache,  plus the fact that she could barely make it home from class before heading to bed each day for a four hour nap.  It just took the fainting in public to get me to pay attention to her complaints and haul her in for bloodwork and an exam.
     Dr. Sam poked and prodded and drew blood, looked her over from head to toe, peered in ears and eyes, felt for lumps and bumps, then announced that he thought she had Epstein-Barr Virus.
        I couldn't believe the diagnosis. We're not even Jewish, for heaven's sake. We're hymn singing Presbyterians.   Sissey doesn't even like bagels and lox, and I've never made a matzo ball in my life. Shouldn't she have something like John Calvin disease?
      It seems, however, that Epstein-Barr is non-discriminatory and selects it's victims without regard for race, gender, age,  physical impairment, or religious preference. It is especially fond of over-stressed and under-rested college students,is the harbinger of mononucleosis, and once it comes to call, likes to hang around for four to six weeks.  That's a little obnoxious if you ask me. A nice Presbyterian virus would know to leave after a respectable week or so.
     So I did what any good mother would do. I hauled her up to the mountains for some rest and fresh air, ordered her to bed with a big pile of movies, and did the only other thing I could think of to treat something called Epstein-Barr...
      I made a big pot of chicken soup and went shopping.


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