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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Two trips to Pediatrician in one day?

My son started running a low grade fever at daycare just as my parents arrived to pick him up a bit early for some afternoon fun in the sun. After giving him a dose of Tylenol, they decided it might be a better idea to take him home to rest. Of course since my husband and I both work, that meant someone was going to have to meet them at the house. At 4:45 when I finally picked up messages from my husband and parents, I decided I would go home early see my boy.

When I opened the door my husband said "shhh" and put his finger to his mouth. Our boy was snuggled up against his chest sleeping on the couch where he would stay until bedtime. We decided that we'd wait to make decisions about what to do until morning. He woke up just long enough for us to give him some Motrin and kiss him goodnight and then back to sleep he went.

Twelve hours later (which is a record, I assure you, since the kid has barely slept through the night since he was born), it was morning time - and decision time. He was still "not himself" so we decided I would take him to clinic hours at our Pediatrician office at 8:00 AM. If he was well enough for school, I would head there and then my office.

The visit was pleasant enough and the doc explained that our boy had a cervical (neck) strain and would be better in a few days. He wasn't at all worried about the low grade fever. This isn't so bad, I thought. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts as a "special treat" then headed to school for him and then work for me. I was feeling pretty good. Disaster averted, I thought to myself.

Six hours later, you can imagine my surprise when I received a call from the daycare director telling me that my son had a 101.7 fever, chills and was complaining of a sore throat. I closed my laptop, gave some last minute instructions to my team, and headed out. On the way I called the pediatrician's office and explained to them that we'd be coming in AGAIN. They tried to avert us to Urgent Care until I appealed to the receptionist's sympathetic side. "We'll see you right away if you can get here by 4:45", she said. Darn right you'll see us, I thought to myself. When I got to school my heart sank when I saw my boy, head slumped to one side waiting for him mommy. I picked him up and carried him to the car, buckled him in and then drove straight to the doctor's office.

We arrived and I smiled at the woman at the desk looking at me like she's seen me before. "Yes, we were the ones here first thing this morning", I said. My husband arrived ten minuted later just before we were called back.

After exchanging pleasantries, the doctor got busy checking over our son - AGAIN. Had he missed something earlier? What was it? In his defense, kid's symptoms come on fast and change at will. With the newest symptom - sore throat - added to the mix, he decided that a strep test was our best bet. After the initial discomfort, my son snuggled up with us as we awaited the results. Have you ever had a Strep culture taken? It hurts and the gag reflex isn't pleasant either.

"He has Strep", the doc said when he returned. My husband and I looked at each other both wondering "couldn't he have somehow known that this morning?" We left with the entire staff (it's a Friday on a holiday weekend after all), and headed in two separate directions. Me, home. And, my husband to the drug store to fill the prescription. For the record, this is my son's FOURTH bout with Strep this year.

As a working mom, it's hard to keep balls in the air on a day when you're on deadline at work and your child is sick. Thankfully, I squeezed in a nearly full day in between the two trips to the pediatrician's office. Once again my son is resting while his body gets busy healing. I know that 24 hours from now we'll have our boy with boundless energy back. For now, though, I think I'll just enjoy his need for extra hugs and warm snuggles.

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