Monday, September 20, 2010

The Doctor's Visit

Picture the scene: Raphaela is hot to the touch and since noon has refused to eat or drink anything. We arrive at the doctor, and not only are all the seats in the waiting room taken, but four people stand outside.

When I tell the secretary that we have arrived for our emergency appointment, she looks at me and says, "Sweetheart, all these people are emergencies." She continues, "Maybe you should take the baby for a very long walk, it's not good for her to be in the waiting room, there are sick people here."

I start to cry.

Immediately the assembled waitees split into two groups, one consisting of Israelis who mean well and try to help, and the other who pull out all the stops and take the opportunity to make me feel like the Shittiest Parent of Century.

Helpful Israeli Group:
"Is everything OK?" (They asked the crying mother with the screaming baby...)
"Did you give her a bath?"
"Did you give her Children's Tylenol?"
"Maybe you should give her some water to drink."
"I can't believe the doctor did not take you right away!"

Unhelpful Israeli Group:
"She's been feverish since this morning and you are only coming to the doctor now?"
"Why didn't you take her to the emergency room?"
"Why didn't you bring her a bottle with water, or a baby bag?"
"My god, you are such a first time mother!"
"How could you let her diaper rash get that bad?"
"What, are you alone? Don't you have any help?" (They asked the crying single mother...)

Then Raphaela had the diarrhea to end it all, and the secretary, who until now had been less than sympathetic, stepped up her game with wonderful statements like:
"I can't believe she dirtied that chair, we just bought new ones."
"Well, no one will be able to sit on that chair anymore."
"Just put the baby in the stroller and clean up that mess, it stinks!"

Finally, after a wait of close to an hour, a woman gave up her appointment so that I could take Raphaela for her examination. The doctor checked her chest and her ears and told me that indeed my daughter is sick, but otherwise is in excellent health.

I laughed and cried at the same time, because clearly, Raphaela was not OK.

His biggest fear at the moment is dehydration, and has directed that I take Raphaela to the emergency room for an IV in the middle of the night, should I be so concerned.

My sweet daughter, no matter how uncomfortable she may have been, still said hello in her cat voice to Harry as we walked in the house.


sara said...

While it is frightening to have a child with fever - one must remember that every parent in that waiting room is worried about their child as well. My son has frequent ear infections and each time he gets a fever I have a huge pit in my stomach. If someone went ahead of me at the dr's office because their daughter has a stomach bug and they cried when they had to wait - I would not be so thrilled.

Doc said...

It wasn't the emergency room, it was my GP, and she was the only baby in the whole room. In addition, they had told me to come asap and that I was considered a priority appointment, so you can imagine my surprise when they told me it would be a two hour wait.