One For the Text Books

Today let’s discuss a widely-known but rarely documented phenomenon that every mother has experienced.  I would like to propose to the American Academy of PediatrDoctor_1ics that we call this disorder, heretofore unnamed, Make-a-fool-of-mommyitis.  Let’s discuss.

Say, for example, your four-year-old son spends the entire weekend fever-ridden with a sore throat.  By the time Monday morning arrives, he is miserably ill and couch-prone.  Neither of you has slept, so you fall asleep on the couch during Go, Diego, Go and fail to call the pediatrician the minute they open.  You finally call, only to find that you must beg and plead for them to squeeze you in, which they cannot do until 3 pm.  Meanwhile, your four-year-old patient has begun wailing "my froat! my froat!", and spends the rest of the day in agony.

Bear with me, this is where the disorder becomes serious.

Appointment time rolls around, and you manage to make arrangements for the older kids to play at a friend’s house, because of course, they are home from school today (research shows that the likelihood of Make-a-fool-of-mommyitis is directly proportional to the amount of trouble you took to get to the doctor).  You, the patient, and the baby drive to the doctor on sheets of solid ice (see statement, before) and skate across the parking lot.  You reach the waiting room, by which time your little patient is whimpering in agony.  As you check in, he wails, "I fink my froat is bleeding!"  and all the other mothers gather their children so they will not catch your child’s Ebola.  Finally, finally, they call you back to the exam room.  Oh, you are relieved–your precious child will finally be cared for!  But a funny thing has happened.

Your child is no longer sick.

Apparently, there is a miraculous healing agent floating in the air of exam rooms that causes children to become instantly well right before the doctor comes in.  The little boy who, one hour ago, was writhing in agony on the couch is now having sword fights using tongue depressors and pressing every button on the exam table.  He is laughing and making goofy faces while you explain to the nurse how miserable he is feeling.  She leaves, and you find yourself grabbing your child and saying through gritted teeth, "You’d better start acting sick, right now!" 

As I said, this is a frequently occurring phenomenon that is deserving of its place in the medical text books.  With a footnote, of course, that the only cure for Make-a-fool-of-mommyitis appears to be a Waste-a-co-pay-ectomy.

21 thoughts on “One For the Text Books

  1. Megan says:

    Oh, that is funny. And moreso because it just inflicted our family two weeks ago to. I swear that kid had problems with her eyes for FOUR DAYS and even up to the appointment – just as you said. By the time the dr came in, no redness, no rubbing, no nothing. “I swear, she has a problem!” He swears, I have a problem. Felt like an idiot. Just as you suggested…

  2. Jennifer says:

    Oh my I have that in our house all the time. My 6yo was in terriable pain last week and was scream because her tummy hurt her so bad she couldnt get off the toliet.(same child who the dr thought had menigitis the week prior) I lift her up, scoop her in the car and call the dr on my way there. We get there and we are signing in and she lets off the biggest toot known to man kind. I hang my head in defeat and go home.

  3. chilihead says:

    This happened to us so many times that I have actually put off going to the doc a few times with Munchkin. Of course, we still end up going and that’s when we usually find out she has double ear infections. I end up as an idiot any way you slice it.

  4. GiBee says:

    Well — You could always come down with “honey-I’m-dying-take-care-of-the-kids-itis” and start rolling around on the floor screaming that your froat is bleeding, and beg him to take the kids somewhere–anywhere–so they don’t get sick. And the second he steps foot out the door, run around the house laughing hysterically. And suddenly, when he gets home, you feel better.
    Okay. Maybe it only works in our fantasy life.

  5. Carol says:

    Yes. It does happen. And yes, we are all afflicted at one time or another. It’s double humiliating when Mom is also an R.N. and the blasted Dr. knows it.
    If it’s any consolation, some maladies are self-limiting and seem to be at their very worst right when the body kicks in to high gear and cures itself. Believe it or not, we are capable of combating many ailments all on our own provided our wee bodies have the proper nutrients to do so.
    Oh, we are funny creatures.

  6. mimi2six says:

    This is just too funny! It’s not a new malady by any means. When your generation of mommies were little ones, you did the same thing. And…yes…I actually told you to at least act sick – on more than one occasion! Some aspects of parenthood just never change!

  7. momrn2 says:

    Ha ha ha and tee hee hee. I’m not laughing at you but with you, of course! I can so relate! And isn’t it almost as bad when that happens to us? We are sick and hurting for so long that we finally call and get an appointment. Then of course the day of our appt. we feel fine. Trying to explain how the pain felt because, frankly, “I feel fine today doctor”. AAAARRRRGGGHHH! And Carol’s right. It’s only worse when you are a RN! Quick… duck and run…
    tee hee hee and ha ha ha

  8. Lauren says:

    It’s ok Shannon, when he gets a few years older, its almost guaranteed that you’ll catch the dreaded “Make-a-fool-of-childitis” for which there remains no cure.

  9. Lisa says:

    ROFL! Oh…if I only knew how many times that happened to me. And I think I was more mad about dropping $ on the co-pay than anything else.
    Or – how about when you don’t take your child for two days, thinking it’s just a “virus”, and when you finally call and make an appointment, you’re all nonchalant about it. You take her in and they do a throat culture, and come to find out, she had strep! That isn’t fun.

  10. Natalie Joy says:

    I have learned to with-hold much needed medication such as tylenol and cough syrup just to prevent this dreaded disease you speak of. Just this last week in fact the fever was getting higher and higher but I wanted to make sure that dr believed my daughter was sick. 103.8 I felt a little bad.

  11. Corina Bowen says:

    LOL- I don’t remember reading that in any parenting book I ever read! You know the doctors have to laugh at all the emotions going over our faces as we go from shock, disbelief, anger and embarrassment!

  12. Macromoments says:

    Shannon, your post brought back crazy memories. I used to haul my daughter to the doctor with a blazing 104.6 temp, only to have her turn into a giggling machine when we arrived. The higher the temp, the happier she became.
    I’ll always remember the morning an older mom asked if my daughter’s “delirium” didn’t bother me just a tad bit, that maybe I should take her giggles more seriously. (Huh?)

  13. Jennifer, Snapshot says:

    Laughing here. In fact, when my little guy was one he woke up one day all sick and cuddly (never cuddly when he’s well) with a fever over 102. I got into the doctor a couple of hours later, and they verified his temperature and asked, “Did it not go down with Motrin?”
    Well, uh, no, because I didn’t give him any, because I wanted them to know he was really sick. You can mail the mother of the year award to Jennifer, CT USA
    I’m enjoying the archives!

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