Saturday, October 06, 2007

The House of Strep

We are a house of strep here in North Texas. When I was a kid, mother kept me and my siblings home for three days with a fever before taking us to the doctor to find out if we had strep (or any other horrendous childhood malady), but here in 2007, in childhood's incubation chamber, I got a call from the school nurse Wednesday at 2:15 reporting a fever and sore throat in my oldest; she warned of the streptococcal bacteria currently infecting the school. So, I called the doctor (or her receptionist, really) who had no open appointments, but took a message for a nurse to call me back.

The nurse called back in an hour, asked questions about my daughter's symptoms and squeezed us in for 4:30 appointment. A swab of the back of her throat produced positive results for strep six minutes later.

Little brother, who was in the examining room, was examined and discharged without a swabbing of the throat. Sister was given a ten-day prescription for amoxycillin but released for school or any other socialization after being on the medication for 24 hours. It works that quickly.

Friday evening, little brother made weepy noises about his mouth and refused to eat his dinner. A call was made to the doctor's answering service and returned by a nurse who asked pertinent questions, and then called the doctor who had her schedule a Saturday morning appointment at her office. (Of course, I'll be charged an after-hours visit price, she didn't tell me at the time, but they'll bill it to my insurance company.)

A swab of the back of his throat produced the same results as his sister's, and we have another prescription of the magic elixir.

Meanwhile, a cool front pushed in this evening but the drop in temperature was unnoticeable because of the high humidity that persisted. The clouds drifted westward, indifferent to my cares and worries. Today, my husband--not indifferent to my cares and worries--inserted a glass pane into our door to replace one that had been broken in February by my oldest who in typical childhood play, ran into it, leaving a pattern of cracks. When the cracks in the stained glass finally started falling out, we removed the entire piece and have been living since then with nothing but a thin piece of plexi-glass between us and the world.

If my family were a dog, we'd be on our back showing our belly. It's not untypical that we leave the garage door open all night long. The first time we did that, a neighbor called to alert us the next day. She's quite used to our absent-mindedness by now.

So, the clouds and the air and the earth and the world are indifferent to us, but we are not indifferent to each other and that in the end is what makes a family. As my brother once told me, family is a big, warm embrace ... with the occasional knee to the groin. Learning to dodge the knees, I am finding, makes all the difference.



Blogger Dana said...

Hope the little ones feel better soon.

We just last year decided we really needed to get a lock on the front door. We did. And still we often don't remember to lock the door at night because we forget we finally got one. I hear ya.

9:15 PM  

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