As a parent of many, there is no shortage of opportunities for me to pretend I have the skills of a medical practitioner. The small Silverman-Akandes are very good at getting harsher than necessary, benign health problems. Miss O and Mr. Lee have, since birth, been especially good at giving us scares. There have been frequent trips to the emergency room – once by ambulance; there have been IVs – usually for hydration but sometimes medicine; there have been hospital stays and regular trips to specialists and therapists.
In the end, the best we can come up with is that these two really love to hang out at the hospital, enjoy all the attention that comes with it and still haven’t gotten over the fact that they came out of me sooner than they wanted and are a little more prone to getting sick because of it.
Like any parent, I will do anything for my kids and want to ensure that they are healthy beings but there’s only so much excitement and panic I can muster up every time one of them gets sick. I’ve suggested a frequent visitor points card for the hospital we frequent, where on the 5th visit you get free parking for the duration of your ER stay, but they have not jumped on this idea. Until they give my frequent visitor card, where possible I want to deal with my kids’ illnesses on my own.
Because I refuse to visit the doctor or get stressed every time my people get sick, I have learned a few tricks. My friends have been known to call me when their kid has weird symptoms of some kind or another because I’ve seen a lot in my 7 years as a parent, and “oh I was the ER last night” is not an exceptional thing to hear me say. Sharing is caring so I have compiled a list of 7 things I do when my kids get sick.This goes without saying, but this does not replace medical (or valuable) advice.
1. Start with Vaseline. When my children tell me they are sore or itchy or rashy or there’s a red spot, or whatever other problem they think they are having on their skin or in their crevices, I put vaseline on it. (Don’t worry, natural medicine supporters, I use the non-petroleum jelly.) The way I see it, if vaseline doesn’t make the “problem” go away, then I’ll treat it like an actual problem. My mother thinks this is irresponsible, but I think it’s genius and she doesn’t live with my people so she doesn’t have a realistic sense of just how much I use this vaseline trick!
2. Trust your instincts about yourself and your children. Do not always trust your child’s instincts (except when they are bang on, which can happen). Children make things up and aren’t patient by nature so they don’t give time a chance to heal their wounds.
3. Always have band-aids. Do not get into any sort of debate about whether or not a band-aid is required. If you are willing to have this debate with a child asking for a band-aid, you are not busy enough. Just give them the damn band-aid and a kiss.
4. If they complain about a tummy ache, first, take them to the bathroom. I think you know why. Second, offer them water. Third, if it is convenient, offer them a hot water bottle, a bucket for potential vomit and space on the couch to lie down. When I go through these three simple steps, I sometimes solve the tummy ache problem but usually I just make my kid feel like I am taking them seriously. This is not patronizing. It is effective. When I dismiss their complaints, which I am wont to do, they just keep complaining. They can complain forever. Besides, what if their tummy ache is a direct result of them thinking that I don’t take them seriously?
|Skip the oral temperature taking!|
5. If you’re going to take a child’s temperature because you really want an accurate number, do it rectally - even if they are no longer babies. If they are really, really sick, they won’t have the energy to complain about the rectal temp. taking and then you’ll know for sure that you’re dealing with an actual sick child.
6. Invest in an ear scope thingy. My kiddos get ear infections all the time but they complain of ear pain even more. Different things can cause ear pain, not all pain is an infection and some infections do not need to be seen by a doctor. An ear scope is a good way to save me unnecessary trips to the doctor. Also checking your children’s ears totally makes you feel like a doctor. It’s so fun!
7. Do not over-react when a child falls or crashes into something. Despite my relaxed attitude about most health related things, I am terrible at this one. I am the queen of the gasp or embarrassingly loud scream when a kid hits the ground. I get in trouble from friends for this, but let’s just imagine that an adult fell off their chair or crashed head first into another adult, wouldn’t you ask if they are okay? Ahem; I rest my case.
Those are my tips. I probably have a few more, but Miss F who has a tummy ache is currently calling me. I’m not even making this up in the name of writing! Luckily she knows the rules; she’s off to the bathroom.XO Ajike