Last week on Sunday, Emma woke me from a sound sleep at 8:12 a.m. to tell me her throat hurt. I wasn’t too concerned since the kid sleeps with her mouth gaping wide open and I could see where all that air blowing in and out of her mouth all night long could tend to dry out her mucous membranes and cause a sore throat. But I went ahead and gave the insides of her mouth an obligatory look. The coast seemed clear. No swelling, no redness, no problem.
I did, however, note a slightly unusual amount of heat radiating from her forehead so I got out the thermometer. One-hundred-one-point-five. Alrighty, we had a little fever going on. I gave her a swig of children’s Motrin and an hour later we were back to good.
I called Rob at work to let him know, and he said that Emma had come to him when he was getting ready for work that morning and told him she had been coughing. I said I guessed that explained her sore throat, and that I hoped it wasn’t the flu. Or the West Nile Virus. (Because when I told Emma she had a fever she said “I know how I got sick. A sick mosquito bit me and made me sick.” That kid definitely watches too much TV.) The day was uneventful with no other symptoms until bedtime, when the fever came back. I gave her another swig of Motrin and she was off to sleep. No problem.
Monday was pretty much the same drill. A little fever in the morning, a complaint of her throat hurting, a cough here and there, and a swig of Motrin. Nothing remarkable. Except she just didn’t look “right” to me. She was pale and tired-looking and she had circles around her eyes. And when her fever came back that evening, I did another quick assessment and discovered that the lymph node in the right side of her neck had become very, very swollen. Houston, we have a problem.
Needless to say, I made an appointment with our pediatrician as soon as her office opened on Tuesday. Emma and I arrived early and hardly waited any time to be taken into an exam room, where I gave the medical assistant a rundown of Emma’s symptoms. The assistant took a throat swab and scooted out of the room to run a strep test. Two Golden Books later, the doctor came through the door with the news that the strep test was negative. Hmmmm. She checked Emma’s ears, nose, and throat and seemed fairly unimpressed. Then she put her stethoscope to Emma’s chest and listened. And listened. And listened, and listened, and had Emma breathe deep, and had Emma breathe shallow and listened some more. And said she “thought” she “might” have heard “a little” wheeze so “let’s take some x-rays just in case.” Alrighty.
Two chest films and fifteen minutes later, the door to our exam room opened and our pediatrician stood speechless in the doorway with an amazed grin on her face, shaking her head back and forth. She said, “You have to see this. Come here.” She took me to the x-ray viewbox and pointed to the image of Emma’s right chest. “See that?” she asked, still smiling and pointing to a large-ish white-ish area on the front-view x-ray. “That’s pneumonia,” she paused. “In the upper part of the middle lobe of Emma’s right lung.” “And that,” she paused again, pointing to the same area on the side-view film. “is where the rest of the middle lobe of her lung is collapsed.” Yes. Collapsed. Apparently the crap in that lobe had glued part of that lobe together. So it was collapsed. WOW. The doctor and I agreed that it was amazing, seeing as how Emma wasn’t acting *that* sick and didn’t look *that* sick. And WOW. Just WOW.
So now, a week’s worth of Augmentin and back-pounding later, Emma’s doing well and still coughing up lungcrap. And someday we’ll look back on this and say she did it all to steal the limelight from her sister’s third birthday.