I put he youngest to bed at 9:00 last night. I had my feet up and was really looking forward to a few heavenly hours to myself. Then, at 9:15 I heard the heavy-sigh inducing, personality-splitting sound of her feet creaking down the stairs. Bad mommy reared her ugly head and snipped at her, "What's going on?" My daughter said "Mommy, my chest hurts." Now she really does have H1N1, but she's also a complete hypochondriac, so while bad mommy wanted to say 'Oh for heaven's sake! Just go to SLEEP!', good mommy said "Come lie down on the couch and let's see what we can do about it..."
Two hours of nonstop chest pain and several chats with the on-call doctor later, good mommy got in the car and took her to the ER...
Everyone in the ER had masks on - receptionists, nurses, kids, parents - everyone.
Friday night at Children's Hospital smack in the middle of an H1N1 epidemic. Good times. Every room was full. The hallways echoed with the sound of crying children. We were there for hours.
Anyway, it turns out that people's immune systems are fighting the H1N1 virus so hard that it leaves other parts of them undefended, and doctors are seeing lots of opportunistic secondary infections. So my little hypochondriac actually had an inflammation and infection of her chest wall. Just before we left the hospital (at 4 am) they gave her a dose of antibiotics. By the time we got home, her chest had stopped hurting.
Good mommy and bad mommy were both glad they'd taken her to the ER were very grateful for the miracle of antibiotics. And bad mommy was reminded that just because someone's a hypochondriac, it doesn't mean they're not really sick. She's learned her lesson. And now that a third child is getting a cough, bad mommy will no doubt have to learn it again. Bad mommy hates learning lessons.