As I mentioned in yesterday's post, it is my desire to become a "doctor mom". My goal here is not to prove myself capable, though that would be a nice reward. My reasons are to help decrease our yearly medical expenses for co-pays, prescriptions, deductibles etc and to increase my competence and confidence in my roll as a mother.
With such a goal, one needs to take notes and take action. The biggest money saver has been my ability to self diagnose and treat the stomach flu in Owen. A few years back, I took Owen in to the doctor to find out he had a "severe case of the stomach flu". We had no idea, even the doctor thought his energy and attitude were awfully uncharacteristic. So I watched the doctor very closely, how did he know it was a stomach bug? What was his diagnosing trick?
He listened to Owen's stomach. That's it. That's all folks. I handed his office $30 in copay fees and a another $70 for the office visit bill, for him to take his stethoscope to Owen's stomach and say "oh yes, he has a severe stomach flu". Well, I went home, used a much cheaper tool, my ear, and took a listen. Sure enough, it sounded like a broken submarine, whirling and sloshing about. Since then I have diagnosed and treated many a stomach flu's without throwing out a $100 bucks to do so, the ear and stomach trick has done me well. That is until tonight, when it failed me miserably.
You see, tonight little brother is sick, and near the end of the evening, between Micah's 5th time and 6th time throwing up (no idea if he has a flu bug, we think it's just from the croup drainage and exhaustion from coughing), Owen started claiming his stomach hurt, refusing to eat dinner and gag-coughing. All signs pointed to Owen acting for attention but still my heart kept beating a pulse that went something like "please no, please no, please no."
After cleaning up round six for Micah and getting him put in bed, Owen and I were talking and I told him if he got sick in the night we would keep him home from church. Then I remembered the ear trick. "Hey bud," I said, "why don't you stand up and let me take a listen."
"Okay" he moaned and stood up, just then he began gag-coughs again which starts out sounding so fake but then get's him all choked up and you think somethings coming. I waited just a moment to be sure, because this cough sounded deep like it could have triggered a nasty outcome. Nothing, good. It's safe to take a listen.
So, now I'm in my game. Doctor mom face on, I bend over and attempt to put my ear to his stomach, all while rehearsing my response in my head. He's fidgeting so it's hard for me to get a good listen, but I do hear something gurgle, (Owen it sounds a little swishy but a good nights sleep and you'll be good as new) I try pulling him closer, I felt him touch my head, and I hear the most petite voice say "I threw up" I barely tilt my head up and glance at Owen to see him holding his hand over his mouth, he didn't touch my head. The movement itself revealed the truth, my doctor mom face was quickly replaced with one of an elephant that just saw a mouse and my confident voice was replace with a squeal that closely resembled a teenage girl "honey heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!"
"What?" Brian calls back from the computer.
"Owen just threw up on me. Ewwwwww, spinach!"
Brian laughs, undoubtedly thinking it is only fair as Micah threw up on him while I was out shopping with a girlfriend earlier in the day, but he gets up to come help "where?"
"On my head, in my hair!"
Needless to say, I think it will be awhile before I try the ear trick again. In fact, I may even invest in one of those expensive stethoscopes. A really really long stethoscope.