Non-contagious infection affects my nerves

When our oldest daughter was a baby and had her first ear infection, we reacted like, “Oh no, our sweet honey! Stop the world—we must remedy this condition with no regard for personal responsibilities like our jobs!”

By the eighth ear infection, we were like, “Are you kidding me right now, child? We have no vacation days left.”

Now it’s like this, with either daughter:

“Mommy, Daddy, I don’t feel so goo—”

“YES YOU DO. Stop saying that. Don’t you dare say that at school tomorrow because you ARE going to school tomorrow!”

We are cool parents.

Really though, it’s ridiculous. When our girls aren’t feeling well, it’s either an ear infection or an ear infection, neither of which are contagious. So when school called me a couple weeks ago to say they had our youngest daughter up front, and she had a fever (of 100.6, which doesn’t even really count) and I had to come pick her up, I already knew what it was.

But of course I had to go through the whole process. Instead of amoxicillin being available over-the-counter, I had to go to the doctor, fill out three pages of insurance info they already had on file, wait 30 minutes for the doctor to arrive while my “sick” child bounced off the walls of the office yelling “WATCH ME DADDY, YIPPEE (falls down face first) OWWEE!,” then watch the doctor utilize decades of medical experience to look in her ear and say, “Yep, it’s red,” all so that he could prescribe: amoxicillin. Thanks a lot, OBAMA. (that was a joke, everybody chill)

Although school policy dictates no child with a fever can return to school for 24 hours, they informed me when I picked her up that she could return the following day with a doctor’s note specifying her ailment was not contagious. So when I officially received the news about the ear infection—which is, again, not contagious—I was like, “Doc, can I get a note for school since this is, ya’ know, not contagious?”

Doc said, “Actually, I’d like to see her on the meds for 24 hours before she goes back.”

I was like, “By ‘see her’ do you mean you are going to come to my house and watch her so I can go back to my job, which pays me to live?”

He did not respond, mostly because I did not actually say that because I am intimidated by doctors.

Oh, then I had to go pick up the amoxicillin at the pharmacy which, “What is your child’s name again? We don’t have anything under that name. Let me call the doctor.” By the time they got their act together, it was like this:

“OK, you’re going to want to keep this refrigerated, and she gets 7 MLs—”

“GIVE ME THE BAG. I know what to do.”

“Okaaaaaay, but do you need a plastic syri—“

(I pull two plastic syringes from my trusty syringe holster, twirl them around in my fingers in pharmacist’s face, then pretend to blow smoke off them) “Don’t think so.”

I spent the majority of the following day home from work with a child who was feeling great and who also was not contagious. Eventually, I had to bring her with me to pick up her sister at school, and I desperately wanted to make a statement by having her wear a hazmat suit.

I didn’t, but only because it would have been unwise to make such a purchase after a day and a half of lost wages. And also because I am intimidated by teachers.

Note: This column appears in the 4/24 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/25 issue of the Peoria Times.