Mitten? What Mitten?
On The Thirteenth Day Of Christmas: Plague

Sometimes I Need To Be Hit Over The Head

I've got a probability question for you.

What are the odds that a person (say Edward) would take first in a football pool three times under the following circumstances: 'first' is the person to correctly guess the most winners out of 16 games, 40 people particpate and Edward has been picking for me for 11 weeks. 

I'll wait while you grab a pencil but please do let me know.

Steve and I disagree on whether it is mere coincidence or so utterly spooky that I should pack Edward's little suitcase and the checkbook and head to Vegas.

[Sorry Patrick is moaning for me from the couch; back in a few... ]

Patrick is sick. For the first time in five years he has a fever and I am wringing my hands over it.

I cannot believe he has a fever. He never gets fevers. Even when CT scans showed that his entire head was stuffed with infection he still registered his usual 97.notmuch. It is so unprecedented that it didn't occur to me to check his temperature even after he climbed into our bed two nights in a row complaining about being unbearably hot and something something about the tree branches trying to get him. I gave him some water and took him upstairs to the guest room with me (coldest room in the house.) When he sat bolt upright half an hour later and said he was burning up and vomited all over the bed and the floor and... anyway... I thought ah ha! Migraines! And I sent him to school the next day since he said he felt fine.

I am such a moron. I am slapping my head with one hand while I type this with the other.

When he got up on Saturday morning only to fall back asleep a few minutes later I finally said to Steve, "Huh, do you think he's sick?"

I went upstairs to check on him but the only part I could see was his forehead so I touched it.

"Wow he's hot," I thought and then half of my brain whistled tunelessly while it waited for the rest of the brain to catch up.

"Ohhhhhhh! Hot!"

And I finally thought to locate a thermometer. It wasn't easy since Patrick and Caroline never need one and Edward gets a fever so often I don't even bother to check anymore. He's like a chicken breast; I can ascertain his doneness with one fingertip. So I eventually tracked down a thermometer in the back of a bathroom cupboard next to a tub of diaper cream (if that gives you any indication of how long it has been. note to self: clean cupboards) by which time Patrick was somewhere between 102 and 103 and there it has stayed for the past four days.

He moves from the couch to his bed and back again. I was optimistic this morning because he was willing to prop himself up and his temperature was down but by this evening he is flat again (and moaning for me) and his fever is back up. Meanwhile, nothing hurts. His throat doesn't hurt, his ears don't hurt, he has not thrown up again; it's so aggravating. Apart from general fever induced achiness, a slight headache, an inclination to be in the dark and extreme fatigue* he says he's fine.

If you are anything like my mother you are probably asking me rather sharply why I haven't taken him to the doctor yet. The answer is that I didn't realize he was sick until Saturday and his pediatrician doesn't work on Mondays and I have become a huge fan of continuation of care. I know that when his doctor sees Patrick tomorrow he will know right away that Patrick is really sick. And when I tell him that Patrick has a fever and has had one for five days he will understand. He might order bloodwork and we can discuss whether or not we should use the order for a CT scan that his ENT left open when she saw him two weeks ago.

"Looks clean but I cannot see inside his head so call for a scan if he gets worse," she said and I guess this qualifies although I hate to radiate him any more than necessary. Kid's going to glow in the dark at this rate.

My point is that if I saw a walk-in doctor, no matter how qualified, the odds are they would think I was a little, um, edgy to ask for bloodwork and a CT scan because my son has a fever during flu season. Then they would demur. Or, worse, they might prescribe something like an amoxicillin which the fifth columnists in Patrick's immune system learned long ago to subvert in their attempt to create superbugs.

You know, as an aside, it's really interesting how different kids in the same family can be. Caroline never gets sick. Patrick might one day getting written up for the Post's Mystery Disease series if we can ever figure out what his Mystery Disease might be, if he even has one. Edward is as straight-forward as an apple. I can take Edward anywhere, any time and anyone can diagnose the upper respiratory infection that has settled in his lungs and compromised his oxygen intake: "Feel that fever? Hear that cough? See the way his chest retracts? Notice how he is panting? Observe the way the finger clip registers oxygen saturation at less than 90%?" the candystriper will say. "Great. Here's a nebulizer, here's a script for cough medicine, here's a bottle of Antibiotio-io... I'll bill you." 

I know that it is possible, even probable, that Patrick has the flu or strep or any of the thousand natural viruses that flesh is heir to but I keep remembering the last time Patrick had a fever (an ongoing one at that) and do you know where he ended up? The hospital, that's where.

Speaking of probablity I wasn't kidding. Can any of you rustle me up some odds so that I can explain to Steve in a logical, scientific and straightforward way that Edward is clairvoyant? Thanks.

* I know! Meningitis right? But I don't think so. Not getting better but definitely not getting worse, no rash and his neck feels fine.