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Nothing to do with divorce: updated

October 3, 2010

Consoling-windows friend’s middle son has mono.  I’m now convinced my younger son does too.  However, he’s only eight, and his only symptom thus far has been a fever that goes up and down and up and down…seven days of it.  He’s pale, has no appetite, is in reasonably good spirits, though he does lack luster.  Tomorrow we’re off to the doctor, and I’m mildly panicked–not just because I get so absurdly worried when my kids are sick, but also because I have so much work in the next two weeks…oh god.  I can’t even type that without feeling faint.

Do kids this little get mono?

This, my friends, is when being divorced truly sucks.  One longs for an ally, a partner in worry, someone to calm one down, to take up the slack, someone whose spirits will rise and fall on a different schedule.  I almost never wish I had a husband–I’m so glad I don’t.  However.  At times, one is weak, and tired.

Updated to add:  All the blood tests came back normal, as did the strep test–so, no mono, no elevated white blood cell count, no diagnosis.  Patient is pale and feverish but otherwise in good spirits after a long night’s sleep.  Patient’s mother shows positive antibodies for fretting and hovering, with elevated levels of haggardness.

At present, patient is reading the Field Guide to North American Birds.  “What’s so great about the Greater Pewee?” he just asked.  “Shouldn’t there be a Great Pewee if there’s a Greater Pewee?”  Renewed interest in taxonomic compartmentalization=the beginning of a return to health, no?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. smumzie permalink
    October 3, 2010 6:11 pm

    well, sweets – this is hard but your little guy there does have 2 parents. So although you’re divorced, you can ask the ex to take him to the doctor whilst you work. I know several mothers just gasped after reading that – but presumably you didn’t procreate with someone who cannot handle this part of being a parent…. If you trust him, let him truly share in the experience. It’ll be a good learning experience for him (the ex). ;o)

    • irretrievablybroken permalink*
      October 3, 2010 6:20 pm

      I’m sure it’s a mark of my own psychosis and overprotectiveness and unhealthy control-freak-ness and so forth, but I actually DON’T trust my ex to take my kid to the doctor for anything more than a physical (and actually, he took the other one for a physical this year, only to report, “Well, his spine’s a little crooked, but the doctor isn’t worried.” Oh, I said. But surely there are things to look for, exercises, stretches? Which part of his spine? Define crooked! Define worried! “I dunno,” he said, over and over.)

      So, I need to be there to quiz the doctor on whatever virus it turns out to be.

      Plus, the ex works away from home, I work from home, which means (and I am fully and vexingly complicit in this) that taking-kids-to-doctors has always fallen squarely upon my shoulders. Even when we were both graduate students, my teaching/studying got done when I could manage, and his took priority. I dug my grave very deep.

      So. The ex would never agree to stay home so that I could work. The ex would take the kid to the doctor, but I don’t want him to. I just want the kid to get better…but actually, I can tuck him in bed next to me with my laptop, and we’ll manage somehow.

      I did procreate with someone I don’t think can handle this part of being a parent. Whoops.

  2. Shannon permalink
    October 3, 2010 6:26 pm

    This being my first weekend alone after having the “I want a divorce” conversation, naturally the washer started leaking all over the floor, the smoke alarm started chirping (and wouldn’t stop even with multiple battery changes) and all of my wonderfully supportive friends are off the grid… I know what you mean. I will NOT take it back, I will NOT allow him back in for the sake of convenience. And yet….

    • irretrievablybroken permalink*
      October 6, 2010 1:01 pm

      Cheaper and less trouble, in the long run, to hire everything out. Trust me. My basement flooded, the kitchen sink leaked, and I realized I was the worst mower-of-lawns in the world the month after I separated. I made a few phone calls and my problems were solved. Properly. By experts. For a reasonable fee. Who needs a husband when you have a handyman?

      Courage, my dear. It will get better. I promise.

  3. October 3, 2010 6:48 pm

    He could have mono at 8 but I thought it generally floored people so perhaps he only has it mildly or has some other virus doing the rounds instead. Treatment is rest, fluids and parecetomol so totally compatible with you working and him wrapped up in a duvet next to you. It must suck to feel like the only one responsible but you can and will be able to cope I’m sure.

  4. Sarah permalink
    October 3, 2010 8:01 pm

    My daughter had mono just after she turned five, and gave it to my 2 month old son. So, they definitely can contract it that young. Good news is that it is generally much milder when you are young. My son was sick for about 2 weeks, my daughter less than 4 altogether (most of that running around and feeling fine but then her throat would hurt for awhile from the swollen glands). Watch for strep, frequently they present together in young children, but amoxicillin given with mono for the strep will often cause a rash. Which does not mean there will be another reaction with amoxicillin at another time as it is due to the virus and does not indicate a sensitivity to the drug in the absense of the virus.

    I hope he feels better, I hope you get your work done. Do you have netflicks?

  5. Celeste permalink
    October 3, 2010 9:14 pm

    I don’t know if it’s mono, and I don’t even know how they tell to be honest. I do know that there are viruses that go around that do nothing but cause fever for a week to 10 days. I’ve gotten a lot of good information on what’s going around from the nurse at our pedi’s office. I hope he feels better soon; it’s very stressful on a mom when they’re sick.

    It doesn’t sound like your ex was really much help with sickness when you were married, so maybe what you’re wishing for is the husband you never had.

  6. October 3, 2010 9:19 pm

    I had mono when I was 9, so, yep, it isn’t exclusively a teen thing. Hope it works its way out soon.

  7. Mary permalink
    October 3, 2010 9:20 pm

    Yes, your son could have mono. I got mono when I was about 8 or 9 and still remember the lethargy. Of course, because it was an eon ago, I seem to recall being left alone while my schoolteacher mother went to school, although I’m sure that is a somewhat faulty memory.

  8. October 3, 2010 11:17 pm

    I’m thinking of you constantly. You don’t need to have a spouse to have an ally, girl. Your lurkers love you too. Waiting to hear what the doc says…


  9. October 4, 2010 1:32 am

    Oh, I have so been there when you wish for that fictional person to lean on and be there when you really need them, but in reality you know that would also be a huge pain in the butt. We all have those days. I hope your son feels better and it’s not serious!

  10. October 4, 2010 4:52 am

    Poor boy. I send him many good wishes for lack of any actual useful information.

  11. October 4, 2010 10:53 am

    I’m with you on taking the kids to the doctor myself….I also did not procreate with someone I can reliably count on to convey important medical information. If the doctor asks how often the kids eat, he wouldn’t know. If the doctor asks how many bottles little one has per day, he wouldn’t know. If the doctor asks how long the symptoms have been presenting, and in what way, he wouldn’t know (he doesn’t even own a thermometer, and does not ever administer medication to either of them – in fact it’s in our agreement that if either of the kids is sick, they sleep at home regardless of the visit schedule). For routine check ups, he also would not be able to answer any of the developmental questions: stringing 2 words together? He’s never really paid attention. Stacking boxes? Um….again, wouldn’t have a clue. So I’m with you….doctors visits of all kinds need to be done by me. And I’m glad to have your company down here in this deep, deep hole we’ve dug. Hang in there.

  12. October 4, 2010 1:45 pm

    so glad i read these comments, particularly sarah’s. fascinating. i had mono at 15, but i remember it well and it wasn’t so awful. the sore throat was a bummer (i did get strep, too), but mostly i recall spending about 3 weeks on the couch, passed out. and i KNOW that my single-working-mom had to go to work while i was on that couch, which bothered me not one bit. hopefully you spend your next 2 weeks working just as you need to, interrupted only to fetch ice cream and popsicles when your little guy emerges from extended snoozes.

  13. CWF permalink
    October 4, 2010 11:54 pm

    All will be well, and tomorrow I’ll go through our vast dvd collection and deliver a movie or two sure to enrapture even the most lethargic of children. Ensuring you, at the very least, two hours of pure work time. Or internet surfing time.

  14. Take 5 permalink
    October 10, 2010 3:00 pm

    Lots of worry from this kid to yours. So I’ll be happy to report that all is well.

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