Anxiety in Italics

He’s breathing kind of fast. That’s weird. He seemed fine when I laid him down. Maybe he’s hot. I’ll take his blanket off. He’s shaking. Why the hell is he shaking?
He’s having a seizure.

Let me see you, buddy. Oh, man you’re burning up. Why are you shaking? You’re little heart is beating so fast. Shushushush it’s ok, bud, don’t cry. You’re not having a seizure, that’s for sure.

He’s very sick. Probably meningitis. Might be pneumonia. Remember that article we read about the baby who died from pneumonia? Same age.

Ok, buddy let’s check you out. Man, you are really hot and shaky and breathing super fast. Am I right or am I freaking out?

You’re freaking out. If you tell anyone you’re worried, they’re going to laugh at your stupidity. 

Im going to get Wynton. Crap. Wynton looks worried. This is real, he’s really not ok. We need to go to the Hospital.

You won’t make it to the hospital. 

Should we go to the Children’s hospital? It’s fifteen minutes further away.

He’ll be dead by then. Do you need a visual? Here, I can help with that.

Let’s go to the closest. I don’t want to risk the traffic and getting stuck.

It won’t matter. Even if you get him there, they can’t help him. 

Ok, finally we are here. It’s taking them forever to call us back. God, he’s so hot. I’ve never seen him this lethargic. He can barely open his eyes. 

The doctors aren’t coming, they didn’t get his chart. There was a mistake and his check-in got lost. 

Ok, the nurse just called us. 

The nurse thinks your stupid for bringing him in.  But, of course, if you didn’t he’d be dead. 

Damnit. I can’t think. Did they just say they need to give him an IV? Shit. I knew this was serious. He’s dehydrated. 

You’re a terrible mother. You let him get dehydrated? How could you let that happen? 

This is the worst thing I have ever put my baby through. I can’t. I can’t hold him against my chest one more second with him screaming like this. What are they doing to his arm?! Have they EVER put an IV in a baby? 

Probably not. They might dislocate his arm. That happens, you know.

Hey, asshole. Shut up.

Who me?

Yes. You. I’ve heard enough. *deep belly breathing* Ok. He’s ok. His color is improving so much and the blood pressure machine stopped beeping, so I’m assuming his heart rate is down. 

Listen, I’m really just here to help. I’m here to help you remember that there are so many things to be afraid of. I’m here to make you aware. Knowledge is power.

The doctor is back. He wants to give him an intravenous antibiotic. Is that really necessary? He just said there was no sign of bacterial infection and it looked like a virus. What are the side effects of this antibiotic?

Death in rare cases. You’re probably the rare case. I bet the parents of the last child that died didn’t think it would be them, but it was. It’s going to be you.

SHUT UP. I am trying to make a decision. No, I don’t want him to have the antibiotic. It’s not necessary. 

Well, of course he probably has some rare underlying infection that they didn’t test for and you just denied him the only thing that could save his life. Good job.

I’m losing it. I can feel myself spinning. This is not good. We need to go home. Is it already almost 1am?! I’m so so tired. My heart has been racing nonstop.

You know how his heart rate is still up? It’s  probably you’re fault since you’re so anxious. Can’t you relax? For him?

Thank God we’re going home. It’s going to be ok. Oh, wow it’s so nice to see my bed. Come here, buddy, let’s go to sleep. You’re gonna be ok.

I can see you’re having a hard time falling asleep. Maybe I can help by playing you this video of your son falling down the stairs of your home? I know you put up gates to protect him and guard them vigilantly, but it could happen anyway, you know. But go to sleep. In a few hours, I will wake you with a pounding headache and muscles sore from clenching. Sleep tight.


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