Treyton was teething. He ran a low grade fever starting on a Tuesday. He stopped eating. His mouth hurt. He was fussy. Drooling. He had to be teething. By Wednesday night, I was hoping and praying that he was teething. Something just wasn't right, and I knew it. A stiff neck is in not indicative of teething. At nearly midnight, I called the pediatrician's answering service and talked to an on-call nurse. The on-call doctor called back and recommended to either awaken him and take him to Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC), or wait until morning for his 9am well care visit with our pediatrician. He had finally settled down a bit, was sleeping somewhat restlessly, so we decided to wait.
I arrived at the doctor's office 20 minutes early, hoping the doctor would be on time, if not early, as we were the first appointment of the day. The staff didn't feel the urgency I felt, and we waited in the waiting room, until Treyton decided he had to poop. On the potty. Since we were the only two in the waiting area, I left my bag and my coffee on a chair and whisked my little man off to the bathroom. He dutifully sat on the toilet and did his business. Woohoo! I know I should have been ecstatic, but I was so distracted with worry, that I only half-heartedly did a happy dance over the toilet. We returned to the waiting room in time for me to see a young tyke holding MY COFFEE CUP. My empty coffee cup. That he had just dumped. The only good news is that he didn't get burned. "This is how I fear this day is going to go," I thought to myself, as I reassured the tyke's horrified and apologetic mom that I was just relieved that her kid hadn't scorched himself with my coffee.
After an exam, a strep culture and a flu culture, the doctor returned to the exam room, with the grim look that I have seen before. He spoke carefully and thoughtfully, and informed me that the best thing to do at this juncture would be to get Treyton to the ER for further testing. Thoughts of meningitis and encephalitis swirled through my head. By the time we arrived, I was near panic and just wanted to get Treyton into skilled pediatric medical hands. I am usually a polite person, but when I pulled into valet behind the lolly-gaggers, I exited my vehicle, grabbed my kid, and took off for the ER. A fellow from the valet service caught up to me at the entrance and handed me a receipt. Little did I know that I wouldn't see my car again for several days.
Treyton and I spent the day in the ER. They held him down and poked him, trying to get an IV inserted into his chubby little arm. Admittedly, Treyton looked adorable in the miniature little johnny. The x-ray technicians, after a second round of x-rays, handed Treyton a stuffed monkey. That little monkey was a life line for my boy. If Treyton wasn't clinging to me that day, he clung to the monkey. He'd fight having his vitals taken, and he'd hurl it to the floor in despair. He cried in my shoulder and the monkey's chest. We named him "Monkey Monkey."
Eventually, after signing permission for sedation, a CTscan and a lumbar puncture, I was ready to crack. I just wanted to know what was wrong, get it fixed and get home. At the CTscan, the doctor discovered a pharyngeal abscess in Treyton's throat, which was the best case scenario. Nevertheless, we were admitted to the hospital and Treyton had surgery the next day.
After four days in the hospital, I'm pleased to report that all is well that ends well. The surgery transpired uneventfully, and the morning after, Treyton awoke with a smile. After seeing my boy in such pain and discomfort for the prior four days, it was an especially sweet, sweet smile. Monkey Monkey has become a fundamental part our daily lives. To me, he's a subtle reminder of Treyton's ordeal. To Treyton, he is a protector and comforter, who will be around for a long, long time.