Today started off pretty well but took an abrupt left-hand turn when I noticed that Nathan's "sunburn" was actually a rash over his cheeks, neck, torso and arms.
This set off a dilemma I'm far too familiar with: to go to the doctor or not.
Even though, as a grateful Canadian, finances don't come into the picture, there's still a couple factors to consider. Time at the doctor's office. The potential challenges of transporting a sick child. The patronizing look I get from staff and clients when my child isn't obviously sick. And the ever fun "am I just being an overanxious parent" debate.
In part, I think I still react based on my experiences with my old family doctor who was a first class patronizing jerk the majority of the time. (His greatest hits include focusing on my weight when I was asking for a neurology referral because Alex appeared to be having seizures and telling me that autism didn't really exist, I was just being too demanding.) If we'd have been going to see him, he would have given me a long lecture on how people get themselves worked up watching ER and that it isn't surprising that overly emotional women like me need reassurance from a big strong male like him.
There are days when I feel I deserve extra brownie points in life for not having punched him.
I go through this every time the kids have more than just a cold or fever. I'm generally fairly laid back. Human beings are pretty robust and are designed to deal with most of the biological attacks nature dishes out. For the most part, I'm inclined to let their bodies deal with these things naturally.
On the other hand, I do know there are some things which modern medicine has made easier and safer and less likely to cause long term problems. It's why I got the kids the chicken pox vaccine even when it was optional. It's not something they have to go through and I'm not a fan of unnecessary and unpleasant character building experiences.
For Nathan, I decided right away to keep him home and keep an eye on him. Tried an antihistamine, which ended up making the rash worse. Then he started to run a low grade temp and his energy level crashed through the floor. That's when I decided to call the doctor to rule out anything I should be really worried about.
Turns out the rash is from skin irritation, likely from sunscreen or insect repellant. The low grade temp? Probably a reaction to the widespread irritation. Low energy? That we'll blame on an enjoyable but full weekend.
Our doctor is great and never made me feel stupid about coming in. I have to get over this particular mental hump. One bad doctor does not ruin the entire medical profession.