Sunday, January 20, 2008
Zalman had this scab on his finger, and all around its circumference it was red and puffy. I was concerned, and wanted to take him to the pediatrician. Yaakov said, "it's nothing, all kids get boo-boos."
He had the red, puffy boo-boo for about a week and I kept my eye on it. Last Monday night I looked at it, and it had turned yellowish-green around the scab. "Tomorrow I am taking him to the doctor," I told Yaakov. "It's infected, and I'll bet he's going to put him on antibiotic." Yaakov waved me off.
The pediatrician was very concerned. "Oooh, that looks bad," he said, knitting his brow. "That looks bacterial. I'm going to culture it." He squeezed Zalman's pinkie finger and swabbed the yellow pus - while poor Zalman screamed his head off. He put him on an antibiotic and told me he'd call in a few days, when the lab results were in. I told the doctor I'd been concerned for about a week already, but Yaakov told me not to worry about it. He rolled his eyes. "All fathers are like that," he laughed. "It's the mothers who know what's going on." (Yeah, but what if the mother's an Anxiety Maven?)
Erev shabbos I got a phone call: "Mrs. Maven? It's Dr. B. Your son has a staph infection." If I tell you my heart stopped at that moment, I would not be exaggerating. A staph infection? How did that happen? He went on to explain it was MRSA. He explained how the antibiotic he had given me (Augmentin) is composed of 2 different components. The staph would NOT have responded to one (amoxicillin). He said potentially, staph could respond to the other (clavulanate potassium). I could hear the gravity in his voice: we got lucky. He switched Zalman to Bactram (an antibiotic more suited for staph) and we wished each other a gut shabbos. So far, he's had 5 doses of the Bactram, and Baruch Hashem, his finger looks good. Dr. B is very pleased.
I don't need to say (kin ayin hara) what the drastic end of staph can be. What if Zalman had a case of the poops, or his immune system was weak in other ways? How would he have responded to this infection? What would have happened if I didn't go to the doctor? What if the infection spread to the other kids...
I could not help but think of a saying attributed to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov: "If we only understood how at every moment it's as if we are literally drowning. We don't realize how G-d is constantly saving us..."