On most Tuesday mornings, I can be found sitting on the floor of the local library with my two children listening to a few stories and chuckling at a puppet show during story time. But we haven't been there in a month. Instead, we have spent the past three Tuesdays at Western Wake Pediatrics.
Today as I sat listening to the doctor explain the latest illness to afflict one of my children, I wasn't begrudging our lack of library time. On the contrary, I was feeling blessed that such skilled, attentive and caring doctors and nurses care for my children.
Both kids have been battling various illnesses, including the flu, ear infection, sore throat and now, a sinus infection, during the past three weeks. Each time we have visited the doctor's office or I have called the nurse's advice line, we have gotten the help we need — medically, mentally and emotionally. For example, the nurse I called last week soothed and informed when she promptly called me back with a detailed answer to my question. And during each visit, the doctor has taken the time to patiently assess my child's symptoms and explain our latest plan of action. I appreciate that level of care even more this week because I know the pediatrician's office is busy attending to a lot of sick children. I can only imagine the amount of snot, vomit, crankiness, crying and anxiety they have had to deal with from kids and parents.
When my husband and I were choosing a pediatrician before Joseph was born almost eight years ago, never did I imagine how much we would rely on the doctors we chose. Sure, I knew our child would go for regular checkups and the occasional virus or ear infection. But I quickly developed a greater appreciation for our doctors after Joseph's first anaphylactic reaction to dairy at 9 months old and the subsequent diagnosis with life-threatening food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, egg and soy. Joseph's pediatricians, allergist (Carolina Allergy & Asthma Consultants), nurses and their staffs have been our partners as we navigate life with food allergies, along with asthma and environmental allergies.
Because we have spent so much time at doctors' offices during the past seven years, Joseph is comfortable and happy to be there knowing they care about him. He grins when we walk to the exam room as doctors and nurses call out a quick, "Hey, Joey!" They are always friendly, often taking the time to hear about the latest book he is reading or newest tennis skill he is practicing. We leave relieved to have more knowledge, reassurance and a plan of action.
Next week, I hope to be back on the library floor with two healthy kids fully engaged in the children's story. But I'm thankful that a caring group of doctors, nurses and staff are right down the road if we need them.