Saturday, November 07, 2009



Well that was certainly interesting. It appears the answer was e) none of the above. Lucy had salmonella. There's nothing like getting a phonecall from the Public Health Department to make you feel like parent of the year. They had a huge list of questions, including 'was she born in this country'. Perhaps they suspect that only Americans use chlorox to wipe down their surfaces instead of giving the kitchen counters a good rub-down with an uncooked chicken like the British do. I found the questions about her diet rather ironic, because she only technically eats formula and organic babyfood, but she does put everything else within reach in her mouth too; soil, rocks, her sisters shoes, dogs noses. I have always been of the mindset that 'it takes a lot of dirt before you die', but apparently not, it just takes a quick nibble of a contaminated item, whatever that was.

The good news is that Lucy is now completely fine. Her second round of stool samples (boy was that fun) were given the all clear and nobody else in the K household is sick. This makes me think it's not lax housekeeping on my part, rather lax parenting. I swear to God we went to a party down in Ventura two weeks ago, and such is my life right now, I was assembling hors d'oeuvres in the front seat of the car waiting for my husband to finish work, while both Anna and Lucy played in the carpark. I was spearing a tomato/basil leaf/mozzarella ball and watching Lucy try to teeth on a large pebble when I thought 'God I would never have let Anna do that as a baby, but I've either stopped caring or stopped worrying'. Incidentally, if you read this blog and went to the party, I'm a lot more careful in my front-seat food prep then I am with my carpark parenting.

While these last few posts may seem like I'm up to my ears in catastrophes, I actually feel very lucky. Yes, LK and the girls were in a freeway crash - but no-one was hurt, and yes Lucy was very sick there for a while, but her 9 month old constitution was able to fight the bug. I even lost my wallet in the parking lot at Costco last week and some kind soul handed it in - my six dollars of hard cash still intact.

I will be trusting my judgment in the future regarding when to take my daughters in to the doctors. We made two phonecalls to Lucy's doctor's office regarding her bloody diarrhea. The on-call doctor told us to push fluids, and the nurse a couple of days later tried to convince us that it very rarely is blood that parents notice in a diaper, usually red pepper or tomato skin. Hearing that I was thinking - listen lady, I know my daughter goes around licking the ground you walk on, but I think I would know if she'd suddenly switched to a Mediterrannean diet....When we finally took Lucy in to see the Nurse Practitioner five days after Lucy's diarrhea started she took one look at her diaper and said 'oh yes, that's blood, you should always bring them in the minute you see any bloody stool'. Thanks for that. I could have kicked myself. It's amazing how a brief phonecall with a doctor can take precedence over your concerns that your daughter is a) the colour of wallpaper paste b) has suddenly started taking 6 hour naps and c) is shooting blood out of her arse.

To all those coming to Thanksgiving dinner in three weeks; I will be washing my hands thoroughly. And then drying them on that 3 week old tea towel.


aibee said...

Don't kick yourself. Kick the nurse.


I'm glad Lucy is well again.


Jane said...

Glad Lucy's well again. Don't be too hard on yourself. As Brits we're programmed by NHS healthcare not to go to the doctors for every whip and snip!

Hyphen Mama said...

Salmonella! I'd write a nasty-o-gram to the 2 folks you spoke to on the phone who gave you such UNhelpful advice. Salmonella! I'm so glad she's all better.

Mr Hyphen got EColi at the lake this summer. We never would have known THAT was what he had, if we hadn't gone back several days later and there were signs posted everywhere. He'd been blaming my chicken stir fry. As if!

Nimble said...

Whew. Glad the worst is over. I hate health advice over the phone. We need visual evaluation in most cases. I loved the image of you assembling hors d'oeuvres while keeping an eye on the kids.