Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Stupidest Thing I've Ever Had To Do, Plus Some Other Stuff

First, the stupid thing...
Earlier this week, LE had some vaccinations. Despite the warnings from the doctors, he's never had any reactions to the vaccinations, except sometimes he's cranky a day or two after, and they make his poop extra stinky. But this time, he started running a fever the evening after his shots. He was up and down most of the night, and continued to have a fever the next day. Nonetheless, he remained in high spirits though perhaps a bit listless, like he'd climb up on the forbidden part of the sofa (forbidden because he can climb onto a high shelf from there) and screech and giggle and wait for me to tackle him as usual, but as soon as I'd get there he'd lay down and roll over for a cuddle. He became a nipple fiend. That night, his fever got worryingly high (103), so he got a warm sponging which he found intensely amusing. He also got to spend the night with Mommy and he enjoys that too. The next day and night he still had the fever, plus another sponging (he didn't care for this one as much), and it continued into the next day. LE went off his food, sort of, which just isn't like him at all. He got so he'd hold still and tip his head up so we could stick the ear thermometer in. BE became familiar with the Fahrenheit scale because the thermometer is American. We both told LE how lucky he was, because when we were babies all we had were anal thermometers. Yuck. Anyway.

Everything I've read about fevers, even the Tylenol bottle, says that if the fever lasts more than three days you should go to the doctor. So we decided to take LE to the doctor just to make sure he was all right, even though aside from the fever, nothing else was wrong with him. BE's parents had the car, so we packed LE into the stroller and walked to a fancy new hotel-like hospital that's just opened near our house. Somewhere between deciding to go the doctor and getting LE into the stroller, his fever dropped to almost normal. Kind of like when your car stops pinging as soon as you get it to the mechanic. We got to the hospital and were told that the pediatrician had gone home for the day. Wonderful. So we decided to go to another hospital with a pediatrician rather than risk the insane amount of tests an emergency room doctor might order for a baby. This involved taking LE in a five-minute taxi ride without his carseat. I found a lot of things to curse at this time.

At the other hospital, LE decided he was scared of doctors after all (he loves his usual doctor, and even doesn't mind the lady who gives him his shots). As soon as she pulled out the ear-light thingie, his face crumpled into a pout, then he did one of those sad howls that goes until his air runs out and continues silently until he takes a breath, then continues for several repeats. It would be funny if it weren't so heartbreaking. The doctor couldn't find anything wrong with him either, but decided to do a pee test just to be sure. A pee test for a baby isn't what I feared, which was chasing him around with a cup. Instead it involved a little bag stuck onto his crotch and closed in his diaper. He was scared of the pee test lady too.

So baggied up and ready to go, we gave him some water and said, 'Okay, pee!' It didn't work. Thus we embarked on the stupidest thing I've ever had to do, which was wait for a baby to pee. We kept giving him water and tickling him, but after 20 minutes, the water was all down his front and he was sick of being tickled. In fact, he was sick of the hospital in general, and he was sick of having his diaper opened and closed. BE then had to go across town to his parents' to fetch the car, leaving me alone with LE for what we thought would be a relatively short wait. Hah. An hour later, he still hadn't peed. By then, all the hospital staff-- security guards, receptionists, cleaners, nurses-- all knew what we were doing there, with LE getting increasingly angrier and me trying to amuse him by giving him peanut halves to eat, and as they passed by to pinch his cheeks, they were saying, 'Come on, LE-- pee already!' LE started doing the thing where he wants to see how loud and piercingly he can scream, so I took him outside for a walk. We passed a market and I figured he must be hungry by then so I got him some fruit and raisins. We went back to the hospital and he still hadn't peed. By this time, BE was on his way back from his parents', had stopped to get me some coffee, I'd had some coffee from a vending machine which, typical of hospital vending machines around the world, was very particular about which of my coins it wanted, and LE still hadn't peed.

He finally peed after two hours, some thrown apricots, some serious displeasure with his stuffed horse that jiggles when you pull the string, and half a sippy cup of water spit out down his shirt. The whole second hour I was explaining to him that this was the stupidest thing I'd ever had to do. He was seriously saving up his pee. He not only filled the bag, but almost soaked through his diaper in the ten-minute trip home. By the time he peed, the nurses' shift had changed so I had to struggle through trying to explain to the new nurse that I wanted her to do whatever had to be done with the pee-filled bag attached to this angry boy with a soaked, peanut- and apricot-stained shirt. Somehow we managed, though LE was very afraid of this nurse as well, and began The Howling as soon as she looked at him.

In Other Completely Unrelated News...
In today's Hürriyet, there's a column about a sick baby seal everyone's turned out to save. The writer couldn't help pointing out how, in Canada, all they do is club their baby seals while here in Turkey, Home Of Very Humane Treatment For All Animals, they go all-out to save this poor, sick seal. Trouble is, the little fellow isn't interested in going back out to sea. He knows which side his bread is buttered on. Local residents bring him trays of börek and fish they've cooked for him. Aww.

And Some Sad News...
BE's father's cousin just died a couple of hours ago. He was in a coma after being beaten by some guys. What happened was, the cousin and his friend were on their way to a türkü evi (a bar that features live folk music), and a woman almost crashed into their car or somehow nearly caused an accident. So they got mad and cursed at her. So she followed them to see where they went and called her husband who turned up with a bunch of his buddies to beat these two guys up. Beat them they did. Even if he hadn't died, he would have been severely brain damaged.

Stupid. Stupid stupid stupid stupid.


Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

Here's one possible scenario about the fate of the national baby seal 'Badem' who's now about 2m/150kg and no longer a baby:

-- Sooner or later he'll either bite someone where he shouldn't or will drown someone while playing. We know he likes pressing his playpals down into the water and doesn't have any reservations about biting people who annoy him.

-- You can write the rest of the story by extrapolating from what happens to human beings here when they so much as curse at other people's dear family members over their driving. (It appears someone already said something like "I'll harpoon the MF" in public and the wildlife people are worried. This is only June. The moneyed riffraff with handguns and other weapons have at least three more months to spend in the Southern coast.)

Stranger said...

When you put it like that, ole Badem's days are numbered. He'd probably be better off in Canada now that he's not a baby anymore...

Baby seals with their big brown eyes are unbelievably cute. Grown-up seals are also cute but are, quite frankly, jerks, at least as far as humans are concerned. Sea animal play is definitely not good for people, especially those who, I've noticed here, are very weak swimmers. In California we were always warned to stay away from seals in the ocean because a) they're mean and they bite and can carry rabies, and b) they attract sharks.

I predict nothing good coming from this.

siobhan said...

Hope LE's ok now. I take it nothing showed up in the pee test.

I'm so sorry about BE's uncle. Horrible, nasty, mindless violence.

Stranger said...

LE's fine. Not that I wanted him to be ill, but after waiting that long for him to pee, I kind of felt like I deserved something more than a simple 'negative.' Maybe a 'your son might have superpowers' or at least 'this is the most extraordinary urine ever documented.'

As for the other thing, it just makes me sick to my stomach.