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Trust Your Gut

Yesterday, I hustled my children outside to go for a walk. They protested, so I just guilted them into it. “I don’t get to go outside and go for walks at work! This is the only time I get to spend with you!”

I’m awesome.

Michael complained of soreness in his leg. I asked where it hurt. He indicated a spot near his groin. I quizzed him: “Did you bump something?” “I don’t think so.” “Did you get hurt swimming?” “No.” “Did you fall?” “No.”

I took a look at the spot. It did look a little red.

I told him he must have pulled a muscle. He wasn’t limping or anything, so we just headed out the door, and went for a walk.

I had to explain pulling a muscle.

This morning, I asked him how it felt. “Still sore,” he said, matter-of-factly.”

“Did you ever pull a muscle?” he asked.

“Oh, sure,” I said. “I’ve pulled muscles lots of times.”

“Like three or four?”

“Oh, more than that.”


I went to work. The nanny took everyone to the Aviary (Flora’s at Aviary camp this week).

Kim called around 1 p.m.

“Michael feels really warm,” she said.

Little alarm bells started going off in my head.

Sore low on the body.
Red skin over the sore spot.
And now a fever.

Maybe it wasn’t a pulled muscle.

So, she took Kate and Michael home, and took M’s temperature. In the meantime, I talked to our pediatrician’s office, and made an appointment. By the time M was home, his temperature was normal, but at the doctor’s office, it was elevated again — only a little bit.

The PA palpated the spot. It was definitely sore and red. M was a trooper, flinching from her touch and confirming it hurt, but not crying and not pulling away. She said it seemed like a lymph gland, but usually when lymph glands get infected, something else is going on: a cold, a urinary track infection, an STD — obviously, we could rule that out. She decided to consult with one of the doctors to rule out a hernia. And it definitely wasn’t appendicitis.

They wanted to take a less aggressive approach with warm compresses, and I said that was fine… except for the part where we were leaving for vacation Friday night. “Of course you are,” said the PA with a smile. She asked if we would be back by Monday. “Nope,” I said. So we decided to put M on antibiotics and keep an eye on it.

I’m glad it was nothing serious, but I’m also glad I listened to those alarm bells. It’s probably no big deal in the long run, but it’s better than having a feverish 5-year-old in pain up in the mountains on Saturday or Sunday and looking for the nearest urgent care center.

When’s the last time you had to listen to your gut?

5 thoughts on “Trust Your Gut

  1. My wife is 8 months pregnant. She woke up and there was spotting. She wouldn’t call the midwife but I insisted. I figured it was one of her hemorrhoids “bursting” but she needed to call anyway. She eventually called and got seen that day. Yes, it was the hemorrhoids, but the midwife said it was the right thing to get in and looked at. I can’t believe my wife actually resisted calling the midwife. I am glad I insisted.

  2. Not long ago, my gut told me my 7yo was fine – my husband suggested I take him to Med Express anyway. He needed several staples in the back of his head. Me and my gut are no longer on speaking terms 🙂

  3. He and his brother were playing “cool collisions.” That right there should have given my gut the needed information. They collided, both fell, one hit his head on a cushion. The other hit his head on the edge of a door. Thankfully he took the staples like a little champ. Glad your situation wasn’t serious.

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