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!”
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?