When Work and Home Collide, Episode #5081

It’s two in the afternoon on a Thursday, and this is my living room.  

I was just finishing up my morning clinic yesterday when Babyboy’s school nurse called:

“His teacher brought him to my office during recess, because he’s just coughing uncontrollably. I’ve got his oxygen saturation at ninety-four percent. Does he have asthma?”

Oh, dear. We’ve been wondering the same thing. He’s been coughing, coughing, coughing for ten days, in long, exhausting spasms that make him cry. 

Of course Hubby had left for Indianapolis that morning. I prayed that Nana was free, and she was! Nana to the rescue. She picked Babyboy up from school, and I called the pediatrician. 

I LOVE our pedi. I left a message, they called me back, and we had an appointment for within the hour. Yes, I still had work to do: results followup, patient calls, messages, emails… I delegated anything I could as quickly as I could. Then, I signed off and flew out of the office to catch the train. 

Of course we took him to the pedi last week, and they didn’t hear wheezes. Of course I’ve auscultated his chest, and I haven’t heard wheezes. But I’ve got cough-variant asthma, and it took me about ten years to figure it out, because I don’t wheeze, either. 

So his pediatrician prescribed an Albuterol inhaler with a spacer and mask, and Babyboy hasn’t coughed since. 

Babygirl, on the other hand, now has the cold that Babyboy had last week. So she was up boogery and coughing for part of the night, and inexplicably wide awake at five this morning. 

I was already awake, as we’d had a violent thunderstorm around four-thirty. It was the kind of riotous, clashing deluge that compels you to get up out of bed and peer out the windows to both marvel at the power of nature, and double-check to make sure you closed the minivan doors when you got home earlier. And wish you weren’t the only adult in the house. 

As a result of all of this, none of the three of us was in any kind of shape for school this morning. I’m still miserably and disgustingly congested, to the point where I may just call myself in some Augmentin. I’ve been sucking on my own inhaler for days now, as well. 

So no one was going to be rushing around getting ready for the 8:30 a.m. school drop off. Hence, we’re all home, and home is effectively trashed. 

This sick day was further complicated by various and sundry conflicting responsibilities: 

The kids and I got it together to fulfill our volunteer duties at the local animal shelter. There are only three cats there, and they’re nice cats. But of course I got paged by a sick patient, and found myself discussing her likely cellulitis while scooping wet cat food onto paper plates. 

Once home, I logged into work and let the kids destroy the house while I tried to clear out messages and deal with patient care issues. They hate when I’m glued to my laptop. I hate when I’m glued to my laptop. 

Now, this sick day is heading into evening. The dishes are piled in the sink. The whole place is a mess. I’m exhausted.  I’m still clearing out work stuff on the laptop. The kids have watched hours too much television. 

And this, my friends, is work/life balance!

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