How Sick Is Sick Enough?

4 min read
How Sick Is Sick Enough?

Last week, I faced a dilemma every Mum faces. My son had hurt his foot playing soccer on a trampoline and despite crying and complaining most of the weekend, refused to let me take him to the hospital. Of course, come Monday morning, it was ‘so much sorer’, so much so that it definitely warranted a visit to emergency (and a day off school). Although the offending appendage was indeed very bruised and swollen, I knew, deep down in my super cynical self, that it was fine. But I made the all-too-familiar parental voyage to the emergency department, only to walk out with a diagnosis of ‘possible dislocation and realignment’, instructions for R.I.C.E, a nice big bulk-bill to the government for some xrays and occupation of a doctors time and my Monday morning gone.

“I knew it!” I thought to myself. But a nagging little voice, possibly the better parent speaking, piped up and said “But at least you took him. At least you know it’s not broken.” Any other time I probably wouldn’t have taken him, as he is built like a brick shithouse and tends to get bashed around as boys do, and it was really only the Mummy guilts that literally drive us into town and to the hospital, but I asked myself for the hundredth time – how sick (or hurt) is bad enough to warrant a trip to the doctor/emergency department?How Sick Is Sick Enough

Before you picture me as some heartless Mum who leaves her child with broken bones to run the school cross country, let me clarify. It’s not that I am unsympathetic to illness or injury in my children, but that I recognise ‘faking it’ and ‘being a princess’, only because I was so good at it myself! It wasn’t all that long ago that I used all the same tricks to get some attention, and it turns out I wasn’t the only kid desperate for a broken bone to put an awesomely autograph-inviting cast on, or for the day off when I’d forgotten to do an English assignment. But that’s not to say that I haven’t kicked myself occasionally for being so mistrusting; there have been moments where I’ve definitely been nominated for Worst Mother because my child is at school, vomiting profusely, because I’ve not believed them when they complained of a stomach ache or when my screaming, snotty baby ended up having a double ear infection but I thought she was being a painful teether!

After four kids now, my rule of thumb is simple. If they have a temp, I treat with panadol. If it goes away, they go to school and I let the teacher know to call me if it returns. If they run around at home, they can run around at school. If complaints persist for more than 4 days and a favourite activity/sport is missed, I make a doctors appointment. If they are bleeding, I get a band-aid. If it keeps bleeding, I get two. If blood was to ever gush from my child I would probably grab a tea towel and make haste to the nearest doctors surgery. Kisses, hugs and pretty rough ‘rubs’ pretty much fix everything in our house, and all my kids know to make it to a toilet/sink/any available container rather than vomit on the carpet, couch or bed. It’s got to be pretty bad to warrant a trip to the doctors, and desperately bad to get me to the hospital, but if I sought medical assistance for every sore tummy and bumped knee, I’m pretty sure Medicare would cut us off!

So where do you draw the line? How sick/hurt do your kids need to be to justify a pilgrimage to a practitioner?

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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