You may remember reading about what I learned when my daughter spent 3 days in the hospital. Well, let me tell you how that started off. Two words. Or, to be exact, three words shortened into two….”it’s viral.” It was “viral” – although I didn’t believe it – and yet she ended up in the hospital with a 105 degree fever and a particularly non viral infection. There is no phrase a doctor can tell a mother (that is, if she is unfortunate enough to be like me) that will annoy her more than this one.
It could be a skin rash, a runny nose, a cough, irritability and a fever. They check the ears, nose and throat and say, well, nothing too major. It’s probably viral. If it isn’t better in a week come back. I hate even going to the doctor now because all winter long all I ever heard was “it’s viral.”
One time, just so the doc and I are on the same page, I want to say this. “So, by viral, you mean, you haven no clue what – if anything – is wrong. You aren’t sure if it’ll last a day, a week, a month, if it’s teething, if she needs antibiotics, or if it’s a kidney infection. Since she’s too young to talk and without doing a lot of tests, you’ll just call it viral. Cause, assuming it’s viral, that means you can just wait around and see what happens. And send her home with me, who has to endure the sick toddler. And you will only do tests if the toddler and I both have been tortured for two weeks, not just one. ‘It’s viral’ is really your way of saying, ‘look, lady, who knows. Kids get sick and then they get better. Just wait it out.’ Because, if that’s what you’re saying, I’d rather hear that. At least it’s totally honest.”
Modern day medicine is a gift from God and so are doctors, but that doesn’t mean hearing there is nothing you can do for your child except wait it out, doesn’t tick a mother right off!
PS – For more annoying phrases, visit the archives!