Episode P: a Mom story

Our sweet and pensive five year-old has peed every 20 min for two days.  Fearing a UTI, we have been pumping cranberry juice into her steadily for 24 hours, with little effect.  Time to go to the doctor.  Easily done – Friday is my day off!

In our infinite wisdom, we have decided that one vehicle is plenty for our family.  Money saved can go toward the occasional cab and bus fare to offset inconvenience.  We have done very well with this new arrangement.

Den Dad willingly rose at 5:00 yesterday morning to take the bus to work so that I would have the van to get to our 9:30 appointment.  I was going to be a bit late, but I was eagerly looking forward to a coffee date with a good friend I haven’t seen in a while.  I also planned to run a list of errands as long as my arm in the afternoon and clean at home before I rushed off to my 7:00 – 10:00 rehearsal.  I LOVE a busy and productive day…

At 7:45 a.m. –  Den Dad calls to say he has my keys in his pocket.  Could I try to find the spare keys?  No one has seen them in a while.  He thinks they might be in a coat pocket.

Frantic search for 20 minutes.  Nothing.

7:50 a.m.  – One little sister is still sleeping, I am still in my pajamas, it is -25 degrees C and the bus stop is two blocks away, across a busy road.  The bus goes by in 15 minutes.  I call the neighbour and ask if she will drive the grade 2-er to school, as I suddenly cannot.

8:00 a.m. – Call a cab to get us to the doctor, hoping I’ll get one by 9 a.m. on such a cold morning.  Text my friend with a quick apology and promise to call later.  C. gets up and goes pee.  Twice.

9:00 a.m. – We are off to the doctor in a cab.

9:15 a.m. –  Immediately upon arriving, C. pees.  We get straight in, and the doctor gives me a prescription for an antibiotic and a lab requisition to confirm the infection.  C. stops to pee on our way out.

9:30 a.m. – I call another cab to pick us up to go to the lab.  We dress in our winter garb and stand in the porch so not to roast or freeze while we wait.  5 minutes in, C. announces that she needs to pee again.  I encourage her to breathe and hope we can make it to the lab.

9:50 a.m. – We get to the lab and I ask the cabbie what he will charge us to wait 10 min.  “Nothing,” he says.  Super!  We skip the line with a desperate look on our faces and I mention that my daughter needs to pee.  We go into the stall with our little cup.

10:10 a.m. –  I am sitting on the floor of the lab bathroom (Oh, what a spotless bathroom) with an empty cup in my hand.  “You are sure you can’t go at all?” Okay.  We’ll go home with a collection cup and biohazard bag.  I’ll figure it out.

10:30 a.m. – When we pull up in front of our house, I tip the driver heavily for waiting.  $45.00 in cab fare for the entire morning.

I spend another 20 minutes or so looking for the keys.  I have a cup of tea.  Though this is going well, I am still fuming a bit a being stranded with a perfectly serviceable van parked in front of my house.  C. pees three times, but I don’t collect it because the lab gave me strict instructions: the sample has to be back to them in under an hour.

I eat a can of tuna with broccoli and peppers while I regroup.  I had planned to fast today, but that makes me a bit irritable – probably not what we need.

I conclude that I need to get this test done today.  It is a long weekend and we might be in bad shape by next week.  I’d like to confirm that we have a UTI before we actually start this antibiotic.  If the test doesn’t get to the doctor’s office before 4:00, we won’t know we’re taking the wrong med. until Tuesday.

I put some chicken and coconut milk in the crock pot and hand each girl a snack bar in lieu of lunch while we re-don our winter gear.  I will walk and we will take the test at the lab, no matter how long it takes.  That way, the sample won’t freeze on the walk.  To be on the safe side I hand C. a glass of juice before I leave.  Tears fill her eyes.  “What if I have an accident in the stroller?” she sniffs.  “You won’t,” I say.  “Breathe and you’ll be fine.”

12:00 – We head out on the 2 km walk to the lab.  The sun is shining and, though it is freezing, I’m walking at a good clip to stay warm and the girls are pretty cozy in the covered stroller.

12:30 – As we are walking into the lab, C. smiles at me.  Ear to ear.  “Mommy, I think I have what you need this time.”  Bless her.

1:00 p.m. – Still sitting on the clean bathroom floor of the lab with an empty cup in my hand.  S. pees.  I sing meditative songs about waterfalls. C. drinks from the tap.  I pee to provide an encouraging soundscape.  S, in her 3-year old curiosity, asks me why my pee is pink.  Shit.  No, I’m not prepared.

1:15 p.m. –  “Okay girls, I have an idea.  Lets go to Superstore… just three short blocks away… and fill our prescriptions.  We still have our home collection cup and we will use that if we have to go in the store, OK?”

1:30 p.m. –  We are all dressed up again.  We walk to Superstore.  I drop off the prescription and then we self-check some fem. supplies and head for the not-clean bathroom.  C. pipes up that she has to go pee, but performance anxiety wins again as soon as the cup comes out.  We wander the store for 30 min while we wait for our prescription to fill.

2:30 p.m. –  Just as we are in line to collect our pharmaceuticals, C. announces that she HAS to go.  It is an emergency.  She HAS to go.  I am secretly excited, but I ask her to wait for a second.  She dances while we get our little bag of goods.  We head to the bathroom.

2:45 p.m. –  I am squatting on the not-clean bathroom floor at Superstore, trying to keep S from touching anything with AN EMPTY CUP IN MY HAND.

I’ve been nothing but encouraging and positive so far, I am sure… but I let myself slip a little.  “Ok, sweetie, this is our last chance.  If we don’t get it this time, we will have to go home and get your sister off the bus.  The doctor needs you to pee in this cup today.”  C.  tears up again.  “Will I be too sick all weekend to do anything fun?”

“No.”  I give myself a stern internal talking-to.  She is trying.

3:10 p.m. –  Here we go.  Into all of our winter garb and back to the lab with the clean bathroom, gloves and extra wipes.  More singing and running of water.  I offer to dive and catch from behind so that she can’t see the cup.

3:22 p.m. –  C. produces a drip!  But I missed it.  And there was no more.  Nothing.  We dress up to go home.  S, who has been the most patient three-year old in the WORLD falls asleep on the ride.

3:50 p.m. –  On the way in the door C. announces that she actually is feeling so much better today that she is sure she is not sick anymore.  Then she promptly visited the bathroom.

Three times in ten minutes.

To my credit, it was at this point that I downed my first chocolate of the day.

4:00 p.m. –  Den Dad shows up and catches the school bus for me.  I ban C. from visiting the bathroom until I am there with a cup.  I am now convinced that if she can hold it for three hours things are not as bad as I had feared – or the juice is working.

5:00 p.m. –  Get breakfast cleaned up, get supper on for the starving children (yeah, the two who had nothing but a couple eggs at 8 a.m. and a snack bar at noon) and drink an extra cup of coffee to get through until 11:00 tonight.

6:00 p.m. –  SUCCESS!!  C. produces a teeny specimen and I drop it off on my way to rehearsal.

We’ll find out on Tuesday if she is actually fighting an infection.  The antibiotic remains unopened in the cupboard.  My house remains dirty.  My friend hasn’t heard from me and I have no groceries.  Three more children are arriving tonight – without their parents – to spend the weekend.

On the up-side, I was a more pleasant woman for having walked 5 km outside instead of around my house all day.  Turns out my sweet and patient daughter is healthier than I thought.  Rehearsal went well and it seems the play is coming along rather nicely.

And afterward there was wine… lots and lots of wine.

Thank God.

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