Monday, January 28, 2008

The mind of a parent

On Saturday morning, after R visited the bathroom and I was snuggling with him on the couch, I smelled the distinct smell of maple syrup. I sniffed around and discovered that it was only coming from R's lower half. I was a little freaked out because, from my days as an editor for a parenting magazine focusing on children with disabilities, I know that there is a disease called maple syrup urine disease. And that it can be serious. But I tried not to worry.

When A got up, I mentioned this all to him, and he seemed concerned and recommended that we look up the disease online right then to get more info and figure out whether to call the doctor. Our research wasn't very helpful - the disease almost always shows up in newborns in the first few days of their life, but it can show up later in life, too. It's very serious if it's not diagnosed right away for newborns, but once diagnosed, dietary changes are all that's needed.

We decided to wait and see if the smell showed up again later or the next day, and then if it did, we'd call R's doctor.

On Sunday morning, I smelled it again.

I also remembered that we had had French toast (with syrup) for breakfast earlier in the week and that R was wearing the same pajamas as he had on French toast day. And, knowing R and his inability to keep anything on the table or in his mouth ... well, you can figure it out.

Nothing like being a parent to feel like an idiot on a regular basis and to keep you humble. At least I didn't call the doctor!



LEstes65 said...

Oh I'll be a freaked out idiot over a parent with a sick kid ANY day. I have to say, this made me giggle.

Love you and your sticky boy!

Wanda said...

Please pass the maple syrup, I'm in the mood for french toast!!

Oh, I'm so glad my child raising days are behind me! We all went through those days.

Sometime I'll tell you how I treated my sons broken arm with Pepto Bismol.

sandwhichisthere said...

Sweetheart, you are doing all of the right things. You have to be on guard all of the time. No one knows your child like you do. You are with him every day. Utilize doctors but if their diagnosis differs from what you know is happening, get a second opinion. We had several times when that was necessary. That may have been because the Eliot's parents were first cousins. You are close to Mass General and the Pediatric Clinic there is a wonderful resource. The doctors there are under scrutiny by their peers. I found that a doctor in their own office can sometimes feel they are like little gods. You know your child and you are the child's first line of defense. Rix is very fortunate to have such a strong and concerned line of defense.

Gardener Greg said...

I have done the same thing. We flip out when we think something is wrong with our kids. I may never eat french toast or pancakes again, :)

Kristen said...

Greg - Sorry to ruin pancakes and French toast for you! ;-)

Wanda - Oh, you must share that story. It sounds priceless! :-)

Lynette - You're right. The important thing is that R is fine. Sticky and lacking in clean laundry, but fine. LOL.

Trish Ryan said...

Oh man, that gig at the parenting magazine gave you way too much information! I never would have thought there could be a disease that made you smell like maple syrup?!?

But never fear--according to MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, you can just spray R down with Windex and he'll be all set :)

Johanna said...

I was handed the list of obscure but deadly infant diseases about an hour after Mike was born, and I had specifically avoided this type of information, as I needed to be able to sleep at night while pregnant. But I rushed him to the Dr's for absolutely anything. Anytime he was even slightly off, including once when he was 2 and said "My pee-is hoits" and we were off- I congratulate myself on not having called an ambulance. And Dad, the Eliots were married, remember, not brother and sister... that's why they always disagreed on treatment. Charming story though, when Mike had his first fever, like maybe 101F, she told me he just had a virus, and that these things were rarely serious-EXCEPT this one time, in the sixties, she had a little 3 year old patient who "had a fever, had a seizure, and within a few hours she died, and it WAS THE DARNDEST THING!!!!!None of us could figure it out, and do you know what came back from the autopsy? Herpes! To this day, we don't know why it killed her just like THAT!!"(snap fingers for emphasis). And then she switched right back to droning on about the latest World Health Organization recommendation about breastfeeding your children well into their teens, and how if you really love them they will never see a television.... I don't think I slept for three days after this magical pediatrician's tale...

NoVA Dad said...

I don't think the parents are made to look like idiots on a regular basis -- I think kids just provide us with mulitple opportunities to display our intense love and concern for them (and if the outcome is goofy, then that's just one more reason to chuckle:-)

booklady said...

LOL! At least it's better than the alternative, right?