Foreigner Was Right: Love is Urgent

Even though she knows I hate Urgent Care, my daughter (let’s call her the Girl) has contracted poison oak again.  She’s swelling, she’s itching, she’s oozing.  The whole situation is downright miserable. For me.  But before your eyes roll, let me explain.

I have a history of poor judgment regarding when a visit to Urgent Care is appropriate. Despite my best efforts, I tend to hit one of two categories:

“So, Mrs. Gardner. Was it your inherent cruelty that caused you to ignore the Typhoid?”


“Welcome back to Urgent Care, Mrs.Gardner! Would you prefer your usual seat?”

My son (let’s call him the Boy) is prone to exaggeration. So when he returned from school convinced he’d broken his wrist playing soccer, I put him off. “Swelling is normal,” I said. “I always swelled at recess.”

We later discovered he had an actual fracture and while the Boy pouted about receiving an unsignable waterproof cast, the orthopedist asked why I’d waited so long to have him X-ray-ed (let’s call this Negligence).

“The wolf’s never shown up before,” I muttered. But the humorless doctor had no appreciation for Aesop.

Fresh off that humiliation, the Boy stumped me again. This time we rushed to Urgent Care because, as he broke it down for me, his ears were being stabbed by a thousand knives. If it’d been only 753 knives, I’d have ignored his complaints. But a thousand?  Had to be serious.

Dr. Feelgood: His throat looks slightly irritated, but there’s no need to Strep test.

Me: It’s his ears I’m worried about.

Dr. Feelgood: His left ear? Looks fine.

the Boy: It’s the other ear that hurts.

DF: Your right ear? Nope. Looks fine.

Me:  Did he mention there are a thousand knives stabbing him?

DF:  He does have some post-nasal drip.

Me: Are you freakin’ sure? Is there anything else? Dysentery?  Rickets? Menopause?

DF:  How about a token for the toy machine.

After pocketing a prescription for nasal spray (let’s call it Veramyst) and proffering my $15.00 copay, I helped my post-nasal-dripping Boy limp from Urgent Care, hoping he wouldn’t fall and break his other wrist on the way to our car.  I also pondered the fact that while I would willingly die for my child, I simultaneously wanted to kill him (let’s call this Irony).

So perhaps you can understand why I’m reluctant to seek medical assistance, even for the Girl who would likely ignore a severed limb. The diagnosis never goes my way. I rush in like Elvis Presley’s“fool,” or am accused of being Child-Protective-Services late.  Either way, I end up with leftover Veramyst and another plastic token for the toy machine.

(Let’s just call this Crap.)

About the Writer
Julie C. Gardner is an aspiring author and lapsed English teacher who blogs at By Any Other Name to justify her lack of pay check to her long-suffering husband. Sometimes she loves coffee more than her two kids because the former doesn’t require help with daily homework. Note: The minute Julie begins making money as a writer, she will hire someone to write her bios. Because she obviously sucks at this and pretty much everything else. Or not.


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  1. NannyK says:

    I call this “hysterical”. I love you! Fortunately, The Boy and The Girl are thriving IN SPITE of your inability to appropriately assess their medical needs :)

  2. My son is deceptively tough and strong about his body, so when he complains, I tend to believe there’s something really wrong. But he doesn’t complain about the stuff that probably needs medical attention. Usually when I think he’s got something going on, it’s nothing. And when I think it’s nothing, it usually requires x-rays, a prescription, or a future therapist bill.

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  3. Tracy says:

    So glad I’m not the only one. We once waited several days before taking the youngest to the Dr. for what turned out to be a broken finger. Then, there was the time she had what I referred to as ‘a little cold.’ My oldest threatened to call Child Protective Services on me if I let her sister go to school with what she was sure was the Swine Flu. I assured her it wasn’t Swine Flu, but made the appointment. Doctor’s diagnosis – yep, Swine Flu. However, he called it ‘H1N1.’ When we left the Dr.’s office, my youngest turned to me and stated ‘at least it’s not Swine Flu!’ I never told her any different.

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