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Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Facebook saved my son's ear

Yesterday, Charlie started complaining that his left ear was hurting. Because his complaint came about 10 minutes before it was time to walk out the door for school, I smelled a rat -- or at least a faker. I gave him a dose of ibuprofen and sent him on his way.

No word from the school nurse yesterday. No complaints after school. He played without hesitation in his basketball game last night. (We won! On to the semi-finals!) He didn't say another thing about his ear and I forgot about it.

Until 3:30am. When else do those things flair up? I was asleep on the couch, so I didn't hear him calling for me at first. But eventually he got my attention and was obviously feeling the pain. I gave him some ibuprofen, pulled out the heating pad, and laid down next to him. 30 minutes or so later, he was still crying out, so I gave him some cold medicine to clear out any congestion in his head. Good idea, Mom.

Except that 20 minutes after that, he was crying that his stomach was hurting. Probably from all that medicine on an empty stomach. Ugh. I sent him to the bathroom. Rubbed his back when he returned, and headed for my own bed after he finally fell asleep.

(If you're still waiting for the part where Facebook saves the day, stay with me. I'm getting there.)

I try not to run my kids to the doctor for every little thing. But I have a rule for ear pain, coughs, etc. : If it interrupts MY sleep, off to the doc we go.

We've been down the ear infection road plenty of times before, so I was pretty sure that's what it was. So this morning, before I even got out of bed, I called the pediatrician's office and made arrangements to bring Charlie in to the drop-in clinic. I told them we could be there in 20 minutes, which was a little short-sided, given that I wasn't even dressed and we live 15 minutes away from the office.

Charlie and I were ready to go when I realized that Mike had gone to work in the car where I had left my keys last night. No problem. He works about 5 minutes from home. I called his cell phone to ask him to run the keys home.

Ring! Riiinnng!  Riiiiiiiinnnnng! His cell phone was sitting on the charger in the kitchen. (It really doesn't "ring," but I can't remember what his ringtone is right now. Probably some Star Trekkian sound.)

Crap. I called him at work, marginally optimistic that I would get through the after hours answering machine. No luck.

Now what? The doctor's office hours on Saturday aren't very long and I really wanted to avoid a more costly trip to the urgent care.

Enter e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.

I knew that Mike would likely see a message there on his computer at work. So I sent three messages:

E-mail: NEED KEYS. Mike, I need the keys to take Charlie to the doctor. Hope you see this.

On his Facebook wall: You have my keys. I need to take Charlie to the doctor. Please call/come home.

To his Twitter account: CALL HOME. YOU HAVE MY KEYS.

Sure enough, about 5 minutes later, he called and said, yes, he had my keys and would come home. However, I must not have conveyed that I was in a hurry because 15 or 20 minutes went by and he still wasn't home. So back to the technology I went.

Facebook: Almost home? (I was trying not to seem naggy.)

Twitter:  REALLY need to GO! (Obviously a little more impatient.)

Within a few minutes, he was home. Charlie and I were off to the doctor where she had to dig a bunch of wax out of his ear before she confirmed that Dr. Mom was right -- ear infection.

So thanks to Al Gore, Mark Zuckerberg and anyone else who had something to do with the invention of the internet, Facebook and Twitter, Charlie should be feeling better soon and I hope to get some sleep tonight.


CWMartin said...

Thankfully nothing more serious.

Micah and Emily said...

This is hilarious! Yes, what did we ever do without social media and cells phones?