Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The New Girl

As I walked back to my desk I could hear my cell phone ringing.  I dug it out of my purse just in time to see the "missed call" alert flash on the screen.

My desk phone began ringing and I recognized the number...Clif.


Hey, it's me.  Daycare just called.  Freddie has a fever.

And just like that it happened.  The thing I had been stressing over and worrying about was real and happening.  Three weeks into a brand new job and I would need to leave early and take the following day off.  I knew it was coming.  Freddie's cough had started Sunday morning and had only gotten worse.  Last night, in my semi conscious state, I thought he may have been warm.

This morning I had battled over what to do.  Even without the fever, the cough and his clinginess were enough to keep him home...take him to a doctor.  The fever only confirmed what I knew.  And if I were in Richmond,  I knew exactly what I should have done.  I should have called into work and taken him to his pediatrician as soon as they opened.  But we aren't in Richmond.  Which means I haven't been at my new job long enough to accrue leave and we have no pediatrician.  I haven't found one yet, partially because I've been too busy with other things and maybe mostly because I love our Richmond Pediatrician so much that I can't bear the thought of taking them somewhere else.

I gathered my things and apologized to my new boss.  Getting out of DC to my sick child is not like leaving Richmond.  In Richmond, I could be to the kids in less than 15 minutes.  Not so here.  We chose a daycare closer to my in-laws, mostly due to financial reasons.  I wish that weren't what we had to base so many decisions on...where to live, where to work, where to send our kids.  I wish money weren't such a deciding factor.  So because the daycare is closer to the house and because I park 1/4 of a mile from my office (also a financial decision), it's almost an hour before I arrive.

It's 4:30 when I buckle the kids in and get back in the car, headed for...well, I'm not sure where.  Clif and I had discussed just going to an urgent care.  It could cost us a bundle, but how in the world could I possibly get in to see a pediatrician that I had never seen before so close to closing time?  So I head for the closest urgent care.

I unload the kids and drag them inside.  Freddie is miserable.  They take one look at us and say "We don't see children under 5."

This is where I come dangerously close to loosing my mind and telling the woman behind the counter exactly what I think of her medical facility.  My mind starts racing and I don't know what to do.  There's a part of me that wants to get in the car and drive to Richmond and never come back.

I take a deep breath and ask them if they know of any pediatric facilities near by.  They give me a number to a pediatrician's office...but now it's 4:50.  So I strap the kids back in the car and call the insurance company.  She was very nice, but she can't tell me if a place takes kids or not.

So I just start calling, because honestly, I haven't been to an urgent care facility since I was in high school and I have no idea if any of them take infants.  Luckily, the first one I call does, and they're right around the corner from Kip and Denise's house.

So after a missed exit on the beltway, 5 o'clock traffic and my wallet forgotten in the car we are finally waiting to see a doctor.  It's an ear infection.  His first.  Ainsley had had 4 or 5 by this age.

And that was that.  We filled the prescription, got pizza and made it home by 9.

So the thing I had been stressing over and dreading happened and I made it through.  I can't tell you how many times moving back to Richmond went through my head.  I felt so completely lost and Richmond is just so comfortable.  I know what to do, I know where to go.  I don't have that confidence here.  I'm always worried I'm doing something wrong...at my job, during my commute, with the kids...but I figured it out.

It kind of turned a bad day into a better day.  So maybe this whole move will not beat me, maybe I'll still come out on top.  For the last three weeks I have not felt that way, I've felt the exact opposite.  I guess that's how it happens, little victory by little accomplishment until you forget that you were once the new girl.  I just hate being the new girl.
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