My daughter is feeling much better. Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes.

She does indeed have the H1N1 virus though no one tested her, they just ruled out everything else. She does not have strep.

Daughter started feeling kinda crappy Sunday night, no temp but she wasn’t her normal self. This was not a bad thing at first since she sat still for longer than ten minutes at a time. Monday morning she had a temp of 99 and was developing a cough. I kept her home even though the cut off temp at school is 100. I hate to admit it but when she was in daycare I was one of those parents who would pump their kid up with Tylenol so they could go to daycare for at least a half a day before the call came in to pick her up. I’m not proud of it but I figured she’d already passed it along to everyone and since I still had to pay for daycare when she was home with me I was going to get as much time as I could.

With this swine flu I didn’t want to risk spreading it so I kept her home.

Her fever hovered around 100-101, she was comfortable but hung out on the couch watching movies. Tuesday night her fever shot up to 104 and I was unable to get it down with either Motrin or Tylenol.

I called her doctor. Again.

Now, I knew I wasn’t going to actually be allowed talk to a doctor. The days of calling the doctor’s office, reaching the answering service and having them call the doctor, who then calls you, are over. I figured I might get a nurse, but no.

I got Missy.

I don’t know what Missy’s title is but she isn’t a nurse and certainly not a doctor. If I had to guess at a title I would say the word “assistant” was in there somewhere.

I asked Missy if I needed to bring my child into the urgent care or the ER which is closer than the urgent care clinic. I told her about her fever, how I was unable to bring it down with fever reducers and how I was worried about her.

Missy explained that I could load her up on both acetaminophen and ibuprofen by staggering the dosages. She couldn’t explain to me why this was okay but said it was safe. I’m one of those annoying parents who asks way too many questions. I want to know what I’m doing to my child and why. And above all else I want to know that I am not going to harm my child so I ask and ask again to make sure I have it correct. It doesn’t help that I hadn’t slept in a few days.

I had already been jotting down the times I had given my kid medication because in the middle of the night it’s easy to confuse 2am with 5am especially when the child wakes up every hour.

Missy suggested keeping a chart and then went on to explain how I should create the chart. She said if I gave her Tylenol at 3:30 I could give it to her again at 7:30 and if I had given her Motrin at 5 I couldn’t give her another dose until 11. Am or PM didn’t even matter at this point since I had given medications at completely different times and I was trying to write down the correct time while she was giving me these examples.  Missy was only confusing me at this point.

I gave up on discussing the dosage with Missy at this point. My ex mother in law is a nurse and I was going to call her as soon as I got off the phone with Missy.

I asked Missy a couple of other general questions about the flu, none of which she could answer. She gave me vague answers only and hemmed and hawed the whole time. If she had just said she didn’t know I would have been happier.

The whole time I am talking to Missy I can hear children playing in the background. I can also hear a TV in the background and what sounded like dishes clinking against each other. I’m pretty sure I was talking to Missy at home.

After not getting any definitive answers about what to expect with regard to my daughter and her fever, except that I might want to bring her in if she turns blue or stops breathing or her fever reaches 105 (which is only one fucking degree away from where I was when I called Missy), I made a joke. I do that.

“You aren’t really giving me any real information are you?” I said as I laughed.

Missy didn’t think it was too funny.

“Well, I’m not a doctor, I can’t give you any real answers and no one really knows what to expect with this anyway.”

Missy, I know you are not a doctor.

People named Missy are not doctors. Missy can clean your teeth, Missy can walk your dog and Missy can do your nails but Missy does not have a medical degree, a PhD, a BA and probably not even a diploma from the local community college.

There are a lot of things wrong with our health care system and having a Missy handle the calls in the evening from worried parents during a swine flu pandemic is right at the top of the list in my book.

For crying out loud can’t you call yourself Melissa?

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