A Weekend in the Life of Us...

Saturday morning, we decided to run some errands.  Coralynn decided to drive.

Make sure it's all clear.

Put into drive.

Tony decided that wasn't safe, so he took over, and we headed to the mall.  We split into teams and ran a couple quick errands.  The plan was to meet in DoIt Center so we could buy mousetraps to catch Fred.  (Yes, we name everything.)  Unfortunately, Tony and DoIt Center always take longer than anticipated.

At least the kids found some place to wait.

We made it back from the mall, McDonald's, and the grocery store with enough time for the baby to take a nap.  While she slept, we played Uno.  Once the Bits was up, we headed for the swimming pool.  This was a good plan because Bits' first word after waking was "Pool?!"

Headed down to the swimming pool.

New Googles- Camilla!

Coralynn sporting the new googles.

After getting our fill of swimming, the kids wanted to go to the playground.  We love the pool and playground at the apartment complex!

Coralynn doesn't like sliding so she just hangs from the top.  Carson, on the other hand, loves to get the slide really wet so he can fling down it faster. I was supposed to photograph this in action.

Getting ready to slide.

Here we go.

Time for me to buy a new camera.

Coralynn decided it was just more fun to spy on Chloe.

Overall, Saturday was a fun day.  Unfortunately, for Fred, the chocolate chip we read on google was an effective mouse bait, really was an effective mouse bait, and Fred is no longer with us.  (Camilla cried.  These really are my children.) 

Even more unfortunately, unless you are Fred's family, Coralynn cried off and on throughout the night, and we began to wonder that she might have an ear infection.  We headed off to church Sunday morning deciding that we'd think about taking her in.  After church, we headed to PriceSmart for more groceries.  (We spend a lot of time at grocery stores.)  And, we spent more time pondering over the Bits and her ears.

After lunch, I decided that we should look in her ears.  We have an otoscope so, in theory, we can check for ear infections.  We don't have a clue what we're looking for.  All it looks like is fleshy ear when we look in.  I really think there should be a sign that says, "Infected."  That would make all this easier.

I googled "looking in kids' ears for infection while using otoscopes."  Amazingly that turned up some information.  I looked in her ears.  I saw something!   Earwax.  Grr.  Coralynn produces all kinds of earwax.  I know this because the ENT gets all grumpy about it.  I now understand why- you can't see anything! 

I clicked on the "removing earwax link" for suggestions.  I followed the directions adding hydrogen perioxide to water to flush out the wax.  (Seriously, you can find anything online!)  I looked again.  This time I actually saw the ear drum.

It didn't look like the healthy pictures, but it didn't look super inflamed.  And we already know that she has fluid in the middle ear.  We've been treating it for months.  I asked Tony what we should do.  He thought I should take her to the ER to be checked.  I thought he should call the ENT.  (Neither of these are medical opinions.  They are trying to pass the buck so that the other person has to deal with it.)

We settled on calling the pediatrician here in Panama.  From what Tony tells me, her voice message said she was on vacation.  I took his word for it. 

Hmm.  Now what.

Well, I did what every expat does.  I called the US.

Fortunately, our former pediatrician and still friend, Dr. Lisa, answered the phone.  15 minutes later, we had an action plan.  Unfortunately, Tony already put the Bits down for her nap.  So, we decided to send Tony and the kids to play basketball, and Bitty and I would stay home.  When she got up, we would take her to the ER just to makes sure there was no infection.

Sitting in triage waiting for the doctor.

Today's public service announcement:
Don't give the patient the sucker until AFTER being seen by the doctor.  It just makes everything sticky.

After seeing the nurse, we waited for about 30 minutes to see the doctor.  Coralynn had a great time running around and meeting all the other patients.  Tony and I were trying to explain that she needed to act sick so we could get seen sooner.  Nope.  She was as happy as can be.

Left ear. 
(Tony is offically old because he asked me if the doctor looked old enough to have graduated from medical school.  Those are the kinds of things old people say.)

Right ear.
(The doctor wasn't very old, but he was clearly trying to give good service.  And that, in Panama, makes him the best doctor ever.)

The doctor, Dr. P, said that her ears didn't look normal, but there was no raging infection.  (Wait a minute!  That's what I said.  Woohoo!  Go me!!)  He decided to call our ENT to see what she wanted him to do.  30 minutes later, we had tried out 2 more waiting rooms and a new seating area.  Dr. P. came back in and said that our ENT wasn't answering her phone.  Did we want to try their ENT?  Sure.  30 more minutes, but we got to stay in the same room.  Their ENT still hadn't answered.  I sent Tony out to see if Dr. P. would just let us go.  (And since I'm the new otoscope pro, I determined no clear infection + appointment with ENT in 10 days= Us leaving the ER.)  Dr. P. said he wanted to get a specialist's opinion, and I wasn't enough of a specialist for him.  Finalemente, we hear back that the ENT doesn't need to see her (insert HUGE sigh of relief), but that we should start her on the antibiotic.  Sounds like a plan!  2 hours after arriving at the ER, we had meds and were leaving.

The kids were so good while we were there.  Well, at least I think they were.  We left them in the Lobby.  Tony did agree to take us for dinner since it was already after 7pm.  What do expats do for dinner on a Sunday night after spending hours in a Spanish-speaking ER? 

They go to Subway!


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