Thursday, November 11, 2010


Bean is sick.  Poor baby.  Literally.

She looks up at me with watery eyes.  One eye has a deposit of yuck in the corner of it.  Where do the eye yuckies come from?  When I was little and I would wake up with crappiness in my eyes, my mom would tell me that the sleep fairy just loved me more and she left extra magic fairy dust in my eye because I was special.  Who believes in a sleep fairy?

I had to do what I had been dreading since Bean was born.  I had to take her rectal temperature.  Here's the thing.  It's 2010, almost 2011 and we seriously haven't devised a better way of taking a baby's temperature!  Really!  Come on scientists!  Invent something better!  We have flat screen televisions.  I can do my food shopping on-line and get my groceries delivered that same day!  I read the New York Times on my phone!   I'm betting that an app for the IPhone that takes a baby's temperature is right around the corner!

I've dreaded the rectal temperature for obvious reasons.  Perhaps my fear is rooted in childhood trauma.  I remember my mom taking my temperature.  First off, the thermometer was glass and it was always ice cold!  What's worse is my mom was legally blind.   After the first insertion, there was almost always a second insertion because she couldn't read it clearly.  Or I would have to help her read it.    I remember the indignity of laying splayed out on my parent's bed in their pea soup green colored room (before it was retro fashionable), waiting for that ice cold thermometer.  Did I mention that it was made of glass?  I didn't want to subject my poor daughter to this same trauma.

More recently, I was further traumatized by rectal thermometers when I was in labor.  Next to my bed there were two digital thermometers affixed to the wall.  One was clearly labeled RECTAL.  The other labeled ORAL.  My husband joked to the nurses, "Better not mix those up."  Nurses came in every few hours to check my blood pressure and take my temperature.  Sure enough, the midwife took my oral temperature with a RECTAL thermometer.  There was a plastic sleeve on it, but at the end of the day, my temperature was taken by an instrument that had been in someone else's butt.

And so, it was with much trepidation that I braved taking Bean's rectal temperature.  All my fears aside, I had to.  I had no choice.  Doctors won't talk to you unless you give them a rectal temperature.  If you take the temperature from the ear or the armpit, you are immediately dismissed.  "Call back when you have a rectal temperature."  Ugh.

Bean laid on my bed.  How history repeats itself!  She was on her side playing with a toy, not realizing what was about to happen.  I sang a little song to distract her.  She ignored me, far more interested in the brightly colored cube she was holding.  And then, I did it!  10 seconds later, the display declared a 101.5 fever.  I did it.  I called the doctor, expecting an immediate call to arms.  I mean, I finally took her temperature.  Certainly I would get a house call.  Maybe some antibiotics.  Instead, I got baby Tylenol.  That's it.

All that, for a drug that was recently recalled.  Thanks Doc!


  1. Awesome. Rocco will not let the vet take his temp. . . ever. He has cleverly figured out how to drop his 100lbs, butt first, to the ground to avoid being probed. Chris thinks his dislike of anything having to do with his butt comes from an unfortunate knotted-sock eating incident that happened before I was in the picture.

    Good job on taking the bean's temp. I hope she does not adopt the same "drop and roll" technique that Rocco does.

  2. Poor Rocco! Knotted Sock? That sounds a lot worse than the time Murphy ate tinsel.