Thursday, October 15, 2009

In Which I am Bested by a Fecal Sample Kit

Zoey has been sick most of this week. High fever and no other symptoms. Except for the screaming. And the not sleeping through the night. Yeah. It's been AWESOME. At least I got to watch some good TV (Top Chef anyone?) while Zoey snoozed on my chest. Oh! Added bonus! I got to test the limits of my bladder while pinned on the couch by a sleeping baby. Another highlight was force feeding Zoey medicine every 3 hours. And watching her spit it out and then (brace yourself) smear it IN HER HAIR.

Today Demetri started fall break. We celebrated by taking Zoey to the doctor. Together. Just because we are sickeningly cute like that. Negative for H1N1 and strep. They drew blood to try and determine if Zoey has a viral or bacterial infection. Zoey didn't even cry. It was pathetic. Seriously. Demetri and I sat there feeling helpless while we cradled Zoey, touched our palms to her forehead, and wondered if the 103 fever was going down or up.

I, in particular, must have looked a bit worried. Or crazed. Or maybe it was when I looked at the doctor and said, throwing my hands in the hair, "I'm freaking out. No, I might be freaking out. FREAK-ING." and then teared up. I frequently tear up in front of this doctor for no good reason. Last time, I teared up because I was convinced Zoey was having nightmares about me. Except in nightmares I had glowing red eyes and was screaming through pointy black teeth, "STTOOOPPPPP BITING!" I am positive Zoey's chart is marked with whatever the super secret doctor signal is for PARENT = TOTAL NUTBURGER. Today the doctor looked at me with significant eye contact and said, "Things are going to be OK. Everything. Will. Be. Ok." He backed toward the door, probably considered running for it and/or quitting his job, and kindly added, "Really." 3 times. "Really." (pause with more significant eye contact) "Really."

Both Demetri and I are madly in love with this pediatrician. We've seriously had multiple 15 minute conversations about how much we love him, his office staff, and amazing nurses. This is the main reason why: all of them can keep a straight face while we freak out and ask amazingly idiotic questions for two people who have masters' degrees. Demetri once asked the doctor if Zoey's pinkie toe was deformed because it curls in a little.

Anyway. It was all unclear if Zoey had a viral or bacterial infection. We were sent home with lots of Motrin and Tylenol samples -- probably to keep my hands full so I couldn't do anything nurtburgerish, like throw myself on a nurse and yell HEAL MY DAUGHTER! on the way out. And we were sent home with a fecal sample 'kit'. For the uninitiated there are 3 bottles that are about half way full with liquid. You screw the lid off each bottle and underneath there are little poop shovels with a slightly pronged ends. Your job is to scoop enough poop into the bottle to raise the liquid line to the marked level.

I was undaunted. After all, I've eaten poop. I'm a mom. And a large dog owner. What's a little poop? The shovel was even kind of cute. So we got home. Zoey hadn't pooped yet today so we knew it was coming. Conveniently, Demetri went to run errands. For 2 hours. Zoey pooped. I got the kit and began. Then, something began to gather in the back of my throat. I thought maybe it was bitterness at being left home alone to complete yet another poop related task. But no. No, no. It was a little bit of vomit gathered, there, in the back of my throat. I took a deep breath to try and settle my stomach. BAD. IDEA. The stench from that diaper is still there, clinging to the inside of my nose. As it will be for all eternity. Alas, I will no longer be able to smell sweet roses or peppermint tea. No, no all I can smell is shit.

I completed the kit. I felt dizzy. Nauseated. And, inexplicably, awkward and humiliated. Kind of like how it feels to be in middle school. My Mom Powers were bested by a fecal sample kit that comes with cute little shovels. Oh the shame!

(And you're welcome for not posting a picture.)


  1. I'm not sure this will help at all, but I once took my poop on the T. (Yes, the T as in the subway. In Boston.) Yes, I carried my poop on the train. I felt simultaneously sneaky and evil and also horribly embarrassed. I hope Zoey feels better soon. For everyone's sake.

  2. Ok, Joslyne - I thought that I had been through a lot (my oldsest vomiting ALL THE WAY to Ireland comes to mind), but I don't think I've ever had to do the fecal kit...ugh.... Hugs to Zoey - and you, too!

  3. You have now entered the realm of SUPER MOM (and Master of the Poopiverse). There's no other conclusion to be reached. No mere mortal could collect fecal samples from her ailing daughter and not cross that threshold. Oh my. That's all I have to say about that. And we miss you both!!!!!

  4. I threw up doing a fecal kit for myself one time while taking the bar exam in California. It was a proud moment for me.


  5. Awww. I wanted to see pictures of the (still unused) poop scoops.

    Hope Zoey gets better soon. I HATE it when my kids gets sick.

  6. Poop scoops do not sound like fun. I think you handled the whole situation admirably. Just great to hear you have a doctor that you love. :)

  7. Brave, courageous "Super Mom" you are!!
    Help is coming... better late than never.

  8. Ooh-- completing a fecal sample kit definitely deserves a mommy merit badge!! I would love to see the graphic representation of that one. I do thank you for not posting pictures of the actual sample, but I am interested to see the cute little shovel.

    And, speaking of Top Chef, GO VOLTAGGIO BROTHERS! Yes, they have those weird "dead eyes" during their talking head interviews, but darn it if they don't make food that looks scrumdidliumptious.