walking pneumonia….


Yesterday, I mentioned how my doll has been sharing a cold virus with the rest of us for the past two-four weeks, and today, I decided to put a stop to the madness. Well, actually, the doll, began complaining last night about odd pains in her rib cage and upper back, which led me to wonder if her cold had mutated into something worse. “When I was a kid, I used to get pleurisy very easily, so, considering she’s my kid, I thought I ought to bring her in, ” I told the nurse this afternoon, as she took notes about our visit.

“Mom, what’s Pleurisy?” my doll asked once the nurse vacated the room. “Fluid on the lungs…” I replied, adding, “That’s why last night I kept asking you if it hurt to breathe in or if you had shortness of breath when you walked from room to room. I used to get it when I was a kid and Grandpa would build a tent over me and my bed, then stick a vaporizer inside the tent and leave me there to breathe in the medicine–which wasn’t much more than vapor rub today. What made this so hard was I wasn’t allowed to leave the tent and I would become claustrophobic. Thank goodness they have better ways of treating this today…”

A moment later, the on call doctor came in and gave her an examination… “Breath deep for me…” She asked the doll. After a few breaths, she changed tactics, “Do me a favor, give me a forceful inhale and forceful exhale, like this…” and then demonstrated. The doll acknowledged her request and began taking deeper breaths, which caused her to cough a deep, rattling cough. “Walking pneumonia…” The doctor diagnosed. “Here’s the good news, you’re off school for two days…” the doctor began, “The better news is we’re going to get you on a course of treatment that should clear this up within a week–but you need to come back for a follow up,” She said as both the doll and I nodded. “She needs an antibiotic right now, so she’ll need a couple of shots…” She paused then looked at the doll and asked, “Are you okay with getting shots today?” My tired and very pale doll tilted her head and said, “I don’t care,” “Good, so my nurse will be in with the shots, then you’re going get a fifteen minute breathing treatment, okay?” Again we both nodded and she exited the room.


Comic relief came in as we exited the doctors office. In my profession, I’m used to putting my right arm and elbow out to offer assistance to the car and I did so to the doll out of habit. “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said with a laugh when she bumped into me. “I’m used to doing that to help Mr. L and Mrs. K,” I explained. “Mom, those two shots in my thighs are killing me, I can barely walk,” She claimed, “Is there anyway you can carry me?” She asked. “Um, no, but here, you can lean on me…” I said offering her my elbow. From the street level, I’m sure we looked odd, as the doll tried her best to put all of her weight on my right arm and had me literally dragging her toward the car. “Doll, seriously?” I said with a laugh while I stopped to regroup. “Mom, they hurt…” She said with her best “I’ve been wounded” voice. “I know baby, but if you keep leaning like this, we’ll both end up in the mud. I will help you…” I said, shifting my right arm around her back, “but you have to help too,” I said as we both readjusted and then together walked toward the car.


“How are you feeling now?” I asked my doll when I arrived home from work this evening. Using her hand to illustrate ‘Comme ci, comme ça’, I nodded and then began to hook-up the nebulizer breathing unit, I borrowed from my older brother, Tom.  “Okay, see how I do this?” I asked as she watched, “Tomorrow, you’ll have to do this for yourself while I’m at work, okay?” She nodded, then sat down and took in a treatment. “Mom, this tastes awful,” she said afterward. “The price one pays for health…” I said before adding, “Besides the stuff I had to take….” until she put her hand up to my mouth to stop me from going further. “Mom, this is about me, not you,” She said, as I smiled, nodded in agreement.

Yes, thankfully, she’s on the mend and feeling better.


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