Last night Froggy complained of a neck ache. I thought maybe she meant her throat, and we were embarking on a cold.
This morning, she woke up, again saying her neck hurt. I asked her to point to the pain and she pointed to the back of her neck. My first thought was of course Meningitis. Because rather than it being a sprain or swollen lymph node, I go right to the worst case scenario, searching webmd for neck cancer, and spinal meningitis and the other 10,000 pains in the neck than mean sudden death, rather than just an actual pain in the neck.
After talking to our optimistic Pediatrician, we thought we'd give it a day, since she had no fever and was eating, drinking, and acting normally (other than some pain). But in the afternoon, we noticed the left side of her neck was beet red and spreading. So off to the doc we go...
When you 'walk in' to our busy Pediatric office without an appointment, it's like walking into the DMV with a suspended license- expect a wait, a big wait. Almost two hours later, we made it into the exam room. Froggy and I played "Race" with her horse, zebra and giraffe. The horse always won, by the way (guess who played the horse?) and I suspect the horse cheated.
In a restful moment, I took a look at Froggy's neck. It was even more red, and now reaching to the other side of her neck and back. Just above her hairline, I noticed something black, like a mole, or cut. But then, it started MOVING!
I gasped and totally freaked out my already nervous toddler, who strangely remembers that this is in fact the room where they pull out needles and lollipops in the same sadistic breath.
I ran out into the hall and found our doctor. "Dr. K, Dr. K!!!! Froggy has a tick embedded in her head!! And it's alive! It's ALIVE!!!"
Our doc grabbed a tweezers and I held down the Frog while she pulled the sucker (literally) out. It was disgusting. Feeling like a horrible parent who didn't notice a parasite on my child, my doctor says reassuringly, "Wow, I've never had to do that before!"
Great, so no other parent in the entire Los Angeles area has ever been soooo negligent! I explained, "We went on a hike yesterday," in a desperate attempt to restore my parental credibility. Like, "Look doc, fresh air, green pastures, aren't these essentials for a happy childhood?"
What must our doctors think? CF, Epilepsy and now Parasites? Do they think we live in a van down by the river? That we let our Pomeranian handle the parenting? Geez!
Well Froggy was a trooper, got her lollipop, and hopefully no one will report us to Children's Services. What's next, rickets?