Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Lifelines: Of Honeysuckle and Sepsis

C. Saphir

This is strange, I thought. Maybe I should take him to the doctor now

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Image

Photo: Sutterstock

It was the day of the Big Pesach Shopping. I was standing in my kitchen unloading bags upon bags of potato starch, sugar, oil, onions, and various other Pesach staples. Earlier that day, I had taken 11-month-old Eliyahu, who was sick, with me to the supermarket, and I had stocked up on all the non-perishables we would need for Yom Tov, which was ten days away.

I had already cleaned out the cabinets and pantry to make room for the Pesach items, but the counters and table were not yet Pesachdig, so when I came home from the supermarket, I lined those surfaces with garbage bags so that I could unpack the groceries onto them.

Eliyahu was still sitting in his stroller, lethargic from the fever that he’d had for the past three days. I wasn’t particularly concerned, because Eliyahu was the type of baby who came down with fever every few weeks; he’d been on antibiotics close to a dozen times in his young life, mostly for ear infections. Pesach cleaning notwithstanding, I knew that after three days of fever, taking him to the doctor was the responsible thing to do. So that morning, I had called the local clinic and made an appointment for five p.m.

At two thirty in the afternoon, as I was unpacking the bags, I noticed that Eliyahu looked weird. His limbs kept jerking involuntarily — first his arm flailed to the side, then his head bobbed up and down, then his knee jumped.

This is strange, I thought. Maybe I should take him to the doctor now.

Our pediatrician, Dr. Kleinfeld, was a real stickler for time. He wouldn’t see patients who came late, nor would he see them before the time of their appointment. There’s no point in taking Eliyahu to the clinic now, I told myself. Dr. Kleinfeld will never let him in.

But Eliyahu really didn’t look good. His lips were blue, his skin was pale and greyish, and he seemed apathetic. I have to do what’s right for him, I decided. Even if it means that I’ll feel like a fool when I get to the clinic and they tell me to wait until five.

Photo: Shutterstock

I took one last look at my hurricane of a kitchen. By the time I’d get home from the clinic, the older kids would be home, and who knew what kind of mess I’d have to deal with then. I shook my head, wondering why I was going out to the doctor now instead of just waiting two hours until my appointment.

When I walked into the clinic, Dr. Kleinfeld was seeing a patient. Curiously, however, there was no one in the waiting room, even though the clinic was usually teeming with patients. Even more curiously, when the door opened and the patient exited, Dr. Kleinfeld motioned to me to enter, and didn’t say a word about the fact that my appointment was not for another two hours.

 “Undress the baby,” he instructed me, while typing something into his computer. “I’ll be with you in a minute.”

As I finished undressing Eliyahu, Dr. Kleinfeld looked up and saw his greyish body and bluish hands, feet, and lips. He stood up abruptly. “Get your baby to the nurse this second, and tell her to take his vital signs and start an IV.”

 

Related Stories

Lifelines: Checkmate

C. Saphir

Double Brachah

Brachi Zeivald

Twin brothers born 20 minutes apart, married twin sisters born 20 minutes apart — and had daughters,...

The Last Word: It Could Happen to Anyone

Chananel Shapiro

How do you acknowledge a grieving father who, by his own admission of having a “memory blackout,” fo...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you