And so, after we’d played happily all night at the park adjacent to the baseball diamond where Henry was having T-ball practice, we got home and out of nowhere, Anna started screaming about her lady bits. ‘MY VULVA HURTS. IT BUUUUUURNS.’ My kids know proper terminology because I just can’t with the “front bottom” or whatever people tell their kids to call their parts.
I did a cursory evaluation and saw no visible problems, and so plunked her in the bathtub, because that’s the cure to everything, but it just made it worse. I then applied topical anti fungal cream (diaper rash stuff), because that’s the cure to everything else, but that didn’t help, either. I bribed her with a snack and gave her some Tylenol and assumed all would be fine, but it wasn’t.
She couldn’t sit for the pain. She couldn’t walk for the pain. She wasn’t being dramatic and irate about it, as she is with most things that bother her, she was being pitiful about it. That worried me.
I racked my brain for what might be happening. I asked her multiple times, in multiple ways, if she had put something in her vagina (and if she had been hurt or touched, etc- thank God, no). I didn’t love the idea of introducing her to the fact that she has a tiny pocket inside her in which she might put things she doesn’t want us to find, but her confusion that there was “an inside” seemed authentic. I counted Barbie shoes anyway. We weren’t missing any. Henry, helpfully, suggested it might be a wood chip from the playground, or a pineapple. I think he meant pinecone. We’ll never know.
I wondered if she’d been exposed to something like poison ivy when I helped her squat in the bushes to pee outside the park (BECAUSE THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TOILETS AT T-BALL FOR 5 YEAR-OLDS) and if I had just caused my baby girl child’s nethers to light on fire from a poisonous plant because I was too dumb to pay attention at the wilderness lecture at camp.
I waffled. I looked again, with a flashlight. I asked her to jump up and down to see if anything fell out. I’m a medical professional, after all.
She became more upset, and more specific that the pain was higher up, like bladder region. Her exam didn’t act like appendicitis, but I thought maybe it was a urinary tract infection. It seemed like a really severe, sudden onset, with no preceding symptoms, but I don’t do pediatrics. I imagine that tiny girl children’s bodies work a little bit differently than adult women’s bodies.
So, I took her to the urgent care. When we got there, there were, maybe half a dozen other people in the waiting room…so there was a decent crowd to hear Henry proudly announce to the receptionist, MY SISTER’S VAGINA HURTS HER BAD. A few minutes later, Anna was curled up in my lap, picking her nose, as one does in one’s mother’s arms, and I asked her about her bogie (Harry Potter talk for ‘booger’) hunting and Henry was mortified that I used that word out loud. If he only knew how people freak the fuck out over the world ‘vagina.’ I guess he’ll learn. But, really, would it have been any less awkward if he had marched up to the desk shouting that his sister’s “meow meow” or “tootsie” was hurting her? I think not.
Testing isn’t complete, but it’s looking like a UTI, and we’ll hit it with some antibiotics. Hopefully she reacts quickly and feels 1,000x better tomorrow, because it was pretty miserable. This is the first of its kind, and I’m again feeling blessed for how healthy the kids are, and have been. Henry reminded me, in a loud whisper, so the nice PA could definitely, totally, not hear him, because geez, how embarrassing, that the last time we were there it was because he had what we thought might be a spider bite on his scrotum.
There, now this blog post contains embarrassing details about both my children’s underwear areas, so they can both equally resent me.